Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, March 27, 2003


Page 3


Davis Names Judges In Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis yesterday named four lawyers to Superior Court judgeships in Southern California.

Costa Mesa Mayor Karen L. Robinson was named to the Orange Superior Court, Riverside Deputy District Attorneys Richard A. Erwood and Michele D. Levine to the Riverside Superior Court, and civil litigator David Cohn to the San Bernardino Superior Court.

Robinson, 39, serves as litigation counsel coordinator for the 23-campus California State University System, supervising a staff of five attorneys with general responsibility for all CSU litigation matters. She previously was an associate with Keesal Young & Logan from 1989 to 1996, handling insurance defense matters, including product liability, maritime and securities law matters.

She is a former director of California Women Lawyers, has sat as a small claims judge pro tem and as a Superior Court arbitrator, and was elected to the city council in 2000. Her colleagues named her mayor last year.

Robinson earned her undergraduate and law degrees from UCLA. She will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Stuart Waldrip.

Erwood, 55, has spent most of his career in the Indio Branch of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, which he first joined in 1974. He left the office to go into private practice in 1981 but returned to prosecuting in 1984.

He was named a supervising deputy in 1987, and has overseen a number of divisions, including the Juvenile Division, the Misdemeanor Trial Team, the Family Violence Unit, the Major Narcotics Vertical Prosecution Unit, and the branch office in Blythe. 

He currently supervises the Felony Trial Team, Homicide Team and Gang Prosecution Unit and has tried over 170 criminal jury trials. He has also served  on the Palm Desert Planning Commission and as a hearing officer for the Rent Review Commissions for the cities of Palm Desert and Indio.

He is a graduate of Central Washington University and Hastings College of the Law.  Erwood will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Eugene Bishop.

Levine, 44, has been a prosecutor since 1988, with assignments including major narcotics cases, supervisor of the Corona Municipal Court Branch, lead attorney in the Career Criminal Unit, and member of the Homicide Unit.  She now supervises the prosecution of all juvenile offenses.

She is a former chair of the Women’s Law Section of the Riverside County Bar Association. The successor to retired Judge Arthur Block, her undergraduate degree is from UCLA and her law degree is from Loyola Law School.

Cohn, 49, is a partner in the law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, which he joined in 1996. His practice emphasizes commercial litigation and the defense of insurance companies in bad faith and coverage disputes, lawyers and real estate brokers in professional malpractice lawsuits, and public entities and insureds in simple and complex tort cases.

He practiced with three other firms between 1987 and 1996, has taught civil procedure at California Southern Law School, and served as a mediator and judge pro tem in the Riverside and San Bernardino Superior Courts.

He is a graduate of U.S. International University and University of San Diego Law School, and fills a new position on the Superior Court.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company