Wednesday, January 16, 2002
CJA Unanimously Confirms Robie as Justice of Third District Court of Appeal
By DAVID KLINE
SACRAMENTO (CAPITOL)—The Third District Court of Appeal welcomed a new dress code as well as a new associate justice yesterday at the confirmation hearing for Justice Ronald B. Robie, a long-time trial court judge in Sacramento.
As a show of support for their new colleague, the men and women of the Third District all came to the Commission on Judicial Appointments hearing wearing bowties—Robie’s neckwear of choice.
A laughing Chief Justice Ronald George told Robie, “You have demonstrated a remarkable ability to lead and persuade, and that’s before even joining the court.”
George was joined by CJA members Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Third District Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland in unanimously confirming Robie, but only after Lockyer was assured that bowties will not become a new court expense.
Robie, a 64-year-old Democrat, was sworn in by George shortly after the vote.
Justice Coleman Blease said his new colleague has “an infectious enthusiasm for life and the law.”
“I would describe him as a workhorse, except for the fact that he’s a thoroughbred,” Blease said during the half-hour confirmation hearing.
The Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission rated Robie “well qualified,” member Abbe McCall said. McCall, the commission’s co-vice chair, said evaluators described Robie as “highly intelligent, hard-working and scholarly,” and said his oral and written communication skills are exemplary.
At the hearing, though, tears nearly hindered his ability to communicate thanks to his family, long-time courtroom staff and the governor’s judicial appointments secretary, Burt Pines, who sat nearby.
Robie was nominated for the newly created judgeship on Dec. 21 by Gov. Gray Davis. He has served on the Sacramento Superior Court since winning election in 1986. From 1983 to 1986, he served as a Sacramento Municipal Court appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown.
Prior to becoming a judge, Robie served as director of the California Department of Water Resources and as a consultant to the Assembly Water Committee, writing some of the laws he now is called upon to interpret.
He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at the McGeorge School of Law—from which he once graduated as first in his class—and he serves on the Judicial Council.
Robie, whose wife is a former Sacramento County supervisor, will receive an annual salary of $155,914.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company