Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, April 19, 2002


Page 1


Davis Names Buckley, Horn to Los Angeles Superior Court


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis yesterday named civil trial lawyer Daniel J. Buckley and state Deputy Attorney General Chester Horn Jr. to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The appointees fill seats left vacant last July when Judges Stephen O’Neill and Ronald Cappai died within a week of each other. There will be 16 vacancies remaining on the court after the new judges take the bench.

Buckley, 47, is a partner in the Los Angeles firm of Breidenbach, Buckley, Huchting & Hamblet. The firm, of which Buckley is a former managing partner, has produced several members of the bench, including Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Lawrence Crispo and Phillip Argento and Fourth District Court of Appeal Justice William Rylaarsdam.

Buckley told the MetNews he anticipates taking the bench around May 6, subject to discussions with his partners. Serving on the bench, he said, has been “a lifelong dream.”

He has enjoyed his time at the firm, he said, because it has given him a chance to work with very good lawyers. But he said he was looking forward to the opportunity to work a more regular schedule than trial work allows and spend more time with his family, which includes three children between the ages of eight and 13.

He joined the firm in 1980, and has concentrated in the defense of toxic tort, professional negligence, employment and personal injury claims. He was one of the lead lawyers for the state in the 10-month trial involving 17 of the 4,000 plaintiffs who sued for damages they claimed were caused by exposure to toxic substances stored at the Stringfellow dumpsite in Riverside County.

Buckley, whose undergraduate and law degrees are from Notre Dame, has taught aspiring paralegals at UCLA and UC Irvine and has lectured frequently on environmental law issues. 

Horn, 54, joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1972 after graduating from UCLA School of Law. His undergraduate degree is from UC Santa Barbara.

He worked in the office’s Antitrust Section until 1981. Among his cases there was a challenge to the merger of the Lucky and Alpha Beta supermarket chains, the first action by a state to block a merger under federal antitrust law.

“I’ve been blessed with remarkably interesting cases,” he said yesterday.

He left the office in 1981 to do general business litigation, but returned five years later. Since 1988, he has been a member of the Charitable Trusts Section, overseeing the activities of nonprofit organizations. 

He has been largely responsible for enforcing legal requirements relating to sales of nonprofit hospitals and the conversion of nonprofit hospitals to for-profit businesses. He has written extensively on antitrust and charitable trust issues.

Horn said he has not yet had a chance to talk to Presiding Judge James Bascue about the timing of his swearing-in, but hopes to do so today. He can take the bench soon, he said, because there are no hospital-sale reviews pending at the moment.

“It’s very good timing for me,” he explained.

Horn said he applied for the appointment because he’d “wanted to be a judge for as long as I can remember.” He noted that he had spent most of his legal career as a public servant and is a lifelong Southern California resident.

“I love the idea of serving this community,” he said.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company