Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Arabian to Receive Award From Local Women’s Group
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Retired California Supreme Court Justice Armand Arabian will be the recipient of the Women of Los Angeles Highlight Award, to be presented June 15 at The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the jurist disclosed yesterday.
“Officially, I got the letter (yesterday),’’ Arabian told the MetNews. “Governor Schwarzenegger got one last year.’’
Arabian will be joined by actor Sir Sidney Poitier and California Institute of the Arts President Steven D. Lavine in receiving the awards.
“I had heard of this group, but I was not familiar with them,’’ Arabian said.
Arabian said he believed the group chose him based upon his long-standing work on protecting the rights of woman, in particular those who have been victims of rape and sexual assault.
He made news in 1973 by rejecting a defense request to give jurors the customary instructions to examine the testimony of female complainants with “caution.” The California Supreme Court later concluded that Arabian should have given the instruction, based on the long line of authority supporting it, but agreed with the judge that the instruction was outmoded and ordered that it not be given in the future.
His work has also contributed to legislation making it easier to prosecute sexual assaults.
The New York native, who served on the California Supreme Court from 1990 to 1996 as part of his 24 years as a judge, was honored in May of last year in what he called his greatest achievement.
At the time, Arabian was honored with “The Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Making America a Better Place for All of Us.’’
Arabian, who was the first Armenian American to sit on the California Supreme Court, is now an attorney and private judge in Van Nuys.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company