Monday, April 11, 2005
Fellow Jurists Remember Martin as Fair Judge With Keen Intellect
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Local judicial officers Friday remembered retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bonnie Lee Martin, praising the fairness and keen intelligence they said characterized her 25 years on the bench.
“She had a good solid reputation as a first-class judge who did her own research,” Presiding Court of Appeal Justice Joan Dempsey Klein of this district’s Div. Three commented after she learned of the passing of Martin. The 74-year-old Martin died Thursday after battling pancreatic cancer.
“We had kind of parallel careers,” Klein noted. She and Martin were among three women in their graduating class at UCLA School of Law, and both went on to work at the Attorney General’s Office, to marry men whom they met at the office, and to serve on the Los Angeles Municipal Court, where Martin had been a commissioner for two years before becoming a judge.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Person, a former prosecutor, said Martin “was one of the great role models for young female attorneys when she was doing criminal matters” at what is now the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. “I remember her as a firm and decisive judge. I was always gratified to try a case in her court.”
Superior Court Judge Charles G. Rubin recalled appearing before Martin when she was a commissioner, a post to which she was appointed in her mid-30s. “Even then, she displayed an excellent command of the law, but as important, a relaxed demeanor that provided a comfortable court environment,” Rubin, a deputy district attorney at the time, recalled.
“She served with distinction and paved the way for many more women to be appointed to the bench,” Rubin told the MetNews. “She definitely improved our judicial system.”
Superior Court Commissioner H. Ronald Hauptmann, who had known Martin since her days as a deputy attorney general, called Martin “an outstanding jurist,” who ran her court “in a firm but fair manner.” Martin, who taught at the judicial college for years, was “an erudite legal scholar,” Hauptmann said.
Martin is survived by her husband, Arthur Martin, and daughter, Erica Martin, both attorneys, as well as by a grandson, two brothers, and a sister.
A remembrance will be held today at 5:00 p.m. at Les Freres Taix, 1911 Sunset Boulevard. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Norris Cancer Center at USC, the family said.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company