Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Page 1


Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Morris, Schacter to Retire


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judges David M. Schacter  and Judson W. Morris Jr. will retire Feb. 20, the MetNews has learned.

Schacter, who sits in Burbank, was a Santa Monica Municipal Court commissioner from 1981 to 1985 when then-Gov. George Deukmejian appointed him to the Superior Court.

Schacter’s tenure on the bench has been controversial. In 2001 the Court of Appeal for this district ordered a mistrial in a civil suit against a well-known local realtor and ordered the case reassigned because Schacter had been trying it in “drips and drabs” over nearly a year.

During a 1996 trial involving Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke, Schacter issued orders excluding the public and the press from all courtroom proceedings held outside the presence of the jury, and sealing the transcripts of those proceedings. Again he was reversed by this district’s Court of Appeal, whose ruling was unanimously affirmed by the state Supreme Court.

Schacter, 65, was born in Toronto, Canada but grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He received an associate’s degree from Los Angeles Valley College in 1961 and his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from California State University, Northridge in 1963

He received his law degree from the University of Laverne College of Law at San Fernando Valley, where he was a member of the law review, in 1968.

Schacter served as Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney  from 1968 to 1973. He was a senior research attorney for Justice L. Thaxton Hanson of the Court of Appeal for his district from 1973 to 1975. He served as Long Beach deputy city attorney from 1975 to 1981.

He was supervising judge of the North Valley District in 1992.

Morris, who sits in Pasadena, was elected to the Pasadena Municipal Court in 1986, and took office under an interim appointment by Deukmejian. He became a Los Angeles Superior Court judge under consolidation in 2000.

Born in Los Angeles in 1942,  Morris attended California State University, Northridge from 1960 to 1962; Pierce College from 1965 to1967; and California State University, Los Angeles from 1967 to 1969.  He received his law degree from Loyola Law School in 1973.

Morris served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1961 to 1969. He was a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff from 1964 to 1972 and an investigator for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office from 1972 to 1975.

He served as a Los Angeles deputy district attorney from 1975 to 1976 and from 1978 until he took the bench.

He was criticized in some quarters when he took the unusual step of opposing a court colleague, Elvira Mitchell, when she ran for re-election in 1996. Morris endorsed her opponent, Fred Rotenberg, who won the election.

Morris said at the time that he found Mitchell difficult to work with and thought that Rotenberg, a local practitioner, would do a good job.

Neither Morris nor Schacter could be reached for comment.


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