Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, May 4, 2006


Page 1


Commission Slates June 9 Hearing for Suzukawa


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Commission on Judicial Appointments has scheduled a June 9 confirmation hearing in Los Angeles for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Suzukawa, nominated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to this districtís Court of Appeal.

The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in the courtroom of the Ronald Reagan Building.

The commission also scheduled a hearing for Fresno Superior Court Judge Steven Kane, who was nominated by Schwarzenegger for the Fifth District Court of Appeal. That hearing will follow the Suzukawa hearing immediately, and will be followed by a previously scheduled hearing for Riverside Superior Court Judge Douglas Miller.

Miller was nominated last month to succeed retired Justice James Ward of Div. Two. Suzukawa would take the seat of retired Justice Daniel Curry in this districtís Div. Four, and Kane would succeed retired Justice Nikolas Dibiaso.

When considering nominations in this district, the commission consists of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Bill Lockyer; and Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein of Div. Three, the senior presiding justice in the district.

For the Kane hearing, Klein will be replaced by Fifth District Presiding Justice James Ardaiz. Presiding Justice David Sills of the Fourth Districtís Div. Three will then take that seat for the Miller hearing.

The deadline for written comment on any of the nominees, or to notify the commission that one wishes to speak at the hearing, is June 2 at 5 p.m.

†† The commission requested that communications be addressed to the chief justice at 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, Attention: Ms. Gale Tunnell, Secretary to the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

Requests to speak must include a summary of the facts on which any testimony or opinion will be based.

Suzukawa, 52, was named to the Los Angeles Superior Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1992. He was previously a Compton Municipal Court judge from 1989 to 1992.

He has also sat as a Court of Appeal justice by assignment, most recently a year ago, about the time his name was sent to the JNE Commission as a possible appointee to the court.

He was born in Tokyo, but has lived in the United States since age 2. He grew up primarily in Stockton.

Suzukawa was admitted to the State Bar in 1979. He was briefly associated with the Law Offices of Lawrence Trygstad before becoming a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, a post he held until his appointment to the bench by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1989.

His experience was as a prosecutor was mostly in the consumer protection and career criminal divisions.

His undergraduate and law degrees are from UCLA. While in law school, he worked for the California Teachers Association as a law clerk.

Kane, 53, has been a judge since 1992.

He previously practiced civil litigation in the law firm of McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth, serving as an associate from 1976 to 1981 and as a partner from 1981 until he was appointed to the Superior Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

Kane earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his law degree from Hastings College of the Law.

Miller is 53 years old and has been a Superior Court judge since 1995. He was previously a judge pro tem for the Riverside Superior Court from 1982 to 1995 and worked as an associate and partner for the law office of Thomas T. Anderson from 1978 to 1995.

Millerís law degree is from Pepperdine University and his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company