Santa Cruz, CA now has its first Fil-Am judge appointed to bench

Hon. Jerry Bustos Vinluan III is the new Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge.

A FILIPINO American defense attorney has made history after being appointed as the new Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge.

Hon. Jerry Bustos Vinluan III, 49, is the county’s first Fil-Am judge, appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on July 9. He will fill out the position left by Judge Kim Baskett, who retired last year.

For his part, Vinluan welcomed his latest appointment, saying he was “extremely blessed” to be in the position.

“I am extremely blessed to be in this position. I am humbled by all of the support and love that I have received during this time and essentially all of my career from my family, colleagues, judges, friends and clients,” he said in a statement shared by the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC).

“I worked hard to get here, but I would never be where I am today without the community’s support and encouragement. I am a part of my community and must contribute in any way I can so that we as a collective group become inclusive and address all of our diverse needs. Only then, I believe, will we make progress in achieving real solutions,” he added.

Vinluan also noted that it’s important to get involved in organizations that recognize and address issues of communities such as the Fil-Am community.

“This is why I think it is important to get involved with organizations like FBANC since its members are an integral part of the community. They know many of the issues and concerns that the Filipino-American community face[s] every day. Some of these issues are unique while some of them are similar or exactly the same as other groups of our society,” he said.

“I intend to participate and do my part. I hope others do as well so that we as a group become stronger and strive to achieve the change and consideration we all need and deserve,” he added.

Prior to his appointment, Vinluan had served as Deputy Public Defender at Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff since 2006. He was previously Deputy Alternate Public Defender at Wallraff & Associates from 2004 to 2006.

Vinluan was a Sole Practitioner from 2002 to 2004 before becoming Deputy Public Defender at the Madera County Public Defender’s Office from 2000 to 2001. (AJPress)

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