Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, December 3, 2001


Page 1


Davis Appoints Five Judges to Los Angeles Superior Court


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis Friday named five judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Lisa Lench of South Pasadena; Luis Lavin of Los Angeles; Joe Hilberman of Los Angeles; Michael Stern of Pasadena, and Anne Egerton of Los Angeles all received the nod from Davis

Lavin, 42, is the director of enforcement and general counsel for the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission—responsible for investigating possible violations of campaign finance reform, government lobbying, and conflict of interest laws.  Previously he served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, litigating employment discrimination cases, and as a Massachusetts assistant attorney general.

Lavin’s contributions to the commission were lauded Friday by its executive director, LeeAnn M. Pelham.

“While we are very sorry that the City of Los Angeles will be losing Luis and his considerable talents, we are pleased that he will have the opportunity to continue his longstanding commitment to fairness and equitable justice under the laws as a Superior Court Judge,” Pelham said in a statement.

Lavin said he welcomed the challenges of his new role..

“I’ll do whatever I can to come up to speed and work very to do the best job I can,” he said.

Lavin earned his law degree from Harvard Law School after receiving his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.  He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Paul I. Meltzler.

Stern, 56, is primarily a business litigator and has focused on trademark infringement since 1984. He worked for 13 years in the U.S. Department of Justice, handling criminal cases across the country.  He has also served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

“As I worked in the judicial system, I thought I could make some positive contributions to the improvement of the system as a judge,” Stern said.  “Wherever they send me, I’ll go, and I’ll improve the administration of justice.”

Stern earned his law degree from Harvard Law School after graduating from Stanford University.  He also holds an LL.M. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas P. Allen Jr. 

Lench, 48, has served as deputy chief of the Narcotics Section of the U.S. Attorney’s office since 1991. She supervises a team of assistant U.S attorneys responsible for the investigation and prosecution of national and international drug trafficking organizations. 

She prosecuted members of a Mexican Mafia prison gang resulting in the convictions of 20 defendants, including 10 life sentences.

While she said she has always aspired only to be a good lawyer, she said she now aspires to be a good, fair judge. 

After graduating from the University of California-Irvine, Lench received her law degree from Loyola Law School.  She fills a new position on the court.

Hilberman, 53, is a veteran civil litigator with the firm of Fonda, Hilberman & Fraser, which he founded in 1996.  His practice focuses on personal liability claims and employment disputes on behalf of insurance carriers, self-insured businesses, universities and healthcare providers.  He served on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Monica Bar Association and chaired its Civil Litigation Committee. 

Hilberman received his undergraduate degree and law degree from UCLA.  He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas Schneider. 

Egerton, 47, formerly was senior vice president and general counsel, West Coast, for NBC, and was responsible for all legal matters on the West Coast operations.  During her previous positions, she handled a range of complex litigation matters, including commercial, antitrust, defamation, copyright, insurance and professional malpractice cases.  She has also been active in the American Bar Association and Los Angeles County Bar Association.

After graduating from Occidental College, Egerton received her law degree from Boalt Hall Law School.  She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Harvey A. Schneider.  

All Superior Court judges receive a salary of $133,051. 


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company