Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, November 4, 2002


Page 1


Superior Court Judge Groneman to Retire in January


By ALLISON LOMAS, Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith L. Groneman will retire Jan. 31, bringing his 17-year judicial career to an end, Judge James R. Brandlin confirmed Friday.

Groneman was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1985. He was elected to the Municipal Court in 1990 and then re-elected in 1996.

Groneman joined the Superior Court two years ago when the two court systems were unified and is currently assigned to the Airport Court where he handles all of the preliminary hearings, Brandlin, the court’s site judge, said.

“He has been carrying the full load” for a courthouse that processes over 3,000 felonies a year, Brandlin said. Virtually all of those cases pass through Groneman’s courtroom at the preliminary hearing stage, Brandlin explained.

Groneman did not return a phone call for comment.

Brandlin noted Groneman’s thoroughness when making decisions. He attributed this to Groneman’s experience at the Court of Appeal.

Groneman spent seven years as Presiding Justice Lester Wm. Roth’s research attorney prior to his appointment to the Municipal Court.

Brandlin said he was not surprised when Groneman, now 66, notified him late last year that he intended to retire.

Brandlin described Groneman as soft-spoken, hard-working, meticulous, and articulate. He said the jurist will be missed.

     Superior Court Judge Ray L. Hart met Groneman in 1982 while working for Justice Lynn Compton at the Court of Appeal. Hart, who also worked with Groneman at the Municipal Court, agreed with Brandlin’s description of his long-time associate.

He is “a true scholar. . . one of the brightest people I know,” Hart said.

     Originally from Kansas, Groneman received his law degree from UCLA in 1962. He began his legal career in New York City at Carter, Ledyard & Milburn.

He returned to Los Angeles two years later and has remained in California ever since.

In the years preceding his appointment to the Municipal Court, Groneman worked as an associate at Lawler, Felix & Hall, as a staff attorney at the Pacific Lighting Corporation, had his own legal practice specializing in civil cases, served as general counsel at the General Brewing Corporation in San Francisco, and worked as Roth’s assistant.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company