Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Page 1


Czuleger Says Steven Van Sicklen Likely to Be Next Supervising Judge of Criminal Courts


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Criminal Courts Assistant Supervising Judge Steven Van Sicklen will likely take over as supervising judge on Jan. 1, the court’s assistant presiding judge said yesterday.

Assistant Presiding Judge J. Stephen Czuleger, who is expected to take over as presiding judge on Jan. 1, told the MetNews that current Supervising Judge David Wesley will most likely be stepping down at the end of the year and has recommended Van Sicklen for his position. 

“[Upon commencement of my term as presiding judge], I would follow Wesley’s recommendation,” Czuleger said.  “Steven Van Sicklen has done a wonderful job as assistant [supervising judge] and is qualified to step into his shoes.”

Van Sicklen was appointed to the Superior Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1998,  and has been the assistant supervising judge of the criminal courts since  April of last year.

Van Sicklen said that he was honored to serve Wesley and that as the next supervising judge, he would simply “try to do a fraction of the job that Judge Wesley is doing.”

Before his appointment to the Superior Court, Van Sicklen was a partner at Baker, Silberberg & Kenner in Irvine, where he did  civil defense work for 13 years.  He brought to the bench 26 years of trial experience, including three years of criminal law experience as a deputy district attorney for Alameda County. 

Van Sicklen received his law degree from McGeorge School of Law.

He said that his career has taken an unanticipated direction over the years.  “Ten years ago, I probably wasn’t even thinking about being a judge.” 

Concerning future plans, he expressed modest goals.  “I have no aspirations beyond what the next day brings.  It’s still the greatest job I’ve ever had and I have no plans to retire or do anything beyond what I am doing.”

Judge Peter Espinoza, currently supervising judge of the Norwalk-based Southeast District, would most likely replace him as the assistant supervising judge, Van Sicklen said.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company