Thursday, February 16, 2006
Santa Monica Attorney Montgomery to Run for Superior Court Judgeship
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Santa Monica sole practitioner George C. Montgomery said yesterday he intends to run for an open seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court in the June 6 primary.
Montgomery, 75, took out papers Tuesday to seek the seat of Judge Melvin Sandvig. He explained yesterday that he does not want to run against a sitting judge or a court commissioner, but took out papers for the Sandvig seat because the judge has not filed any paperwork indicating his intent to run for re-election.
Sandvig, 60, could not be reached for comment. Montgomery said he would look to switch to a different race if Sandvig eventually files.
Montgomery, a litigator for more than 46 years, said he had decided to run because he “wanted to put my experience to good use.” Acknowledging that it will be an uphill fight—private-sector attorneys traditionally run poorly in Los Angeles Superior Court contests and Montgomery said he has little money to spend—he said he will “always be able to say at least I tried.”
Montgomery said he applied for a judicial appointment two years ago, but that the effort went nowhere. He speculates that there is little interest in appointing someone his age to the bench, knowing that the person’s career would likely be a short one.
Montgomery graduated from what was then Loyola University in 1954 and from its law school in 1959, joining a law firm where he eventually became head of the corporate and estate planning practice and a senior litigator.
In 1967, he co-founded Montgomery, Bottum, Regal & McNally, where he was head litigator and chair of the management committee, trying over 100 cases. When the firm, which had grown to more than 50 lawyers, broke up in 1984, he joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, working out of offices in Los Angeles, Texas, and London, where he appeared before the High Court.
He left Gibson Dunn in 1993 for the New York firm of Chadbourne & Parke, commuting weekly between Los Angeles and New York, he explained. He largely left the practice in 1994, doing a limited amount of pro bono work prior to 1999, when he opened his current office.
In the interim, he explained, he decided to “test my brain” and try to put behind him the emotional upset resulting from the loss of his large Encino home in the Northridge earthquake by returning to London to study for the solicitor’s exam.
He said he was one of fewer than a dozen Americans in his three-month course and the only one of those to pass all three parts of the written exam. He remains a licensed solicitor in England and Wales, as well as a member of the Texas and District of Columbia bars.
He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been active in charity work, including a group he founded while in London that enlisted the aid of National Football League officials—the NFL plays an annual exhibition game in the British capital—to assist victims of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company