Local 856 member appointed to judgeship in Sonoma County

One of Local 856’s own has been given the opportunity to take his service to his community to the next level. Last month, Teamsters 856 member and Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Honigsberg was appointed to a superior court judgeship by Governor Jerry Brown. “Chris was an outstanding deputy district attorney and president of the prosecutors’ association,” said his Local 856 representative, Matthew Finnegan. “His experience, intelligence and demeanor with be a true asset to Sonoma County as a judge.”

Read more about Chris’s appointment in the article below.

Local 856 member, Chris Honisberg was recently appointed to a judgeship by Governor Brown

This article originally appeared in The Press Democrat on February 27, 2018.

Sonoma County prosecutor appointed to judgeship

Honigsberg, 38, of Petaluma becomes the youngest person in recent history to join the 20-member bench. He is the second appointed to it since November and joins four sitting ex-prosecutors.

“I feel honored and privileged to serve the community as a superior court judge,” he said in an emailed statement.

Honigsberg was among 25 judicial appointments announced Tuesday. He will be paid an annual salary of $200,042.

He was hired in 2009 by District Attorney Jill Ravitch and has since handled high-profile cases including the trial last fall of two Windsor armored car robbers who shot and wounded a guard in 2016. One man was convicted and faces life in prison while the other pleaded guilty to all charges.

“I think it’s an outstanding appointment,” Ravitch said. “It’s a loss for our office but a real win for the county at large.”

The Berkeley native lives with his wife, defense attorney Karlene Navarro, and two daughters. He has been a board member of Social Advocates for Youth since 2013.

Honigsberg began his career in 2006 as a prosecutor in Tulare County in the Central Valley after graduating from University of California, Santa Barbara and University of San Francisco law school.

He is a registered Democrat.

“He’s well-grounded and thoughtful about the law,” said Jeff Mitchell, a longtime deputy public defender. “I think those qualities will make him a good judge.”

The last judge selected by Brown was then-Commissioner Jennifer Dollard. She filled a vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Gary Medvigy.

Before Honigsberg, the youngest judge to take the bench was Robert LaForge, also a Sonoma County prosecutor, who was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 at age 41. Retired Judge Gayle Guynup is believed to be the youngest ever in Sonoma County, appointed in 1982 during Brown’s first term at age 31.

Presiding Judge Gary Nadler said Honigsberg will be assigned to a misdemeanor courtroom. He will be sworn in to office in the next few weeks, Nadler said.

“He is a very well respected attorney and would be welcomed by the judges of the superior court,” Nadler said.