Ming W. Chin, presiding justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three, was appointed to the California Supreme Court last month by Gov. Pete Wilson.
Chin, 53, is considered a moderate conservative by court observers, who say they do not expect the balance of the court to shift significantly. He has been on the short list for the high court in recent years.
Chin will replace Justice Armand Arabian, who will leave the court at the end of the month.
Wilson, who appointed Chin presiding justice in 1994, called him "one of the most respected appellate justices in the state of California" and praised him for his legal skills and scholarship.