Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, December 24, 2002


Page 1


Governor Names Three to Fourth District Court of Appeal

Justice Conrad Rushing Nominated for Elevation to Presiding Justice in Sixth District


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis yesterday nominated three judges for appointment to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, and also nominated Sixth District Court of Appeal Justice Conrad Rushing to be presiding justice of that court.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia G. Aaron of San Diego was nominated to the Fourth District’s Div. One, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Jeffrey King to Div. Two in Riverside, and Orange Superior Court Judge Raymond G. Ikola to Div. Three in Santa Ana.

Aaron, 45, has been a magistrate judge since 1994 and is the immediate past president of the San Diego County Judges’ Association. She began her legal career in 1984 with the Federal Defender’s Office in San Diego before leaving to form the criminal defense firm of Aaron & Cortez in 1988.

Aaron is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University and an honors graduate of Harvard Law School. She currently serves on the board of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program.

Ikola, 62, was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Pete Wilson and currently serves on his court’s complex litigation panel. He previously served as supervising judge of the civil departments, and also spent two years in the Appellate Division.

The jurist majored in electrical engineering, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in his native state and a doctorate from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. His law degree is from Hastings College of the Law.

His practice of law was primarily in business litigation, beginning in 1974 as a member of the firm of Wenke, Evans & Ikola. He joined the Newport Beach office of Hufstedler, Kaus & Beardsley in 1987, and was a partner with Snell & Wilmer in Irvine from 1990 until his appointment as judge in 1995.

Music Fan

Ikola has written extensively on computer law and has spoken at a number of continuing education programs on civil litigation. He is also a fan of classical music and a former president and chairman of the board of the Pacific Symphony Association.

Ikola has been honored for his judicial accomplishments by several groups, including the Orange County Bar Association Business Litigation Section, American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County.

The Orange County Trial Lawyers Association is to present him next month with its Jerrold Oliver Award, named for the late Orange Superior Court judge and presented annually to a judge “whose career reflects judicial integrity, compassion and courage”

King, 52, was also a 1995 Wilson appointee. Before becoming a judge, he practiced law with personal injury firms in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, then spent six years as a partner with Markman, Arczynski, Hanson & King, primarily representing public entities in tort and employment litigation.

He currently sits in a civil assignment, but has heard felony and misdemeanor cases in the past. He also served in the Appellate Department for two years.

A graduate of the University of Redlands and the McGeorge School of Law, he was elected to a four-year term on the Rancho Cucamonga City Council in 1984 and served a year as mayor. He was a city planning commissioner before his election to the council.

Aaron and King will fill newly created positions if confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which when considering Fourth District nominees consists of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, and Presiding Justice Daniel Kremer of Div. One.

Ikola would succeed Justice Thomas Crosby, who retired last year.

Rushing, 65, was appointed to the Court of Appeal by Davis and was confirmed in January. He previously served on the Santa Clara Superior Court, to which he was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 1978.

Rushing is a former presiding judge of the Santa Clara Superior Court and a former supervising judge of its criminal departments. He also sat in the civil and appellate divisions of the court.

Practice Background

Before his appointment to the bench, Rushing engaged in a corporate finance, merger and acquisition practice with the firms of Rushing, Ames & Norman from 1974 to 1978, and Berliner, Cohen Flaherty & Rushing from 1971 to 1974. He also handled civil litigation, particularly the defense of construction industry cases.

He taught a seminar in law and literature at the University of Santa Clara Law School and was a guest lecturer at the Stanford and Boalt Hall Law Schools.  He served as president of the Santa Clara County Bar Association in 1974 and as chair of the City of San Jose Charter Review Commission in 1977.

He received the Judge of the Year award from the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers in 1994 and 1999.

The Commission on Judicial Appointments for his nomination will consist of George, Lockyer, and Acting Presiding Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian. The post has been vacant since Presiding Justice Christopher Cottle retired last year.

The governor yesterday also made one trial court appointment, naming Patricia M. Lucas, a litigation partner at Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, to the Santa Clara Superior Court.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company