University News

Western Alumna Appointed to Superior Court of California

August 15, 2006


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MACOMB, IL - - Denine Guy, a California native with ties to Macomb and to Burlington, IA, was sworn in as one of Santa Cruz (CA) County Superior CourtÂ’s 10 judges July 7, following appointment to the judgeship by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The judgeÂ’s links to the Midwest are in education and in family.

Guy, who previously served as the Monterey County (CA) District Attorney in the consumer and environmental protection unit for 12 years, earned her bachelorÂ’s degree (1985) in political science at Western Illinois University. And her grandparents, Ralph and Betty Guy, both in their 80s and active in the Art Guild of Burlington, are longtime residents of Burlington, IA, just 50 miles northwest of Macomb. Grandmother Betty is a well-known artist, whose prints and watercolors can be found around the world.

Guy initially came to the Midwest from California when her family purchased a historical home in Dallas City (IL) and moved to the rivertown, just 20 miles south of Burlington, to renovate it.

“My parents wanted me to attend a college in Illinois where they were. Due to its location and reputation, I chose Western,” Guy said. “I had a wonderful experience, even though initially it was big adjustment to the weather with high humidity and snowy winters.

“These adjustments and my homesickness were overcome by the end of my first semester since I pledged Alpha Sigma Tau and began to make friends and be involved in campus life,” she added. “Many of the friends I made in college I am still in contact with all of these years and miles later.

“I am so grateful to Alpha Sigma Tau as it gave me a family and a home, when as a California native I left all of my friends and everything I knew to come to the Midwest, and then later when my family returned to California after my sophomore year,” she added.

“Alpha Sigma Tau was the reason I stayed at WIU. I appreciated the structure to meet people, having come to the college without any ties or friends,” Guy added. “It also gave me the opportunity to become involved in other campus student organizations, which I enjoyed.”

Guy had “very positive experiences” serving on the Panhellenic Council and as Greek Week Chair as well as on Western’s Student Orientation Board, where she served as a mentor and ambassador to incoming students.

She was also a serious student of political science and pre-law, and was especially inspired by the late political science professor Charles Leonard.

“He was tough and no-nonsense,” Guy said. “I felt that his approach was the closest to a law school professor I had in my undergraduate experience. He became my adviser, and I truly respected him. It was a great loss for WIU with his passing.”

Guy’s interest in law began in high school, when she decided she “wanted to be an advocate for the people.”

After earning her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (1989) from Monterey (CA) College of Law, Guy practiced for five years as a civil attorney representing injured victims. In 1994 she chose to go into public service to make an impact on her community and became s a prosecutor for the Monterey County District AttorneyÂ’s Office, where she prosecuted a variety of criminal cases. The past six years she was assigned to the Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit where she specialized on consumer protection cases dealing with unfair business practices which deceive or defraud customers.

“It was creative and interesting work, and I was involved in prosecutions statewide with other prosecutors and attorney generals in this area,” Guy said.

As to her new position as a Santa Cruz Superior Court judge, Guy said: “I am extremely honored to continue my public service here in my home county and in a way to make more of a substantial impact.

“And I am enjoying the new challenges as a judge. I handle criminal misdemeanor crimes, and I enjoy the personal interaction in the courtroom,” she added. “I look forward to many years of community involvement and coordination as the courts move to greater public access.”

Guy has been active in professional and philanthropic organizations throughout Santa Cruz County and the state. As a member of the California District Attorney Association she has lectured on search warrants and senior annuity fraud. She has served as a board member at large for the Monterey County Prosecutors Association, served on board of trustees of her alma mater, Monterey College of Law, and was a liaison to the trustees as a member of the Monterey College of Law Alumni Association. Guy was the first woman and youngest attorney to serve as president (1993-1994) of the Santa Cruz Trial LawyersÂ’ Association, which she previously served as executive director (1989-1992). In 1997 Guy was presented the Employee of the Year award for the County of Monterey for overall performance and law enforcement training efforts while assigned to the domestic violence unit.

Guy is married to Berkley Brannon, an assistant district attorney in Monterey County District AttorneyÂ’s Office. They have a 7-year-old son, Berkley Guy Brannon.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
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