Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Page 1


Judge Sandoval in Grave Condition Following Heart Attack


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Sandoval was said to be in grave condition yesterday after going into cardiac arrest and lapsing into a coma over the weekend.

Sandoval, who turned 56 last week, was hospitalized at City of Hope over a month ago for treatment of leukemia. The illness is apparently a result of his having been treated with large amounts of radiation for lymphoma more than three years ago.

Prior to his illness, the judge was sitting at the Metropolitan Court on Hill Street. Retired East Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Bernard Kemper has been filling in.

Sandoval grew up in San Gabriel and graduated from California State University-Los Angeles in 1972 as a political science major. He graduated from McGeorge School of Law and began his legal career in 1977 as a Santa Barbara County deputy district attorney.

After a short stint in private practice in Santa Ana, primarily doing juvenile defense work, he moved to the criminal division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office in 1978, remaining there six years and trying more that 100 criminal jury trials.

He was made a Los Angeles Municipal Court commissioner in 1984. He moved through a series of assignments at what was then the Criminal Courts Building, including arraignments, master calendar, preliminary hearings, and jury trials, before being sent to a direct-calendar criminal court in Hollywood.

He made plans to run for a judgeship on that court in 1996, garnering a significant number of endorsements and contributions from fellow judicial officers, but no open seat materialized.

He was named a Superior Court commissioner in 1997, and received the “Outstanding Judicial Officer Award” from the Juvenile Courts Bar Association in November 2000. A month later, he was named a judge of the court by then-Gray Davis.

He took several months’ absence from the court to undergo his previous cancer treatment, but returned to his duties in September 2002 and served as site judge in Burbank before Chief Justice Ronald M. George appointed him to the Appellate Division in 2003. 

Sandoval is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the California Judges Association and the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. He and his partner, who adopted a son in 1993, are featured in the book “Uncommon Heroes,” a 1995 American Library Association Book Award winner profiling more than 100 gay and lesbian Americans.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company