Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, March 24, 2003


Page 1


Governor Davis Names Four Women to Los Angeles Superior Court

Appointment of Robin Miller Sloan Creates Rare Third Generation on Local Bench


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis Friday named four women—two in the public sector and two in private firms—to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Deputy Attorney General Robin Miller Sloan, Deputy District Attorney Lisa Mangay Chung, and civil litigators Donna Fields Goldstein and Nancy L. Newman won the governor’s nod.

Sloan, 42, is the daughter of retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Loren Miller Jr. and the granddaughter of the late Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Loren Miller.

Sloan said she was “humbled” by the appointment, recognizing that having three generations of one family on the bench is a rarity. Although she enjoyed watching her father at work before going to law school herself, it was not until after five or six years of practice that she decided she wanted to “bring my passion to the bench,” she said.

She said she had no particular preference as to where she would sit, but hoped to avoid her father’s first assignment—traffic court. Noting that her father had many different assignments on the bench, she recalled his admonition that

“it’s all important” and said she would “take the ball and run with” whatever assignment she received.

She said she hoped to have her father swear her in sometime around the beginning of April

Dad Approves

Having three generations of the same family on the bench is “kind of nice,” Loren Miller Jr. told the MetNews, taking some of the credit for his daughter’s career choice. “I think she’ll do fine.” Miller said he would probably offer his daughter some advice, but wouldn’t say what it would be.

Sloan began her legal career as a prosecutor in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office from 1988 to 1991. In 1991, she joined the Attorney General’s office, moving from the Correctional Law Section to criminal appeals to the Health, Education and Welfare Section of the Civil Division.

In her current post, she handles teacher licensing, nursing home abuse, and public employee retirement cases. The UCLA and McGeorge School of Law graduate succeeds Judge R. Gary Klausner, who was appointed to the federal bench.

Goldstein, 55, is a partner in Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, which she joined in 1991 after stints at Rudin, Richman & and Epstein, Becker & Green. She specializes in complex civil litigation and the defense of employment claims.

Justice Department

Before going into private practice in 1980, she spent eight years with the Justice Department, first in the Civil Rights Division in Washington and later on the civil side of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. She graduated from Beaver College in Pennsylvania and from Rutgers School of Law, and fills the vacancy created by the January retirement of Judge Keith L. Groneman.

“I think all litigators think about sitting on the other side of the well,” she said Friday. Her government stint occurred during “a great time,” she said, so it was “a natural progression to go back to public service.”

Chung, 37, has been a deputy district attorney since 1992. She has prosecuted a wide range of felony and misdemeanor cases, including homicides, and has headed the Domestic Violence Unit in Lancaster since 1999.

Chung also coordinates the Victim Impact Program, overseeing prosecutions of crimes committed against the elderly and children, hate crimes, crimes of sexual abuse, stalking and domestic violence. One of her high-profile cases was the prosecution of Lancaster mayoral candidate David Abber, sentenced to 210 days in jail as a condition of felony probation for stalking his girlfriend.

A graduate of Vasser College and Tulane Law School, she succeeds Judge Reginald Yates, who retired in December.

Cases where I’ll need some time to clear them off my guess is that it will be about a months no idea where ill be sitting

Newman, 47, is a partner with the firm of Knapp, Petersen & Clarke, which she joined in 1985. Her practice emphasizes insurance defense, product liability and general casualty cases, and she has for the past seven years been principally involved in the defense of the national litigation involving the alleged contamination of blood products with HIV virus processed by pharmaceutical companies.

Before joining her present firm, she worked at Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt, where she handled probate, family law, and juvenile and general casualty litigation.

The UCLA and Southwestern Law School graduate has been active in the County Bar, serving as a trustee and as a member of several committees. She fills the vacancy created by Judge Pamela Rogers’ December retirement.

She said Friday that judicial service was “something I’ve always wanted to do.” She said she was “very, very grateful” to the governor and would happily serve in whatever assignment she receives.

Superior Court judges currently receive a salary of $139,476.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company