Newsom taps top City of Fresno lawyer to serve as judge

A member of Fresno City Attorney Andrew Janz’s management team is headed to the bench.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a slate of new judicial appointments, with the Valley’s delegation headlined by one of the senior-most members of the Fresno City Attorney’s Office.

Friday, Newsom tapped Raj Singh Badhesha, a Selma native and Democrat, to fill a vacancy on the Fresno County Superior Court.


Driving the news: Badhesha serves as Chief Assistant City Attorney under Fresno’s top lawyer, Andrew Janz, with a portfolio that is heavy on legislative counsel and intergovernmental affairs.

  • Prior to his service at Fresno’s City Hall, Badhesha – an alum of the University of California College of Law in San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings) – was an associate at Baker Manock and Jensen from 2008 to 2012.
  • Badhesha will fill the vacancy created by Judge Jon Kapetan’s retirement.

What they’re saying: Janz, the Fresno City Attorney, praised Badhesha as a key part of the management of his office and one of his closest advisors.

  • “Raj has been an instrumental part of my management team because of his broad-based knowledge of various aspects of the law and his ability to deal with sensitive situations with tact and poise,” said Janz. “When I was appointed City Attorney, he quickly became my closest advisor and made my transition into this position seamless. Raj has all the qualities one hopes to find in a judge; he is open-minded, thoughtful, deliberate, well researched, and diplomatic. While his broad legal experience and expertise is going to be a big loss to the City of Fresno, there is not a more fitting individual to serve Fresno County and the State of California with honesty and integrity.”
  • Badhesha, in a statement, expressed sincere gratitude for his appointment
  • “I would like to thank Governor Gavin Newsom for having confidence in my ability to serve as a Fresno County Superior Court judge. After years of dedicated service to the Fresno community, including invaluable experience in the Fresno City Attorney’s Office and extensive volunteer work, I am honored to be appointed as a Fresno Superior Court Judge,” Badhesha said. “My commitment to justice, coupled with my understanding of the legal system and the needs of our community, have prepared me to serve with integrity, fairness, and compassion. I am glad to be able to represent a segment of our community that we don’t often see on the bench, and I appreciate the Governor’s commitment to diversity.”

Elsewhere: Newsom appointed Mason Brawley, a private practice estate attorney, to the Merced County Superior Court bench.

  • Both Brawley and Badhesha will earn $238,479 in annual salary in their new posts.
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