Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Page 1


Senate Confirms Torrance Lawyer’s Nomination to Ninth Circuit


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The U.S. Senate yesterday unanimously confirmed President Bush’s nomination of Torrance attorney Milan D. Smith Jr. to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Smith, whose is the managing partner of Smith, Crane, Robinson & Parker, was confirmed by a vote of 93-0.

Smith could not be reached for comment, but his wife, Kathleen D. Crane, also a partner in Smith Crane, told the MetNews that she was “delighted,” adding:

“I have so many emotions, it’s very exciting. I think he’ll make a terrific judge.”

Prior to the vote, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., spoke in support of his nomination:

“I’d like to urge all of my colleagues to vote for him, and I’d like to say to his younger brother [Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore.], who is sitting here in the chamber, that it really is a wonderful day, I think, for both Senator Boxer and for me, to be able to see you so happy. I know what this means to you, and how fine it is to have such a fine legal mind in your family.”

Feinstein also said:

“As many of you know, Milan Smith is the older brother of our esteemed colleague, Oregon Senator Gordon Smith. I know the senator from Idaho was just talking to Senator Smith and saying, ‘Isn’t it nice California is getting a Californian.’ We are having a little tousle over another judge which the senator from Idaho thinks should be an Idaho judge, and the senators from California believe should be a California judge. So that issue has not yet been joined. But it certainly will.”

Idaho Controversy

Feinstein was referring to Bush’s nomination of N. Randy Smith, a trial judge from Pocatello, Idaho and former chairman of his state’s Republican Party, to fill the vacancy created when Judge Stephen S. Trott took senior status Dec. 31, 2004. Feinstein, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had placed a hold on the nomination, saying that since both Trott, who moved to Idaho after his appointment, and his predecessor were from California, Trott’s successor should come from this state as well. The committee has since voted 10-8 along party lines to approve N. Randy Smith’s nomination.

Feinstein went on to say of Milan Smith:

“He has demonstrated an impressive and enduring commitment to serving the public, from presiding over the governing board of the Los Angeles State Building Authority to acting as vice chairman of Ettie Lee Homes for Youth.”

Started New Firm

After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 1969, Smith was an associate with O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles until 1972, when he helped found the firm which has become Smith Crane.

In 1984 then-Gov. George Deukmejian appointed him to the governing board of the Los Angeles State Building Authority, where he served as president until 1992. He is currently general counsel to the authority.

Smith is a member of the Deseret Trust Company of California, the Fraternity of Friends of the Music Center and the Board of Visitors, School of Religion at Claremont Graduate School. He is also a former member of the state Fair Employment and Housing Commission.

At Smith Crane, he specializes in corporate, real estate and secured financing law.

The President nominated Smith on February 14, 2006. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination on May 4.

Smith’s grandfather, Jesse Udall, was the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.

He will replace Judge A. Wallace Tashima, who took senior status in 2004.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company