Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Retired Superior Court Judge Robert Einstein Dies at 83
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Einstein died yesterday at age 83 in Long Beach.
Long Beach attorney and family friend Cheryl R. Avirom said the jurist had been ill since November, but had not publicized the fact.
A 1951 graduate of Southwestern Law School, with an undergraduate degree from USC, Einstein—a Chicago native who came to California as a soldier and stayed to go to college—practiced law briefly with his brother in San Diego before opening up a practice in East Los Angeles in 1953. That practice eventually came to encompass his son, Gary Einstein, who still has his office there.
Robert Einstein, who sat as a judge pro tem in the old East Los Angeles Municipal Court during his practice days, was named to the Los Angeles Superior Court by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 1981, served two more terms, primarily in Norwalk, and then declined to run for re-election in 1994.
His son ran unsuccessfully to succeed him.
Robert Einstein went on to become a mediator and private judge with Judicate West, remaining active for more than a decade.
The secret to successful mediation, he once told a reporter, was to learn each side’s “secret agenda,” which he described as “the stuff they know but they don’t want the other side to know.” After that, he explained, he could spend anywhere from an hour to an entire day going back and forth between the two sides before hopefully reaching a point of agreement.
While he primarily handled civil cases on the bench, Avirom noted yesterday, he also did some criminal work and “really enjoyed” the experience of being a judge. While she is a civil practitioner, Avirom said, he encouraged her to branch out and appointed her to a multi-defendant criminal case about a quarter-century ago.
Although she was successful, the experience “made me realize I didn’t want to practice criminal law,” although she remained grateful to the judge for giving her the opportunity.
Off the bench, she said, Einstein was “very devoted to his family” and had “a very wry sense of humor.”
Services are scheduled for tomorrow at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068 at 1 p.m.
In addition to his son, the judge is survived by his wife of 59 years, Pauline Einstein, daughters Marlene Spiegel and Wendy Eagle, and seven grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, his family asked that donations be sent to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 800 West Sixth Street, Suite 450 Los Angeles, CA 90017.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company