Wednesday, October 9, 2002
Tevrizian Chosen to Receive Maynard Toll Award
By a MetNews Staff Writer
U.S. District Judge Dickran M. Tevrizian Jr. of the Central District of California will receive the Maynard Toll Award from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles at a fundraiser dinner on Nov. 12.
Tevrizian said yesterday he was “shocked, humbled” when he was informed by the president of LAFLA, Mark Seltzer, that he had been chosen to receive the award.
The Maynard Toll Award, named after its first recipient, was established in 1985 by the Legal Aid Foundation to honor members of the bar for their commitment to public service and to providing legal services to the poor. Last year’s recipient was Chief Justice Ronald M. George.
“I knew Maynard Toll,” the judge told the MetNews. “He was an outstanding person. I mean these are big shoes to fill.”
Tevrizian currently serves on the Board of Directors of the QueensCare Health Foundation, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the Armenian Eye Care Project, and the UCLA School of Public Policy.
The judge has also sat on the boards of Los Angeles High School and the Good Shepherd Home for homeless women.
Tevrizian, whose daughter is a physician, said that he is most proud of his involvement with QueensCare and Glendale Memorial. “Providing quality medical care to the working poor is one of the critical needs facing our society,” he said.
He served on the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1972 to 1978, as an appointee of then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, and on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1978 to 1982, as an appointee of then-Gov. Jerry Brown, before being nominated to the district court.
Born in Los Angeles in 1940, Tevrizian was, at 31, the youngest judge to be appointed by Reagan up to that point.
After leaving for private practice, he returned to the bench in 1986 as the first Armenian American to serve on the federal court, after having been named to his present post by then-President Reagan.
“I am the recipient of the American dream,” he said referring to the fact that he is the son of immigrants. His father immigrated to the United States from Hartoot, Turkey at the age of 19 and his mother was born in this country soon after her family’s arrival from Sevas, Turkey.
Tevrizian received his undergraduate degree in finance and accounting from USC, graduating cum laude in 1962. He also received his law degree from USC in 1965.
After his admission to the California bar in 1966 he worked as an accountant for Arthur Andersen for a year before beginning his legal career.
In 1987, he was named Trial Judge of the Year by the California Trial Lawyers Association. Tevrizian was the first federal judge to receive the award.
He was also named Trial Jurist of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association for 1994-1995.
In 1998, he was awarded the Peter the Great Gold Medal of Honor from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. Tevrizian, who said he understands Armenian but speaks very little, has been to Russia and Armenia twice on missions with USAID and ABA CEEILI.
He was also named Federal Court Trial Judge of the Year by the Malibu Bar Association.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company