Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, March 29, 2002


Page 1


Two Judges, Two Commissioners Slate Retirements


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Ann Kough and J.D. Smith and Commissioners David Stephens and Jeffrey Castner have slated retirements in the next several weeks, the MetNews has learned.

Castner and Stephens will be retired effective Sunday, joining Commissioner Linda Elliott, who previously slated retirement for that day, a court official said. Smith’s last official day on the job is next Thursday, while Kough is to depart May 15.

Kough, 49, did not return a phone call seeking comment on her retirement. Courtroom  clerks said Smith and Stephens are no longer sitting, and phone calls to Castner’s courtroom were repeatedly unanswered.

Kough, who has been sitting in Central Civil West, has been a Superior Court judge since 1997, when she was appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson...She was elevated from the Los Angeles Municipal Court, to which she was appointed by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1989.

The jurist was a Los Angeles deputy city attorney from 1979 to 1982, an associate with Loeb & Loeb in 1982 and 1983, a partner in O’Loughlin, Kough  & Katz from 1983 to 1986, and general counsel for Pacific Triangle Management from 1986 to 1987.

She maintained a solo practice in Los Angeles, concentrating primarily on criminal appeals, from 1987 until her appointment to the bench.

Kough graduated from Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. in 1973, earned a  master’s degree in sociology from California State University, Fullerton in 1977, and received her law degree from UCLA in 1978.

She was a candidate for assistant presiding judge of the Municipal Court in 1991, losing to Alban Niles. In 1995, she married San Bernardino Superior Court Judge John Kennedy, who served as presiding judge of that court before retiring to become a private judge with JAMS.

Smith, whose initials stand for James Dennis, was appointed to the Superior Court by Deukmejian in 1987 after serving five years on the Glendale Municipal Court, to which he was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.

The 65-year-old jurist, who was born in Minnesota but grew up in South Gate, is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the Los Angeles Police Department. His 24 years with the LAPD began as a patrol officer, after which he worked his way up through the administrative ranks and became judicial liaison officer for then-Chief Daryl Gates.

Much of his Superior Court career has been spent in the criminal courts, where her heard more than 75 murder cases and imposed at least eight death sentences. He once publicly mulled a bid for election as district attorney, but did not run.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company