August 31, 2018 | The Supreme Court of California has reappointed Judge Catherine D. Purcell (JD ’85) as presiding judge of the State Bar Court. Purcell will serve in this role for a six-year term, beginning November 1, 2018 and ending October 31, 2024.
Presiding Judge Purcell was first appointed to the State Bar Court as a review judge in 2008, and was appointed presiding judge in 2014. Prior to her appointment, she served as a Kern County Superior Court Judge, a deputy district attorney in Kern County, and in private practice. She received her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Pepperdine Law.
Dean Phillips commented that The Court is “most fortunate” to have Judge Purcell continue as presiding judge.
The State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel investigates complaints of attorney misconduct. If the Office of Chief Trial Counsel determines that an attorney’s actions involve probable misconduct, the office files formal charges with the independent State Bar Court. The State Bar Court hears the charges and has the power to recommend that the California Supreme Court suspend or disbar attorneys found to have committed acts of professional misconduct or convicted of serious crimes.
The procedures for appointments to the State Bar Court and for the Applicant Evaluation and Nomination Committee, which assists the court in making such appointments, are governed by Rule 9.11 of the California Rules of Court.