Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, October 4, 2001


Page 1


Davis Picks Cooper, Boland, Rubin for New Appeals Court Division

Governor Also Names Nine to Los Angeles Superior Court


By ROBERT GREENE, Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis yesterday named Justice Candace Cooper to lead a new division of this district’s Court of Appeal, and nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Paul Boland and Laurence Rubin to serve with her.

The first-ever appointments to Div. Eight continue a whirlwind of Second District Court of Appeal nominations from Davis’ office. On the same day a week ago that the governor named U.S. District Judge Carlos Moreno to the state Supreme Court, he tapped attorney Richard Mosk and Superior Court Judge Dennis Perluss for the Court of Appeal.

Davis also named nine judges to the Superior Court yesterday. Appointed were federal Magistrate Judge Ann I. Jones, Superior Court Commissioner John T. Doyle, Assistant City Attorney Leslie E. Brown, Assistant City Attorney William N. Sterling, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dorothy L. Shubin, Deputy District Attorneys Martin L. Herscovitz and Cynthia Rayvis, and attorneys Marjorie S. Steinberg and Richard H. Kirschner.

The Superior Court appointees may be sworn in as soon as they are able to leave their current posts. The appellate nominees require confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

No hearing dates have yet been set.

Little Surprise

There was little surprise in Cooper’s appointment as presiding justice. The MetNews reported on Aug. 3 that Cooper was in contention for the top spot on the new division, which came into being on paper in January under SB 1857.

Word of Cooper’s possible advancement began circulating as early as 1999, when Davis named her in his very first package of judicial appointments to fill her current post as an associate justice on Div. Two. At that time, the bill creating the new division was much-discussed but had not yet been drafted.

Cooper yesterday called starting up a new appellate division “more of an opportunity than a challenge,” and said she enjoyed administration and looked forward to her new duties.

“Our work is pretty well defined,” she said, “although we do have an opportunity to create from the bottom up.”

The justice also heaped praise on Boland and Rubin, both of whom have extensive experience serving on the appeals court in pro tempore assignments. The jurists already are well acquainted.

Cooper served for two years as supervising judge in Santa Monica, under an administrative coordination program that took in the municipal court where Rubin sat. Boland was one of Rubin’s law professors at UCLA.

Boland currently sits on assignment in Div. Seven, and will remain there through November, unless he is confirmed for his new post before that.

Div. Seven’s presiding justice, Mildred Lillie, said she was pleased Boland was given a permanent appeals post even though, she added, she had been hoping he would be appointed on a permanent basis to her division. The governor nominated Perluss to that slot last week.

Permanent Post

“[Boland] has practiced law and he has taught law school and he has served as a judge, and those experiences have given him a special understanding of the law and of the people who work in the field,” Lillie said. “That man has a true commitment to the administration of justice.”

Boland, 59, brings experience in a broad range of legal service. He was a research attorney for the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in the 1960s, then staff counsel and assistant director of the Western Center on Law and Poverty, then served more than a decade as a UCLA law professor and associate dean.

Then-Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to the Superior Court in 1981, and Boland served a term as presiding judge of the juvenile court. He has garnered recognition as one of the court’s top judges, earning the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Judge of the Year Award in 1991 and the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Outstanding Jurist Award in 1994.

Boland is married to U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow of the Central District of California. Morrow was the first woman to serve as president of the State Bar of California.

Boland graduated from Loyola University in 1963 and earned his law degree from USC in 1966. he earned a master’s from Georgetown in 1967.

Rubin, 55, said he was looking forward to moving up.

“Being a Superior Court judge in Santa Monica is a wonderful job,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to have superb colleagues. But I’ve been in this building 19 years and it’s time to do something else.”

Rubin said he looked forward to the special challenges of designing policies and protocols for a new division. He said it was easy to predict that he, Boland and Cooper would work well together.

“I think we’ll be a very close-knit group,” he said.

After graduating from UCLA law school in 1971, Rubin clerked for the late Stanley Mosk, the Supreme Court justice who died in June and whom Moreno was appointed to succeed.

He then worked for several law firms until 1982, when Brown appointed him to the Santa Monica Municipal Court. He became a Superior Court judge with unification last year.

Rubin served on assignment to the Court of Appeal in 1985, 1992, 1995-96, and 2000.

Cooper, 53, graduated from USC law school in 1973. She worked for six years as a corporate law associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, then was appointed in 1980 by Brown to the Los Angeles Municipal Court. She was elevated to the Superior Court in 1987 by Brown’s successor, George Deukmejian.

Davis was lauded for appointing her to the Court of Appeal in 1999, but was criticized for the manner in which he made the announcement. The governor made a point of noting that Cooper is “the daughter of a former police officer,” drawing complaints that he was spinning his picks for dubious law-and-order credentials and not for their experience and abilities.

Cooper has won a number of awards for judicial service, including the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Ernestine Stahlhut Award, the Superior Court Judge of the Year honor of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section, the LACBA Outstanding Trial Jurist of the Year award, and the Judge of the Year award of the John M. Langston Bar Association.

The legislation that created the new division authorizes four positions, but three justices are enough for a panel and sufficient to get business under way.

None of the nominees had heard yesterday when confirmation hearings are slated, but Cooper predicted they would come shortly after the hearings for Mosk and Perluss, which are slated for Oct. 22.

Court of Appeal Administrative Presiding Justice Charles S. Vogel called all three nominees “excellent” and predicted his new division would be “very high powered.”

“I’m impressed with this group,” Vogel said.

The new unit will likely pull about 13 percent of the caseload from the rest of the district, Vogel said, and take cases at various stages rather than start with only new filings.

Once the justices are confirmed and sworn, Vogel said, they will start work right away but it will likely take 60 days for the division to get up to speed.

Chambers in the Ronald Reagan State Building are already reserved, and computers and other equipment are on order, Court of Appeal Clerk/Administrator Joseph Lane said. But each new justice must also hire staff, and no firm offers can be extended prior to confirmation.

Each justice gets two chambers attorneys and a judicial assistant, and the division gets two staff lawyers plus two attorneys who specialize in writs, plus secretarial support.

Cooper said she intended to move her current chambers attorneys and judicial assistant with her across the building to her new chambers.

Of the Superior Court appointees, two are lawyers in private practice, two are jurists, and the others are prosecutors.

Appointed were:

Magistrate Judge Ann I. Jones, 46, of Los Angeles, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Richard G. Berry. Jones became a magistrate judge for the Central District of California in 1997 after spending a year as regional director of the Federal Trade Commission and two years as special counsel to the assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.

Superior Court Commissioner John T. Doyle, 49, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Donald F. Pitts. Jones became a Compton Municipal Court commissioner in 1995 and moved to the Superior Court with unification last year. He is a former deputy public defender.

Managing Assistant City Attorney Leslie E. Brown, 49, to fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Glenette Blackwell. Brown headed the city attorney’s Labor Relations Division.

Assistant City Attorney William N. Sterling, 53, to fills a vacancy created by the elevation of Kathryn Doi Todd to the Court of Appeal. A former deputy public defender, Sterling supervised the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dorothy L. Shubin, 42, of Altadena, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Roy M. Carstairs. Shubin is a deputy chief of the Major Frauds Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is best-known for her prosecution of former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall and several of his associates for bank fraud, and two sheriff’s deputies for skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars in narcotics proceeds.

Deputy District Attorney Martin L. Herscovitz, 48, of Calabasas, to fill a vacancy expected to be created by the elevation of Perluss to the Court of Appeal. Herscovitz prosecuted actor Robert Downey Jr. for drug-related offenses.

Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Rayvis, 54, of Los Angeles, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge George Schiavelli.

Marjorie S. Steinberg, 55, of Los Angeles, to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Robert M. Mallano to the Court of Appeal. She was a partner inn Tuttle & Taylor until its demise earlier this year.

Richard H. Kirschner, 57, of Los Angeles, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William J. McVittie. A former assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, he is now a defense lawyer and a past president of the Federal Bar Association’s Los Angeles chapter.


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company