Thursday, July 28, 2005
Governor Names Four to Los Angeles Superior Court
Appointee Will Have to Give Up Commissioner Assn. Presidency Just Two Weeks After Election
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday named Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioners Stuart M. Rice and Ross M. Klein, Deputy District Attorney Daniel B. Feldstern, and environmental lawyer Gail Ruderman Feuer as judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Rice, 51, has served as a commissioner since 2003 and on the board of the California Court Commissioners Association for most of that time. His appointment to the judgeship, he told the MetNews, will require him to resign as president of the association, a post to which he was elected just two weeks ago.
The Governor’s Office announced the judicial appointment just hours after the court circulated a release announcing Rice’s election tothe CCCA presidency.
Rice had been elected to that post to succeed Anthony Brandenburg, who resigned from both the CCCA post and as a San Diego Superior Court commissioner to accept the chief judgeship of a judicial system that serves several Native American tribes in San Diego County.
Rice said he explained to his fellow members of the CCCA board before they elected him president that he was in the final stages of consideration for a judicial appointment, but that the board prevailed upon him to accept the position. His appointment as judge will require the CCCA to name a third president in 10 months to a term expiring in September 2006.
Before the court’s judges elected him a commissioner, Rice had a varied practice. He was a partner in a Long Beach firm, Rice and Rothenberg, which served as conflict counsel in South District juvenile delinquency cases, and also did civil and business litigation and probate work.
He also served as an “as-needed” Superior Court referee in Long Beach for three years. The Boston-area native graduated from Tufts University and Northeastern University School of Law and is married to former Deputy District Attorney Laurie Weinberg Rice.
Former Sole Practitioner
Rice was in solo practice from 1983 to 1987 and was an associate with Gottlieb, Gottlieb and Stein from 1978 to 1983. He fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Thomas Lyle Willhite to the Court of Appeal.
Feldstern, 50, has been a deputy district attorney for over 19 years. He is currently the deputy-in-charge of the Glendale office and has a wide range of prosecutorial experience including felony trial, hardcore gang, juvenile court, and major narcotics assignments.
Before joining the office, Feldstern practiced civil litigation as an associate with the law firm of Trope & Trope from 1984 to 1986. He is a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law and Occidental College, and fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Perkins.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Superior Court last year. Feldstern is married to Deputy District Attorney Lisa Kahn.
Feuer, 45, has served as senior attorney and director of the Southern California Air Quality Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council since 1993 and was a deputy state attorney general, handling environmental cases, from 1987 to 1993.
Clerked for Tashima
Feuer also was an associate with the law firm of O’Donnell & Gordon from 1985 to 1987 and served as a law clerk for then-U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima, now a senior judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the State University of New York at Albany and is married to attorney and former Los Angeles City Councilman Michael Feuer.
She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Dean Farrar.
Klein, 51, has served as a Superior Court commissioner since 2000, after having been a Los Angeles Municipal Court commissioner from 1998 to 2000 and a Los Angeles Deputy Public Defender from 1980 to 1998.
Klein was also a volunteer law clerk and attorney with Bet Tzedek Legal Services from 1978 to 1980. He graduated from San Fernando Valley College of Law and has an undergraduate degree from UCLA.
He is currently on the faculty of the New Judicial Officer Training Program and in the past served on the faculty of the Center for Judicial Education and Research. He fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Sandy Kriegler to the Court of Appeal.
All four of the appointees are Democrats.
The governor made one other judicial appointment yesterday, naming Auburn attorney Charles Wachob to the Placer Superior Court.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company