Frances Muñoz, first Latina trial judge in California, dies at 92
SAN FRANCISCO — Judge Frances Muñoz, who became the first judge to preside over a Latino trial in California, has died. She was 92.
Muñoz passed away on Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Her family has not released a statement.
Born in the Philippines, Muñoz began her career in 1943 as a secretary at the San Francisco office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, where she was trained as a speech writer for the U.S. military.
She then worked as a journalist for the San Francisco Examiner and as a city court clerk for three years before becoming the first woman to be appointed to the bench in San Francisco.
She also practiced at a law firm for a number of years before taking the bench.
After she came out with her family in 1952, one of her first decisions was to sign a petition that successfully campaigned to allow same-sex marriages.
The California Legislature responded by voting in 2003 to make same sex marriage legal.
Born in the Philippines, Muñoz was the daughter of a judge. She was also the granddaughter of the late Ferdinand Marcos.
A San Francisco resident at the time of her death, she is survived by a brother, a daughter, a son and nine grandchildren.
SACRAMENTO — A jury found a San Diego County Superior Court judge guilty of misconduct over his handling of a 2007 case in which he recommended that a woman who was the sole witness in a child abuse case be awarded millions of dollars in damages for her mental anguish.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on several other charges against Judge James M. Burns, including assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment.
Burns faced up to four years in prison in the June 2007 case. The maximum term is eight years. His sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for five years.
Judge James M. Burns
Judge Burns was found guilty of professional misconduct in the 2007 case. That was the result of a complaint filed by a former San Diego County Superior Court employee.
The former employee said she was repeatedly harassed and intimidated by Burns after she reported an inappropriate relationship