Thursday, December 7, 2006
Nine Local Jurists Nominated to Serve as Special Masters for CJP
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Four justices of this district’s Court of Appeal and five judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court are among 44 jurists from whom special masters for judicial discipline hearings will be selected beginning next year, the Administrative Office of the Courts said yesterday.
The group includes Court of Appeal Justices Robert M. Mallano of Div. One, Judith Meisels Ashmann-Gerst of Div. Two and Paul Boland of Div. Eight, along with Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss of Div. Seven, and Superior Court Judges Jacqueline A. Connor, Alice C. Hill, Carolyn B. Kuhl, William A. MacLaughlin and Anthony J. Mohr.
Formal hearings into charges brought by the Commission on Judicial Performance are conducted by panels of three special masters appointed by the Supreme Court, who then report their findings and conclusions to the commission. By naming a pool of judges in advance, the AOC explained in a release, the high court hopes to create “a group of trained, experienced jurists to serve as members of the panel in these often complex matters.”
A special training program for the group is being developed by the Center for Judicial Education and Research, the AOC said. MacLaughlin, who is completing his term as presiding judge, said he understands that the training program is still in development and will take place during the first two months of next year.
He said he applied for the panel sometime ago in response to a solicitation sent to all of the state’s judges. The AOC said that more than 100 applied, and that the final selections were based “on a variety of factors, including geographic distribution, court size, experiences on the bench, experience in ethics, experience as a special master, balance of Court of Appeal and trial court judges, gender, race and ethnicity, and experience in leadership positions in the courts.”
MacLaughlin said he “volunteered simply as a contribution to the judicial system.” Judging one’s peers, he said, is something “that has to be done” and that he felt he would be in a position to devote time to after he leaves the court’s top post.
With fewer than 20 masters’ panels being appointed each year, the judge told the MetNews, he will likely serve less than once a year, although an individual hearing can last a week or more. His service, he noted, would be in addition to his new “fulltime day job” hearing long-cause civil trials at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.
Other members of the group include Court of Appeal Justices Stuart R. Pollak and Maria P. Rivera of the First District; Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye and Vance W. Raye of the Third District; Judith L. Haller and Douglas P. Miller of the Fourth District; Stephen J. Kane and Dennis A. Cornell of the Fifth District; and Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian of the Sixth District.
The other Superior Court judges are George J. Abdallah Jr. of San Joaquin County; Larry W. Allen of San Bernardino; Gail A. Andler, Michael A. Smith, B. Tam Nomoto Schumann and David C. Velasquez of Orange; Denise de Bellefeuille of Santa Barbara; Bradley L. Boeckman of Shasta; Donald Cole Byrd of Glenn; Joyce M. Cram of Contra Costa; Frank Dougherty of Merced; Becky Lynn Dugan of Riverside; Michael T. Garcia and Talmadge R. Jones of Sacramento; Louis R. Hanoian and Albert T. Harutunian III of San Diego; Allan D. Hardcastle of Sonoma; Suzanne N. Kingsbury of El Dorado; Jack Komar and Mary Jo Levinger of Santa Clara; Roger T. Kosel of Siskiyou; Ronni B. MacLaren of Alameda; Kevin McCarthy and Mary Morgan of San Francisco; Frank J. Ochoa of Santa Barbara; and Vincent J. O’Neill Jr. of Ventura.
Raye is a former vice chair of the CJP. MacLaren is a former Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company