Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, August 30, 2001


Page 1


Charvat, Perez to Step Down From Superior Court


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Richard Charvat and David Perez have set October retirements, the MetNews learned yesterday.

Charvat, 63, slated an Oct. 23 retirement date. His bench career dates back to his 1981 appointment to the Los Angeles Municipal Court.

Perez, who turns 64 on Sept. 14, is due to step down Oct. 5 after a judicial career that began with his appointment to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1975. He currently sits in Santa Monica.

Perez was heading the criminal division of the City Attorney’s Office when Brown picked him for the Municipal Court. But shortly afterward, he was caught up in a scandal when it was learned he had authorized destruction of police files containing unproven citizen allegations of police brutality.

Then-Municipal Court Judge George Trammel suggested that Perez may have perjured himself while testifying at a dismissal hearing.

The “shredding” incident contributed to City Attorney Burt Pines’ loss to Yvonne Burke in the 1978 race for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, and it helped Deputy District Attorney Richard Adler unseat Perez from the bench in 1980.

But Brown then took the rare step of appointing the defeated jurist to another court. On the East Los Angeles Municipal Court, Perez successfully fended off another election challenge and served three terms as the court’s presiding judge.

A Democrat, Perez later re-registered as a Republican and was elevated by Republican Gov. George Deukmejian to the Superior Court in 1985. Perez was deemed re-elected to the court three times without challenges. He has been widely lauded by attorneys for his abilities and demeanor as a judge.

Perez was born and raised in Los Angeles, graduating from Loyola University with a business degree in 1959. He served for several years as a county probation counselor and earned his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1995. He spent his entire legal career at the City Attorney’s Office, rising through the ranks to become a chief assistant city attorney.

Charvat may have had judicial service in his genes. His father, Frank Charvat, became a commissioner in 1949 and ultimately became a Superior Court judge, serving until 1972.

Richard Charvat grew up in Long Beach, graduated from UC-Berkeley in 1960 and earned his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1963. He returned to Southern California to work as a Los Angeles deputy county counsel, moved briefly back to the Bay Area to work as a staff attorney at United California Bank in San Francisco, then came back to the County Counsel’s Office and worked there until Brown appointed him to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1981.

Deukmejian, a fellow Long Beach resident, made Charvat his first appointment to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1983. He has been elected to the post three times without opposition.

Charvat is widely regarded to be an intelligent, reasonable judge. A summary of his demeanor in the eighth edition of California Courts and Judges states, “Rejoice if you get this judge for trial or law and motion.”


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company