By Alex J. Rhowuniong
Dana Gutierrez named Superior Court judge
Gov.Lou Leon Guerrero stands next to newly appointed Superio Court Judge Dana Gutierrez after a press conference in Adelup on Nov. 19, 2019. Photo by Alex Rhowuniong
(Updated Nov. 20, 2019)
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on Tuesday appointed attorney Dana A. Gutierrez of Calvo Fisher & Jacob LLP to serve as Eighth Judge of the Superior Court of Guam.
Born and raised on Guam, Gutierrez graduated from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 1997. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California in 1993.
Gutierrez practices primarily in the areas of labor and employment law, business planning, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. Her practice includes counseling and defending employers in all aspects of employment law, including wrongful discharge, discrimination and harassment claims; labor and employment law compliance; wage and hour; personnel management and training; and safety and health.
“Attorney Dana Gutierrez possesses judicial temperament--a very crucial requirement for me,” the governor said.
She added that Gutierrez’s temperament--coupled with her willingness to serve, ethical grounding, intelligence, education, courage and integrity--has helped set her apart from a number of candidates the Governor vetted.
"These qualities will help Gutierrez in her new role to “ensure fairness, dispense justice and be a good judge,” the governor said.
Turning to the incoming judge on her left, next to the podium, the governor said: “Dana we are proud of your accomplishments, and we look forward to you assuming your role as Guam’s next Superior court’s judge. We know that you will do your part to administer justice fairly and equally.”
“I am humbled by Gov. Leon Guerrero’s nomination, and for the opportunity to serve the people of Guam and the island that I love,” Gutierrez began when she finally stood beaming at the podium. “They say it takes a village to raise a child. And in my case, it’s certainly true. I would not be standing here without the unconditional support and love of my family and friends; as well as the mentorship and guidance that I’ve received from my colleagues throughout the 22 years that I’ve been practicing law.”
Gutierrez also said she has always believed that public service is a privilege. And it should neither be taken for granted, nor taken lightly. So each time she takes the bench, if confirmed; she is going to conduct herself “with fairness, open-mindedness and with the commitment to justice.”
Born and raised in Agana Heights, Gutierrez is the daughter of Roland and Anne Gutierrez. The 48-year old is a product of Guam’s both public and private school systems. She began her academic pursuit at Agana Heights elementary, then went up to Agueda Johnston middle in Ordot before coming back down to Bishop Baumgartner Jr. High in Sinajan; known today as Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School.
Gutierrez is a frequent presenter on employment issues for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Guam Chapter. She currently serves as president-elect for the SHRM Guam Chapter.
Chief Justice Katherine A. Maraman issued the following statement regarding Gutierrez's appointment.
“There is no greater testament of her legal acumen than a vote of confidence from fellow attorneys. Like her peers in the legal community, I have full confidence in Dana’s ability to serve our people as a Superior Court Judge. Dana is intelligent, conscientious in her work ethic and has an impressive array of legal experience. Additionally, her service as Director of Policy Planning and Community Relations here at the Judiciary was significant. I am certain that Dana’s record as an attorney and her contributions to this community will serve our people well in her capacity as a Superior Court Judge.”
“After vetting a list of recommended candidates from the Guam Bar Association, a series of interviews, and a great deal of thought—I am proud to appoint Attorney Dana Gutierrez to serve as a Superior Court Judge,” Leon Guerrero said.
“Attorney Dana Gutierrez possesses the judicial temperament, ethical grounding, intelligence, education, courage and integrity to ensure fairness, dispense justice, and be a good judge.”
“I have had the opportunity to work with Dana during my time at the Judiciary. I witnessed how hard she worked and the diligence she put into everything she did. I am confident in her abilities and I know that her superior moral character will help guide her to administer the kind of justice our island deserves,” added Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio.
Gutierrez is the daughter of Roland and Annie Gutierrez and is married to David Hurchanik.
She attended Agaña Heights Elementary School, Agueda I. Johnston Middle School, and Bishop Baumgartner Junior High School. After graduating from the Academy of Our Lady of Guam, she left Guam to complete undergraduate studies and law school in Los Angeles, California. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and East Asian Area Studies from the University of Southern California, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California School of Law.
Gutierrez has over 20 years of experience working in the private and public sectors, serving as counsel to large local and international companies as well as numerous Government of Guam agencies and boards.
She has particular expertise in labor and employment law, commercial and transactional law, with a focus on business planning, corporate governance and regulatory compliance After law school, Ms. Gutierrez began her career in private practice as an associate with Carlsmith Ball LLP, later becoming a partner at Mair, Mair, Spade & Thompson and at Thompson, Gutierrez & Alcantara.
Gutierrez has also worked in the public sector at the University of Guam and recently served as the Director of Policy, Planning and Community Relations at the Judiciary of Guam. She has volunteered her time in service of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Guam Girl Scouts and the Guam Young Professionals. She has been an active member of the Guam Bar’s law works Committee. She is a volunteer member of the Guam Public Library System Board, and the Guam Solid Waste Authority Board which worked its way out of federal receivership.
“She is the happiest girl in the world,” said husband David Hurchanik, tearing up, as he stood watching his wife, Dana Gutierrez, from the middle of the press conference room in Adelup during a ceremony Tuesday.
In an earlier version of this story, we mistakenly identified Dana as the daughter of former Gov. Carl Gutierrez. Our sincere apologies
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