Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, February 26, 2007


Page 3


Ellen Corbett and Joseph Dunn Named to State Judicial Council




State Sen. Ellen Corbett and former Sen. Joseph Dunn have been named to the Judicial Council of California, the Administrative Office of the Courts said Friday.

Chief Justice Ronald M. George named Dunn, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as an advisory member of the council. His term will expire at the end of this year.

The appointment reflects Dunn’s “unique and continuing leadership in statewide issues of concern to the judicial branch,” the AOC said in a release. Dunn, who previously served as a legislative member of the council, is now chief executive officer of the California Medical Association.

“I appreciate the chief’s willingness to have me continue to serve on the Judicial Council,” he told the MetNews. He accepted the position, he explained, because he wishes to remain involved with the proposed revision of Art. VI of the state Constitution, which governs the appointment and election of judges and the jurisdiction, governance,  and organization of trial and appellate courts.

“It’s a very difficult issue both on the law and on the politics,” Dunn said. A proposal approved by the Judicial Council in December 2005 has not been introduced in the Legislature, and Dunn said he could not comment at present on efforts to draft legislative language.

Dunn was previously a partner in Newport Beach law firm Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson, where he was involved in a number of major tort cases, including suits silicon breast-implant makers, manufacturers of the diet drug Fen-Phen and makers of allegedly defective medical devices.

He was a senator from 1998 to 2006. Barred from running for a third term, he sought the Democratic nomination for state controller but lost to the ultimate winner, John Chiang, in the primary.

Corbett, a member of the State Bar since 1987, was named by the Senate Rules Committee to replace Dunn as the Judicial Council member from the Senate, for a term expiring Dec. 1 of next year. She practiced in a law firm established by her father and also served as mayor of the Bay Area city of San Leandro prior to being elected to the Assembly, where she also served as Judiciary chair, in 1998.

She was elected to the Senate in 2004.

The state Constitution provides that one member of the Senate and one member of the Assembly serve on the council. Those seats are traditionally filled by the Judiciary chairs of the respective chambers; Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, is already a member of the council.

 “I welcome Senator Corbett and former Senator Dunn to the Judicial Council and look forward to their valuable contributions toward improving the administration of justice in California,” George said in a statement. 


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