Thursday, September 14, 2006
Czuleger, McCoy Elected Superior Court’s Administrative Leaders for 2007-2008
By TINA BAY, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge J. Stephen Czuleger and Civil Supervising Judge Tim McCoy will be the court’s presiding and assistant presiding judges, respectively, for 2007 and 2008, court officials said yesterday.
Per Local Rule 1.3(m), the two were designated by unanimous vote of the court after their election emerged uncontested at the close of nominations yesterday at noon. They are scheduled to take office Jan.1.
Czuleger’s election was a foregone conclusion, as it has been the practice of the court for many years that the assistant presiding judge move up without opposition. Two years ago, by contrast, Czuleger had to defeat two opponents in order to become assistant presiding judge, after having lost his first bid for the post in 2000.
“I’m very pleased with the confidence my colleagues have shown in me and look forward to coming years with great anticipation,” Czuleger told the MetNews. “I’m not sure you could ever be ‘ready’ for [the job] but I can say I’m prepared for it.”
He also expressed optimism about serving the court alongside McCoy.
“I have known him since before he joined the bench and I’ve always been impressed with his intelligence and diligence, and the honor with which he performs,” Czuleger said. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work even more closely than I have with him.”
The current assistant presiding judge said that his first and most important item of business upon assuming the top spot will be to establish the court’s leadership team, comprised of all the supervising judges and assistant supervising judges, who will assist in the court’s administration.
After that, he said, a primary focus of his leadership next year would be expanding court facilities throughout the county.
“We have many courthouses that are truly deficient, some of which just do not meet the needs of the court, and we hope to work with the [Administrative Office of the Courts] in finding some money that’ll allow us to at least begin the process of planning the building of new court houses or expanding current courthouses.”
Czuleger said he would also continue his present efforts to improve and expand the court’s technology. After attending a technology planning group meeting yesterday involving a number of other court systems, including the Orange and San Diego superior courts, Czuleger explained that the court is working closely with the AOC it its development of a new statewide case management system that would better meet the court’s needs. He added that technology is a “very difficult” issue to deal with because of the costs.
Generally, Czuleger said he would work with the AOC to increase funding so the court has the resources necessary to operate in a fair and efficient manner.
McCoy told the MetNews he will be honored to work with Czuleger.
“I will do everything I can to ensure that he has a successful tenure, which I am certain will happen,” he said, adding that he would be “all eyes and ears” as he takes on the new challenges of his assisting role in January.
Czuleger, 55, was elevated to the Superior Court in 1990 by then-Gov. Deukmejian, who appointed him to the Los Angeles Municipal Court prior to the unification of the courts.
Along with McCoy, Czuleger is presently a member of the Judicial Council of California.
Before his appointment, Czuleger served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles for a number of years, a special attorney with the Justice Department Organized Crime Strike Force in San Francisco, and an associate with Bird, Marella, Box, Wolpert & Matz.
He graduated from Loyola University Law School in 1976 and was admitted to the State Bar in 1977. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Santa Clara in 1973.
McCoy, 59, was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Currently serving his second year as civil supervising judge at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, McCoy is also a member of the executive committee of Los Angeles County Bar Assn.’s litigation section.
McCoy graduated from Purdue University in 1968 and received his law degree from the University of Texas in 1975, the same year he was admitted to the State Bar. He was an aide to then-State Board of Equalization member Matt Fong immediately prior to becoming a judge.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company