Political Notebook

After losing judge’s race, Hill joins Hammerschmidt Broughton law firm

When Rachel Hill was last in the news, she was on the losing end of the most expensive judge’s race in Fresno County Superior Court history, a million-dollar plus campaign that was won by her opponent, former prosecutor Lisa Gamoian.

Now, almost five months after the election and with Gamoian settling into her seat on the Fresno County bench, Hill has landed on her feet.

She’s joining the Hammerschmidt Broughton Law Corporation.

Jeff Hammerschmidt, the firm’s CEO and a well-known Fresno County attorney, says he’s “ecstatic” to have Hill on board. He says Hill’s “command of the rule of law and steadfast work ethic” will give a boost to the firm’s legal team.

Hill, 51, is already working with some of the firm’s more high-profile clients. Those cases include Fresno firefighter Jeffrey Sanchez, who is facing three felony charges in connection with the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman, and Troy Dion Bailey Jr., a former Navy seaman living at the Lemoore Naval Air Station who is facing murder charges in the death of his 11-month-old daughter.

Hammerschmidt, who endorsed Hill in the Superior Court judge’s race, says she’ll also take on new cases.

During the campaign, Hill touted her legal credentials, which included a decade as a Fresno prosecutor, six years as a criminal defense lawyer and four years with the Fresno law firm of McCormick Barstow. In the years leading up to the election, she was an adjunct professor at the San Joaquin College of Law, where she taught courses in criminal law and juvenile justice.

Of her latest legal step, Hill says she’s “honored to join the team.”