VALLEJO, Calif. — William Pendergast will be taking over as Solano County Superior Court judge, replacing David Power, who is retiring.
California Gov. Jerry Brown made the announcement just before Christmas, according to www.timesheraldonline.com.
Attorney Robert Warshawsky, managing partner at Petty and Warshawsky and a long-standing member of the Solano County Bar Association, is optimistic about the appointment.
“I met [Pendergast] a number of years ago when he was a practicing attorney, and he developed a very good reputation as a litigator,” Warshawsky told The Northern California Record. “[He’s] someone who’s very honest, had great integrity, very well prepared.”
According to Warshawsky, Power was transparent in his ruling, so one knew what he was thinking.
“[He was] a judge that worked very hard,” Warshawsky said. “So really, I think these two judges are cut from a very similar cloth, in the sense that they’re both quite good in their demeanor, very easy to practice in front of.”
Pendergast had been a commissioner for the Solano County Superior Court since 2011. Prior to that, he served a deputy public defender and as a sole practictioner, according to www.dailyrepublic.com.
He was a partner at two firms prior to that: Pendergast and Camarata from 2006-08 and Pendergast and Maher from 2002-06, according to www.timesheraldonline.com. Before that, he spent five years as an associate at Kilpatrick and Daniels.
“He knows the law very well and a pleasure to appear before him for those reasons,” Warshawsky said. “You always felt like your client got a fair shake in front of him, so it didn’t surprise me at all that he was elevated to the bench by Governor Brown.”
Warshawsky said the response to Pendergast by local attorneys has been positive.
Being able to handle a changing population will be key to a judge in the area.
“You have to remember that this was at one point a very rural county — the county has grown in population, the cities have grown, and so it has become a much less rural,” Warshawsky said. “As a result, demographics change, elements within the population change. The bench has shown, in my view, a very good ability to change with the county.”
In turn, this has added to the workload amongst its legal teams.
“Solano County has a very active case load among the bench. I know at one point it was considered to be the highest, or one of the highest, in the state,” Warshawsky said. “One of the things our bench has really shown the ability to do is handle high volumes of cases, but at the same time, really being fair.”
That growth is reflected in the number of bench officers now for the court.
“The bench now has 20 full bench officers, which is a lot more than when I started,” Warshawsky said. “I think Judge Pendergast is going to be an excellent addition to the bench.”