Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Superior Court Judges Kalkin and Pratt to Step Down
Retirements Mean at Least Three Open Seats in June Primary Voting
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Pratt and Alan Kalkin will retire in the coming months, the MetNews has learned.
Pratt, who is currently on vacation, will retire March 1, court officials said. Kalkin has already begun using up his accrued leave, but there was some confusion as to his official retirement date, although it seemed clear it would be sometime after Feb. 6, the deadline for the filing of a declaration of intent to run for the seat.
The timing of those retirements means that at least three open seats will be on the ballot in the June 3 primary. Judge Dzintra Janavs previously scheduled her retirement for March 4.
Kalkin had been assigned to a courtroom in Glendale. North Central District Supervising Judge Charles Stoll said that he found out sometime in November that Kalkin was planning to retire.
He said that Kalkin had been thinking about it for the last year, and that Kalkin wanted to travel and do “relaxing things.”
He said that Kalkin was an “outstanding jurist and an absolute pleasure to work with.” He also said that Kalkin had a “fine reputation in Burbank and Glendale,” and that the court would “miss him dearly,” particularly because Kalkin’s courtroom is now dark.
Kalkin, 74, joined the Burbank Municipal Court in 1981 as a commissioner after having served as Burbank assistant city prosecutor for 11 years. He was reared in Virginia and served in the Army during the Korean War before returning there, graduating from William and Mary College and the University of Richmond Law School.
After practicing briefly in Virginia, he and his wife moved to Southern California, where he worked in the aerospace industry while studying for the bar exam. He eventually became general counsel of a small radar manufacturing company, which he left in 1969, working briefly in the private sector before going to work for the city.
He was appointed a Burbank Municipal Court judge in 1987 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian and became a Superior Court judge through unification in 2000.
Pratt, who turns 58 Monday, was appointed to the East Los Angeles Municipal Court by Deukmejian in 1988 and elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1989. At the time of his appointment to the bench, he was a deputy district attorney assigned to the Hard Core Gang Prosecution Unit in Norwalk.
A Los Angeles native and graduate of California State University, Long Beach, he attended law school at night while working at various jobs and starting a family. He graduated from Western State University College of Law in 1977 and opened an office in Norwalk.
After four years in general practice, he joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office for four years. He then joined a law firm to do civil work, but was hired by the District Attorney’s Office less than a year later, in 1983.
As a judge, his most challenging assignment was as coordination judge for the 700 Phen-Fen diet drug cases, beginning in 1998.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company