Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Page 1


Court of Appeal Justice Miriam Vogel Sets July 3 Retirement


By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer


Justice Miriam Vogel of this district’s Court of Appeal, Div. One is retiring effective July 3, a court spokesperson said

Her decision to retire was expected after the governor selected Justice Robert M. Mallano to be presiding justice for the division. Vogel—who has often had a chilly relationship with Mallano—was a candidate for the position.

The 68-year old jurist could not be reached for comment, nor could the division’s other justices, Frances Rothschild and Frank Y. Jackson. Mallano referred requests for comment to Administrative Presiding Justice Roger W. Boren, who could not be reached.

Vogel was born in New York, but came to Los Angeles as a child. She attended Santa Monica College, where she earned an associate’s degree, but never attained a bachelor’s degree.

She later attended the Beverly College of Law (now Whittier Law School) while working as a secretary and office manager and raising two sons, graduating second in her class.

Former Clerk

For two years, Vogel clerked for Robert Thompson, then a justice of the Court of Appeal. She then entered private practice with two other firms before joining what eventually became Maiden, Rosenbloom, Wintroub, Vogel & Fridkis.

Her primary areas of practice were business litigation and civil appeals.

Vogel was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1986 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian. He nominated her for elevation four years later, on her 50th birthday.

The late Lester Wm. Roth, then-senior Court of Appeal presiding justice, voted against the appointment at Vogel’s confirmation hearing in 1990. He opined that Vogel “is not really truly gifted with the desire or faculty to expand the judicial field,” but was outvoted by the commission’s other two members.

After Mallano was appointed to Div. One in 2000, Vogel began penning opinions that were sharply critical of her new colleague and then-Presiding Justice Vaino Spencer. For a time, Spencer and Vogel reportedly were not speaking to each other, except when essential.

MetNews Honoree

Vogel was a MetNews Person of the Year in 1990. Vogel shared the honor with her husband, Charles Vogel—then president of the State Bar and later presiding justice of Div. Four of this district’s Court of Appeal, a post from which he retired in 2004.

Vogel’s retirement opens an associate justice vacancy, which will be filled by the governor. The governor has previously sent the names of Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Victoria Chaney, Edward Ferns, and Eric Taylor, as well as U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Johnson of the Central District of California and Gregory Smith of Irell & Manella to the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation as possible appointees to the court.

Superior Court judges whose names were sent to the JNE Commission as possible Court of Appeal appointees earlier in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration include Joanne O’Donnell, James Chalfant, Emilie Elias, Aurelio Munoz, Owen Lee Kwong, Peter Lichtman, Carl West, Ronald Coen, William Highberger and Fumiko Wasserman.


Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company