Thursday, November 4, 2005
MacLaughlin, Czuleger to Be Feted as 2005 ‘Persons of the Year’
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The leaders of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Presiding Judge William A. MacLaughlin and Assistant Presiding Judge J. Stephen Czuleger, have been chosen as the Metropolitan News-Enterprise’s “Persons of the Year” for 2005, it was announced yesterday.
MetNews Co-Publisher Jo-Ann W. Grace commented that court operations are “running smoothly with MacLaughlin and Czuleger at the helm” and that the two judges are “safeguarding interests of the local trial court while working harmoniously with state court officials.”
Grace said that the jurists will be profiled in a special section of the MetNews in late December, and will be honored at a black tie dinner on Feb. 10 at a downtown private club.
MacLaughlin was appointed to the court in 1992, and was elected by colleagues on Oct. 6, 2004, to head it. His term as presiding judge is two years.
Before ascending to the bench, MacLaughlin was a civil litigator for 31 years.
He attained both his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale.
Czuleger is acting presiding judge in MacLaughlin’s absence and, if longstanding custom is followed, will be elected presiding judge without opposition for a term beginning in 2007.
He was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1988 and elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court two years later.
Prior to his appointment, he served four years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, managing major investigations. Czuleger also served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 1977-79.
He was in private practice, with the law firm of Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert & Matz, from 1979-82, and was a special attorney with the Justice Department Organized Crime Strike Force in San Francisco from 1982-84.
Czuleger earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Santa Clara and his law degree from Loyola Law School.
Former persons of the year include the late Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Mildred Lillie, 1983; the late California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk, 1984; the late Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Lester Wm. Roth, 1985; the late Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Parker, 1986; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Billy G. Mills (since retired), 1987; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Officer Frank Zolin, 1988 (now retired); then-Court of Appeal Justice Lynn “Buck” Compton (since retired), 1989; Court of Appeal Justice Miriam Vogel and then-State Bar President Charles Vogel, 1990; Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vaino Spencer, 1991; and Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein, 1992.
Others honored were then-Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge (now Court of Appeal Justice) Robert Mallano, 1993; Court of Appeal Justice Norman Epstein (now presiding justice), 1994; then-California Attorney General (now Congressman) Dan Lungren, 1995; California Chief Justice Ronald George, 1996; Los Angeles Superior Court Judge (then serving as assistant presiding judge) Victor E. Chavez, 1997; U.S. District Court Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, 1998; Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, 1999; then-Judicial Appointments Secretary (now Los Angeles Superior Court Judge) Burt Pines, 2000; then-State Bar President Karen Nobumoto, 2001; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, 2002; Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, 2003; and then-State Bar President John Van de Kamp and then-Los Angeles County Bar Assn. President John Collins, 2004.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company