Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed local attorney Doug Prouty to the position of superior court judge; he succeeds Ira Kaufman who retired at the end of last year.
Prouty, 64, was one of 25 judges appointed by the governor Feb. 27, and one of four Plumas County attorneys to apply for the local judgeship.
“We were lucky to have four strong, quality candidates,” Kaufman said of the appointment. “Doug will do a great job in this position.” The other candidates were not officially named.
Prouty said he was pleased with the announcement and will spend the next couple of weeks closing down his law office and transferring his clients to other attorneys.
“I have always wanted to be a judge,” Prouty said during a March 2 interview. “Even when I was in law school, I knew that was where I wanted to end up in my career.”
Prouty already has some idea of what the job will be like. “I’ve been doing traffic and small claims as a judge pro tem for a while and always enjoyed it,” he said. “It gave me a small taste of what it will be like.”
His past experience working in a district attorney’s office, as well as his past 17 years as a public defender, have provided good insight for what is required of a judge.
“I will strive to be decisive, to look at all of the facts and make good, sound decisions,” he said.
Prouty said that he has learned a lot from watching both Kaufman and Superior Court Judge Janet Hilde in action. “I think I will be able to hit the ground running after being in court so much.”
Still, there are still some administrative aspects of the job that will be new so he will attend a “new judge orientation” in April to help with the transition, as well as a two-week judicial college later in the summer.
Prouty will join Hilde in presiding over the courts in Plumas County. She will preside over the criminal caseload and Prouty will handle civil and family law, as well as traffic and small claims.
“I’m excited to have Doug Prouty as my colleague and our next superior court judge,” Hilde said. “I’ve known Doug for over 20 years. He is well respected, has a lot of knowledge and experience, and possesses the right demeanor. I’m confident he will be a great judge for our county and the judicial branch.”
Prouty’s appointment is for two years and then he would be on the ballot for a six-year term.
Douglas M. Prouty
Partner: Rhonda Strunk
Family: Three adult children
2001 to present: public defender
1994 to 2001: owner and mediator at Timberline Mediation Services
1987 to 1990: Associate at the Law Offices of Robert F. French
1982 to 1987: Associate at the Law Offices of James Paul Green
1982 to 1983: Part-time attorney at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Prouty is a member of the Plumas County Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee.
He earned a juris doctor degree from San Francisco Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College.