Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Services Tomorrow for Retired Judge Julius Title, Dead at 93
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Funeral services are set for tomorrow for retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Julius M. Title, who died Sunday at the age of 93.
Title, who sat by assignment until fairly recently, was a Los Angeles Municipal Court juge from 1966 to 1970, by appointment of then-Gov. Pat Brown, and was elevated to the Superior Court by Brown’s successor, Ronald Reagan, in 1970.
He also served on assignment, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named him to the State Bar Commission on Access to Justice last year.
During his tenure on the bench, he served in most departments of the court, including writs and receivers, general criminal and civil. He also served on the Court of Appeal by assignment during parts of 1981 and 1984.
Among his notable cases were a lawsuit among members of the Getty family concerning a 1934 trust established by J. Paul Getty and his mother, which provided greater amounts for J. Paul Getty Jr. and Gordon Getty than for their half-brothers from the oil magnate’s earlier marriages.
A 1986 Court of Appeal ruling upheld Title’s ruling that a reformation action by the disfavored descendants was time-barred.
Title officially retired in 1985 but returned to the court by assignment in 1997. During the interim, he was actively engaged as an arbitrator, special referee in discovery and other disputes under court assignments, a special master under federal court orders, a mediator and a judge pro tem in civil disputes.
Title served as chairman of the Benchbook Committee of the California Judges Association, and is a former member of the faculties of both the California Judicial College and the National Judicial College sponsored by the American Bar Association at the University of Nevada in Reno.
His extensive teaching experience included work as an adjunct professor of law in trial practice and advocacy at Whittier College of Law.
The judge had written extensively on trial-related subjects for various legal publications, including the California Bar Journal, American Bar Association Journal, and Judges Journal of the American Bar Association.
Prior to his judicial career, Title spent 20 years in general practice as an attorney focusing on business, corporate and real estate matters.
He was admitted to the State Bar in 1941 after earning both his undergraduate and law degrees from USC.
The jurist was born in New York City in 1915, but grew up in Boyle Heights. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg said yesterday that his own father was a classmate of Title at Roosevelt High School, and that being with Title “was like being with my dad.” He called Title “the type of guy you would want for your own grandpa.”
Title always told great stories, and had a big smile on his face, Rosenberg recalled. “He was like walking history,” he said.
He remembered the man he called “Julie” was “always a part of everything” going on at the court house, and had an incredible fondness for tuna fish.
“Every time we’d go out to lunch, Julie would look at the menu from one side to the other and say, ‘I know what I want, I want tuna fish,’” Rosenberg said.
About six years ago, Rosenberg reminisced, several of Title’s fellow jurists “ordered a huge thing of tuna fish” from the Santa Monica Sea Food Company and fresh bread from a bakery then went to a local park with Title to make tuna fish sandwiches. “To honor Julie, just because,” Rosenberg said. “We all loved him.”
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Linda Lefkowitz said Title “very special” to his colleagues, and a “remarkable painter,” who had painted the oil paintings decorating the judge’s lunch room at the Santa Monica courthouse.
“He had a full life, but I don’t think he would have said that because he wanted to go on forever,” she said. “He was so young at heart; it was like he was going to live forever.”
Lefkowitz indicated that Title had heard cases on assignment up until last year. “He’d happily do small claims or traffic, or whatever allowed him to stay in the law,” she said. “He didn’t like to stay home; his mind was just too busy.”
She opined that “his brain was probably like what it was at 25.” He was “just a wealth of history,” she said. “He was definitely worth knowing.”
Title is survived by his wife Rita Title, and three children.
Tomorrow’s services will be held at 3 p.m. at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, 6001 West Centinela Avenue in Los Angeles.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company