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An Arroyo Grande woman who has worked as a court commissioner and family law attorney was appointed Thursday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a vacant Superior Court judgeship in San Luis Obispo County.

Ginger E. Garrett, 53, has served as a family law commissioner in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court since 2002. She worked as a sole practitioner in San Luis Obispo from 1993 to 2002, focusing on family law and juvenile cases.

Garrett, a Democrat, is filling a criminal court vacancy left by the March retirement of Judge Christopher G. Money. The position pays ,149,160 per year.

&#8220I/m very pleased, as is the entire court,C said Judge Michael Duffy, the presiding jurist in San Luis Obispo County. &#8220Commissioner Garrett is a great judicial officer and will be a great judge.C

With the appointment, there are no more bench vacancies in San Luis Obispo, though Garrett/s commissioner position now needs filled.

Tana Coates, another Arroyo Grande attorney who knows Garrett professionally, praised the appointment.

&#8220I/m absolutely thrilled for her,C Coates said. &#8220She has a very fair approach to law and is a no-nonsense jurist.C

Garrett did not return calls late Thursday seeking comment.

Before moving to the Central Coast, Garrett worked from 1982 to 1993 as a private practice attorney in Alabama, according to the governor/s office. She has also served as director of the Tuscaloosa Legal Aid Society and as a staff attorney for the Alabama

Disabilities Advocacy Program.

Garrett was also managing attorney for the Legal Services Corporation of Tuscaloosa from 1980 to 1982 and staff attorney for Alabama Legal Aid from 1978 to 1980.

She earned both her law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Alabama.

Quintin Cushner can be reached at 739-2217 or qcushner@santamariatimes.com.

December 2, 2005

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