A leading Indian American lawyer, Sunil R. Kulkarni, has become the first South Asian American state judge in Northern California with his appointment to Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Palo Alto, California, resident Kulkarni, 41 who since 2011 has served as a senior counsel in the litigation group at the University of California, was named to the new post by California governor, Jerry Brown, last week local ethnic newspaper India-West reported.
Indian American Paul Singh Grewal in 2010 was appointed a magistrate judge, a federal post, in US District Court for the Northern District of California, according to the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California.
Born in Los Angeles, Kulkarni grew up in King City, California, in southern Monterey County. He has a BS from University of California-Berkeley and a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law.
The Indian American attorney was a law clerk for Judge Oliver W. Wagner in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California from 1996-97 and held various positions at Morrison and Foerster LLP from 1998-2011, including partner and associate.
There has been a flurry of recent appointments and nominations of South Asians to the judiciary in California.
They include Rupa S. Goswami, who was appointed by Brown to Los Angeles County Superior Court; Alka Sagar, who was named a federal magistrate judge for the Central District of California; and Vince Girdhari Chhabria, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to the US District Court for Northern California.
According to the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, Sagar became the first South Asian woman to serve as a federal judge in the Central District and the first South Asian woman federal judge west of the Mississippi.