Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, April 21, 2006


Page 1


Schwarzenegger Names Four to Los Angeles Superior Court

Riverside Jurist Nominated to Succeed Justice Ward on Fourth District Court of Appeal


By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday named three local attorneys and an administrative law judge to fill vacancies on the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board Administrative Law Judge Mary Lou Villar, civil litigators Steven D. Blades and Juan Carlos Dominguez, and former federal prosecutor Ray G. Jurado, now with the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, would succeed one judge who died and three who retired.

The governor yesterday also nominated Riverside Superior Court Judge Douglas Miller as a justice in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Div. Two and appointed four Superior Court judges in other counties.

Villar, 52, has served as an ALJ since 1991.  Previously, she served as directing attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation from 1986 to 1991, managing attorney for San Gabriel Valley Pasadena Legal Services from 1985 to 1986 and an attorney with Protection and Advocacy from 1983 to 1985.

Villar earned a law degree from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles.  She fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Jean Matusinka.  Villar is a Democrat.

Blades, 52, has served as an associate and partner in the law firm Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez in Los Angeles since 1996. He has over 16 years of experience as a practicing attorney in Los Angeles and Glendale, specializing in civil rights and torts law.

His law degree is from Southwestern University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree is from California Polytechnic, Pomona. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David I. Doi.

Dominguez, 52, has been an attorney in private practice for over 16 years, specializing in criminal defense and civil cases. Previously, he served as an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department from 1974 to 1989.

Dominguez earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Glendale University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Rodney Nelson.

Former Prosecutor

Jurado, 45, has served as an attorney for the OIR, a civilian agency that monitors the conduct of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, since 2001. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles from 1995 to 2001 and as a litigation associate for the law firms O’Flaherty & Belgum from 1993 to 1995 and Aguirre & Echmann in 1993. Jurado was a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County from 1988 to 1993.

He is a graduate of Yale University and UCLA School of Law, and fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Richard Denner.

Miller, the governor’s nominee to the Court of Appeal in Riverside, 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.

Miller’s law degree is from Pepperdine University and his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University.

Confirmation Needed

If confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, he will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James Ward. When considering Fourth District nominations, the commission consists of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, and the senior presiding justice of the district, David Sills of Div. Three.

Other appointees yesterday were San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney William Jefferson Powell IV to the San Bernardino Superior Court; Napa Superior Court Commissioner Rodney G. Stone, Kern Superior Court Commissioner William D. Palmer, and Santa Clara Superior Court Commissioner Shawna M. Schwarz as judges of those courts; and Arthur Wick, general counsel for the School and College Legal Services of California and owner of the Law Offices of Arthur A. Wick in Santa Rosa, to the Sonoma Superior Court.

Villar, Jurado, and Schwarz are Democrats; Blades, Dominguez, Miller, Powell, Palmer, and Wick are Republicans.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company