Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ryu Home After Giving Birth to Son
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Tammy Chung Ryu was home yesterday after giving birth to her third child on Friday.
Michael Jisung Ryu weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and is 19 inches long.
The 45-year-old judge, who has scheduled leave from her Compton courtroom until Nov. 15, said she was “sleepy,” but that she and her child are doing “pretty good.”
Ryu is married to James Ryu, who is the publisher of two magazines. They have a 15-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter.
Ryu, who was the first Korean American woman to serve as a judge in the state and won a Trailblazer Award from the National Asian and Pacific American Bar Association last year, said her colleagues have been very supportive.
“There have been no problems at all,” she told the MetNews.
Ryu explained that because they are state officers rather than employees, judges are not subject to a specific maternity leave policy. The arrangements have to be worked out by the individual judge with the court, she said.
Her decision to take three months off was fully backed by her supervising judge, John Cheroske, Ryu said.
Neither the Los Angeles Superior Court nor the California Judges Association maintains records on judges’ family lives, spokespersons said. But it is relatively rare for judges to have babies while in office, and Ryu said she was told that no Compton judge had given birth in at least 14 years.
It was probably more common before court unification, which came to Los Angeles County in 2000, she said, because there were younger women judges on the municipal courts.
Ryu was named to the bench four years ago this month by then-Gov. Gray Davis.
At the time, she was a supervisor in the Health, Education and Welfare section of the Attorney General’s Office. She had spent her entire legal career in that section, having joined in January 1988.
Ryu served on the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation from 1996 to 1998. She is a past president of the Korean American Bar Association and served on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, the International Association of Korean Lawyers, the Korean American Family Service Center, and the Korean American Coalition, a civil rights and political action group.
She was Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s liaison to the Korean American community from 1999 until she became a judge.
Ryu was born in Seoul and moved with her family to Guam at age 10. The family came to California when she was 15.
She graduated from UC Berkeley and UCLA School of Law.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company