Governor Brown Appoints M. Bruce Smith to the Fifth District Court of Appeal


SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of M. Bruce Smith as associate justice of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

Smith, 58, of Fresno, has served as supervising judge at the Fresno County Superior Court since 2012, where he has served in several positions since 2000, including presiding judge, assistant presiding judge, criminal trial judge, civil trial judge and presiding judge of the Juvenile Division. He was a partner at Stammer, McKnight, Barnum and Bailey from 1993 to 2001, where he was an associate from 1988 to 1993. Smith served as a deputy district attorney at the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office from 1983 to 1988 and as a graduate legal assistant at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office in 1982. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Smith fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Rebecca A. Wiseman. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Senior Presiding Justice Brad R. Hill. Smith will be the first African-American judge to serve on the Fifth District Court of Appeal, if confirmed. Smith is a Democrat.

The compensation for this position is $211,260.