Monday, June 26, 2006
U.S. Senate Unanimously Confirms Andrew Guilford As District Judge for Central District of California
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
The U.S. Senate has confirmed former State Bar President Andrew Guilford as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by a vote of 93-0.
The vote occurred late Thursday, two weeks after Guilford drew a unanimous vote of support from the Judiciary Committee. He was unanimously rated “well qualified,” the highest rating possible, by the American Bar Association’s evaluating panel for federal court nominees.
Guilford told the MetNews Friday he was unsure when he would take the oath of office, since the signing of his commission must await President Bush’s return from overseas. Once commissioned, he said, “I will rush down and get sworn in.”
The judge-designate has practiced since 1975 in the Costa Mesa office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton. His specialty is business litigation, including professional liability, intellectual property, finance, and unfair competition cases.
He most recently represented the City of Anaheim in its dispute with its resident professional baseball team over the latter’s changing its name from “Anaheim Angels” to “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.” An Orange Superior Court jury found in favor of the team, but the city is appealing.
He also represented a surf shop owner who entered into a confidential settlement with talk show host Laura Schlessinger after she accused him of stocking “stealth pornography,” referring to a magazine that Guilford’s client said was not part of the store’s stock, but was left on a table by a store employee.
Schlessinger sued the shop owner for calling her a liar, and he cross-complained over the pornography accusation. The settlement was reached after a judge granted an anti-SLAPP motion as to the complaint but left the cross-complaint intact.
The district covers seven counties, but Guilford said he expects to sit primarily in Orange County. While he will miss the practice, he said, “sometimes career changes can be exhilarating and exciting ...I’m anxious to get to work.”
He said he was glad that his nomination—which was recommended by a bipartisan advisory committee established by the White House and Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein—did not dissolve into a partisan battle.
“I’m ready to join a branch [of government] that shouldn’t be involved in such fights,” Guilford, a Republican, commented.
In a statement inserted into the Congressional Record, the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., noted that Thursday’s confirmations of Guilford and Frank D. Whitney, who is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina and was unanimously confirmed as a judge for that district, bring to 251 the number of Bush-appointed judges approved by the Senate.
Leahy also used the occasion to “urge the White House to work with us to select nominees with bipartisan support like Andrew Guilford rather than explosive partisan nominees like Terrence Boyle.” Boyle, 60, is a U.S. district judge from North Carolina who has been nominated to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and has been attacked as insensitive to minorities, women, and workers.
Guilford acknowledged Friday that he might not remain so popular once he starts deciding cases, but said he was prepared for the challenge.
“After 31 years as a litigator, my skin is thick and I hope I can do justice,” he said.
Guilford, whose undergraduate and law degrees are both from UCLA, will fill a judgeship vacant since Aug. 5 of last year when Judge Dickran Tevrizian took senior status. He was nominated in January of this year.
In addition to having been president of the State Bar, and before that the Orange County Bar Association, Guilford has served as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, an arbitrator and judge pro tem in the Orange Superior Court, a member of the Judicial Council task force on self-represented litigants and the state Supreme Court’s task force on multi-jurisdictional practice, a founding officer of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers of Orange County, and president of the Public Law Center, Orange County’s pro bono, public interest law firm.
He is also a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and holds a lifetime achievement award from the OCBA and a Jurisprudence Award from the Anti-Defamation League.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company