Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, January 31, 2003


Page 1


Kremer to Retire This Summer as P. J. of Fourth District’s Div. One


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Daniel Kremer of the Fourth District’s Div. One said yesterday he will retire this summer.

“It’s time to leave one field and go to another,” the jurist told the MetNews “...Retirement.” He said he will leave around July 25, the 20th anniversary of his appointment to the bench.

He has spent all but two years of his judicial career in his present position. He was named to the San Diego Superior Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1983, then named presiding justice of the Court of Appeal by Deukmejian in the summer of 1985.

He has been the Fourth District’s administrative presiding justice since 1987, and, as the district’s senior presiding justice, has sat since that time as a member of the Commission on Judicial Appointments when it has considered Fourth District nominees.

Kremer, 65, said retirement will allow him to devote more time to recreation, family, and charitable work. He is about to become a first-time grandfather—of twins—he noted.

He may return to the Superior Court on assignment, he said. “Trial work is more challenging and more fun” than sitting on the appellate bench, he related, adding that he has no interest in private judging or in returning to the active practice of law.

While most of his time has been spent deciding cases and overseeing court administration, he commented, some of his most important work has come in conjunction with the Judicial Council.

He was a member of the council from 1991 to 1995, chairing the Rules and Forms Committee and co-chairing the Committee on Court Technology. He chaired the Task Force on Trial Court Facilities, which was created by the Legislature in 1998 and set forth the roadmap for the transfer of the courthouses from the counties to the courts.

“That is going to have incredible effects over the next century,” he said. “I’m quite proud of the work we did on that.”

It was a year ago yesterday that Kremer dissented from a controversial decision of his panel barring domestic partners from adopting their partners’ children. Kremer agreed with the ACLU, gay rights advocates, and children’s welfare groups that a 1925

California Supreme Court ruling allowing a woman to “re-adopt” her natural children after her ex-husband, who had adopted the children during their marriage, surrendered the adoption as part of the couple’s divorce was sufficient authority to allow such “modified’ independent adoptions.

The case, Sharon S. v. Superior Court, 93 Cal.App.4th 218, has been granted review by the California Supreme Court.

Kremer graduated from Stanford University in 1960 and from its law school in 1963. He spent his career as a lawyer in the state Attorney General’s Office, which he joined in 1964.

He was a Criminal Division deputy in the Sacramento and San Francisco offices until 1972, when he was named assistant attorney general in the San Diego office. He became chief assistant in charge of the Criminal Division statewide in January 1983, six months before he was appointed to the bench.

As an appellate justice, he didn’t always side with prosecutors. Among the cases in which he authored opinions were People v. Tritchler, holding that a two-year mandatory prison term for throwing firecrackers, imposed under an antiterrorism statute, constituted cruel and unusual punishment, People v. Pearch, (1991) 229 Cal.App.3d 1282, holding that a murder victim’s statement to his brother on the telephone that he was being hurt and needed $5,000 was erroneously admitted under the spontaneous declaration exception to the hearsay rule; and People v. Fiscalini (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 1639, holding that police violated a drunk driving suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights when they restrained him so a technician could take a sample of his blood after he voluntarily gave a urine sample.

Kremer’s 1996 opinion in Tritchler was ordered depublished by the Supreme Court.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company