Friday, September 7, 2007
Court of Appeal Justice Paul Boland Dies at 65
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Services are scheduled tomorrow for Court of Appeal Justice Paul Boland, who died Wednesday night after a brief battle with cancer.
Boland, who was 65, is survived by his wife, U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow of the Central District of California, and their son, Patrick Morrow Boland. Stunned colleagues said he took ill last Friday, and that they had no prior inkling regarding his illness.
Services will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Holy Family Church, 1501 Fremont Avenue in South Pasadena, where a reception will follow. The family asked that any memorial contributions be made to the Paul Boland Memorial Fund c/o the California Community Foundation, 445 South Figueroa, Suite 3400, Los Angeles, which will fund scholarships for the needy.
Chief Justice Ronald M. George said in a statement:
“The passing of Justice Paul Boland is a tremendous loss to California’s judiciary. My friendship with him dates back to the 1970’s, before his initial appointment to the bench. He was a warm and insightful individual, possessing great legal and personal skills, and was an outstanding President of the California Judges Association and jurist.”
Teaching at UCLA
Justice Laurence Rubin, who was a student of Boland’s at UCLA School of Law and later joined him as one of Div. Eight’s original members in 2001, said he “never met a finer human being.”
The two met more than 35 years ago, he explained, when Boland, as a young professor, started UCLA’s clinical program. They remained friends, and Boland later “bugged me for more than a year to seek an appointment” to the Court of Appeal, Rubin recalled, and surprisingly, they wound up being appointed to the same division at the same time.
In fact, they wound up in adjoining offices. “When he wanted to talk, sometimes he’d just bang on the wall,” Rubin said. “In this day of cell phones and Internet, that was our best way of communicating.”
Boland was admired both professionally and personally, he said, because he had “no ego, no guile.” The justice, he said, was “perfectly fine” with the notion that his decision on a difficult issue might be overturned by a higher court.
That happened when Boland wrote for the court in a case involving the constitutionality of a California statute giving World War II forced labor victims the right to sue companies which benefited from their work. The court initially upheld the statute, but reversed itself on foreign policy preemption grounds when the state high court sent the case back for reconsideration in the face of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a similar statute involving Holocaust-era insurance policies.
Deputy Attorney General Bill Bilderback recalled that Boland once called to congratulate him for winning an appeal before the California Supreme Court. The unusual thing, Bilderback explained, is that the Supreme Court reversed Div. Eight, which had overturned a conviction in an opinion written by Boland.
The justice, “a dear friend and cherished mentor,” called to “thank me for helping the Supreme Court provide guidance on the difficult question the case presented,” Bilderback explained.
Another protégé of Boland, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza, noted that Boland swore him in as both a commissioner and a judge and said he “advised me on almost ever decision I’ve made in my professional life and I will miss him dearly.”
Attorney James Aguirre, a student of Boland’s at UCLA, said his professor “taught us how to be lawyers in the real world,” treating “every student alike, that is to say with patient encouragement at a time when fear was the motivator most seen in law school.”
Advancement to Bench
Superior Court Judge Kenneth Black, also a student of his, recalled that he “reminded us to always keep in mind the human element of lawyering” and continued to encourage him as Black moved through the rungs of becoming a referee, then a commissioner, and finally a judge.
Boland was a Los Angeles native who attended Loyola High School, then went on to what is now Loyola Marymount University, where he later served as a trustee. One of his college roommates, now-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Francis Gately, recalled him yesterday as “a good student, great friend, and a gifted colleague.”
He obtained a law degree from USC and a master of laws from Georgetown University before clerking for a federal judge and then joining the staff of the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
Court of Appeal Justice Earl Johnson Jr., who was on the Western Center’s board at the time, got to know Boland and later served with him when Boland was assigned to Div. Seven for more than a year.
Boland “was essentially unflappable and a steadying influence in any group of which he was a member” and “a truly outstanding justice in every sense — intelligent, knowledgeable, wise, careful but courageous, capable of seeing an issue from all sides before reaching a decision, along with being a marvelous colleague and a leader.”
While teaching at UCLA, Boland was appointed a juvenile court referee. He then moved to the bench fulltime when then-Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1981.
He was soon named supervising judge of Children’s Court, and served as presiding juvenile court judge for the county in 1989 and 1990.
Judge Michael Nash, who joined the juvenile court at that time and is the current presiding judge, said that “in addition to being a warm and wonderful person and a great judge in general, Justice Boland was one of the giants of the Juvenile Court,” crediting him with a major role in the building of the Edelman Children’s Court and with having “inspired me and so many more to devote significant portions of our careers to serve at risk children and families who come into contact with our court system.”
Among the juvenile court referees Boland hired back then were Louise Halevy and Anthony Jones, now commissioners of the court.
Halevy recalled his “sincere concern for making sure that parents and children not be unnecessarily separated in the Dependency Court, that children in both delinquency and dependency court proceedings be treated fairly and protected.” Jones said Boland “treated everyone with graciousness and dignity” and said he would “forever be indebted to him for the faith and confidence in me that he displayed, and the unflagging support he rendered to me.”
Boland served as president of the CJA in 1995-96, and was praised by many for his support of his fellow judges, as when he came to the defense of Judge Terry Friedman, whom he said was unfairly attacked in a MetNews editorial regarding Friedman’s successful campaign for election to the court in 1994.
Superior Court Judge Eric Taylor, who served as CJA president several years later, said Boland was a “dear friend’ whose advice helped him “through many rough roads.”
He also involved himself in the activities of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the State Bar of California. (His wife served as president of both organizations.)
The County Bar yesterday issued a statement:
“The Los Angeles County Bar Association is so deeply saddened over the loss of Justice Paul Boland. Throughout his career, he has been an unwavering supporter of the Bar. There was never an occasion that he did not offer his time to assist the Bar in its educational programs, in acting as a mentor to our younger members, and providing support and encouragement to the Board, the Sections and Committees. He will be sorely missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and our former president, Judge Margaret Morrow, and their wonderful son Patrick.”
The Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles also issued a statement, calling Boland “a truly wonderful human being and a great Judge as was evidenced by his being awarded both the CAALA Trial Judge of the Year and Appellate Justice of the Year Awards.”
Boland was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. While on the court, he created an externship program that was designed to attract students from top schools and to combine seminars and courtroom visits with writing and research under the supervision of individual justices.
The program has been hailed as a model and is to receive a Ralph Kleps Award for Improvement in Judicial Administration from the California Judicial Council at the state judicial conference to be held at the end of this month. Presiding Justice Paul A. Turner said that the program had “provided the court with an infusion of enthusiastic young talent to assist in the preparation of opinions,” while Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst commented that when Boland ran the program, ”each participant thought Paul was his or her personal mentor.”
Other appellate colleagues had words of praise for Boland yesterday.
Presiding Justice Norman Epstein called him “the nicest, most compassionate person I have known,” while Justice Fred Woods said he “had a towering legal intellect coupled with a great sense of collegiality.”
Justice Nora Manella said he was the “ultimate ‘giver,’” Justice Walter Croskey called him an “exemplary teacher, a skilled lawyer and a good friend” whose “wise, thoughtful and reasoned decisions were, and are, graphic examples of what the art of judging is all about;” and Presiding Justice Roger Boren described Boland as a “towering figure in the legal and judicial community,” but said it was more important that he be remembered for “his kind, gentle, and considerate nature and how he always made every person with whom he was in contact feel important and needed.”
Additional tributes to Boland were received yesterday, including:
•Justice Paul Boland was a mentor, example and friend to so many judges that it is impossible to overstate his importance to the judiciary. His untimely loss will impact the process of justice in this state for along time. However, his magnificent contributions will last for as long as there is a judge or lawyer that knew and learned from him. He will be sorely missed by us all.
Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge J. Stephen Czuleger
•Justice Boland was at the top of every list one could make. He was a wonderful, caring, humble person. He was an extremely intelligent and learned jurist. He was a passionate supporter of the “next generation” of leaders in the legal profession. He was a great friend and a proud husband and parent. It was a privilege to have known him. I am stunned by his passing. He will remain an inspiration to all who knew him as we aspire to meet some of his gold standards of excellence — The Boland Standards.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Kronstadt
•I first met Paul 25 years ago. He was a true gentleman and a true friend. Honest, loyal, passionate , humble and with a wry sense of humor. I will miss him every day. My love and prayers to Margaret and Patrick.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg
•Paul Boland was a fine gentleman in the full quality and sense of the word. I had the pleasure to work with him as Chair of the Judicial Elections Evaluations Committee of the LACBA, he was a valuable asset. He exemplifies the best in judicial demeanor, temperament and legal scholarship. The legal profession has lost a treasure indeed.
Brent A. Braun, attorney
•Justice Paul Boland was a giant of a man, in stature, in intellect and in spirit.
He was beloved by his students, admired by his colleagues, and respected by just about every attorney to whom I have ever spoken.
It was hard not to like Paul. He was wise, self effacing and generous in the sharing of his knowledge.
I was privileged to serve with Paul on the Judicial Council for several years; the highlights of those years were the early morning walks before the meetings. Many times I was fortunate to find myself walking next to Paul for an hour or more.
More recently, my wife has served with Paul on the LMU Board of Regents. Of course, I always gravitated to Paul at the various events.
My wife Shelby joins me in mourning the loss of a good friend, and we extend our love and condolences to Margaret and Patrick, of whom he was so proud.
State Bar President Sheldon Sloan
•He was the model Judge and the model Justice. It was an honor to be his colleague.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alexander H. Williams III
•Justice Paul Boland was a great friend, mentor and a shining example of what makes law a noble profession. His class, sense of fairness and genuine interest in others is what makes his legacy unique. I will miss Justice Boland, but I will always be indebted to him for reminding me that chivalry is not dead; that respect for your fellow citizen should be cherished and that we must always strive to do the right thing, simply because it is the right thing to do.
Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Anthony Paul Diaz, assistant vice president, Los Angeles County Bar Association
•Justice Boland was the young elder statesman of the Irish American Bar. He was an incredibly kind, warm and giving person. We will miss him so much.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy, immediate past president, Irish American Bar Association
•Today, there are thousands of people in Los Angeles mourning the loss of their “good friend” Paul. Paul made it his business to make others feel special. Paul challenged us to be more than we thought was ever possible. A tremendous force of goodness is missing in our lives today. Paul, if it`s all right with you, I`ll be checking in with you from time to time to get another shot of your wit, warmth and friendly counsel that has fortified me thru the years.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael I. Levanas
•I have known Paul Boland for decades. He is one of those rare individuals that had the combination of great personal and judicial ethics, temperament, intelligence and passion for his job. Most of all he was a loving and caring person. His spirit, his kindness and his competence will all be missed. What a tragedy.
Lee K. Alpert, Encino attorney, former San Fernando Valley Bar Association president
•Justice Boland was one of the most kind, generous people I have ever known. I will sorely miss his common sense advice, his instinct for the just result and his keen sense of humor..
Holly Fujie, attorney, State Bar Board of Governors member
We’re all just stunned. Just...stunned.
Gavin Hachiya Wasserman, attorney
•Superior Court Judge/Appellate Justice Paul Boland was an inspiration to me. When I was in private practice I could only hope that my case would be assigned to him. He was everything you could want in a judge - kind, attentive, polite, and fair. Shortly after I took the bench we had a conversation at a social gathering of judicial officers. I told him of the feeling of excitement I had the first time I put on a robe and took the bench. He smiled knowingly and said “That feeling never goes away.” I am very sad today. His passing is a great loss.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven J. Kleifield
•Justice Boland was a man of strong convictions, great judicial demeanor and a fine legal scholar. He was a friend and colleague who always worked hard and was beloved for his wit and charm
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Victor E. Chavez
•Paul Boland ran the motions aspect of a very complicated case I tried as a prosecutor in the 1990’s. I never appeared before a finer gentleman in all my years as a lawyer. I and several other new judges had the honor of having him serve as the main speaker at our robing ceremony and he is in the photos of that event. He leant the event a very warm feeling with his sincere and caring approach 6 years ago. Now the photo must serve as a mere reminder of the man.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Harvey Giss
•From the time I first met Paul in 1964, I recognized his courtesy, compassion, intelligence and just plain common sense. He was a wonderful man and will be sorely missed.
Former Los Angeles County Bar Assn. President, Patrick M. Kelly
•Paul Boland was a fabulous person in every way. He was a wonderful and caring lawyer; an outstanding teacher and mentor during his 13 years a UCLA School of Law (and after that time, to his numerous law clerks); and a superb judge... One could not have asked for a better friend.
UCLA School of Law Professor David A. Binder
•I had the pleasure and privilege of Justice Boland’s acquaintance for more than 30 years… I knew him as a caring, devoted and supportive father and husband. He was highly respected as a Judge and teacher and many in the legal community saw him as an inspiration and role model.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rudolph Diaz
•Paul always greeted you as if he hadn’t seen you in ten years, always with a huge smile and hardy handshake. He could turn a bad day into a good one. We lost a special person.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John H. Reid
•I never met a kinder or more gentle judge than Paul… He was so generous with his time, and has been a mentor for so many for so many years and his passing has created a void that cannot be filled. My heart goes out to Margaret and the hundreds, if not thousands of people that he helped over a lifetime of service to his profession and to the human race.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael A. Tynan
•Paul Boland was a big brother, guardian angel and role model to countless law students, lawyers and judges throughout California. When I talk to my children about great men who have lived among us, his name is -and always will be- mentioned.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Landin
• Paul was one of the most genuine and caring men I have ever met. He was a bright light in a world that sometimes was dark and cynical.
Terry W. Bird, attorney
•He was thoughtful, bright, steady, and had great leadership qualities. But what I will always remember most is his extraordinary kindness.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider
•If everyone had the decency and kindness always displayed by Justice Boland the world would be at peace. His legal insight will be sorely missed, but the greatest loss is the joy he brought to all who shared time with him.
Former Los Angeles County Bar Assn. President, Edith Matthai
•Justice Boland was brilliant, kind, humble, and wise. To know him was to admire him.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Wiley
•I knew Paul well… He was a very kind, bright and thoughtful person. He had a keen mind and will be missed.
Former Los Angeles County Bar Assn. President John Collins
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company