Thursday, May 8, 2008
LACBA to Honor Judge, Prosecutor and Defense Attorney Of the Year, and Present Career Achievement Award
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Bar Association will honor Senior U.S. District Judge Robert M. Takasugi, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin, Deputy District Attorney Robert Grace Jr. and Head Deputy Public Defender Stuart Glovin in a ceremony tonight.
The awards ceremony , hosted by the association’s Criminal Justice section, is scheduled to begin at 5:30 and take place at the Biltmore Hotel, in Los Angeles. The even will be emceed by this district’s Presiding Justice for Div. Six, Arthur Gilbert.
Takasugi, the first Japanese-American appointed to the federal bench will receive the Career Achievement Award.
Fellow honoree Grace called Takasugi “one of the legendary lawyers in the Los Angeles area” and praised the jurist for overcoming the adversity and hardship associated with the anti-Japanese sentiment during and after World War II.
The 77-year-old jurist was born in Washington, but was relocated to a Tule Lake, Calif. internment camp for Japanese Americans as a young teenager. He described the ordeal to LACBA as “an education to be fair.”
Throughout his legal career, Takasugi “has strived to expand the participation of women and minorities in the law,” the County Bar said. He served on the Judicial Affirmative Action and Indigent Panel Committees, and was the first judge in the Central District to hire a female law clerk.
Brandlin, the other jurist honored at tonight’s event, will receive the Judge of the Year award. The 49-year-old former law enforcement officer attended law school classes at night, and graduated cum laude from the Santa Barbara College of Law in 1986. He also served as a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County before taking the bench.
Both Grace and Glovin praised Brandlin’s reputation among prosecutors and defense attorneys. Glovin called him “they type of guy who is respected by virtually everyone in the legal profession.”
“When you walk into his courtroom, you know you’ll get an intelligent call.”
Brandlin is the chair of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Judges Security Committee and the Chair of the California Center for Judicial Education and Research, Court Security Education Committee. Brandlin has also authored four legislative bills providing greater security and privacy protection for criminal justice personnel.
A 20-year veteran deputy district attorney currently assigned to the Major Crimes Division, is the recipient of the Prosecutor of the Year award. Grace said he was “very humbled and grateful” to be chosen. The 47-year old attorney said he was just doing his job.
Such modesty is characteristic of the prosecutor, Head Deputy District Attorney of the Major Crimes Division Patrick Dixon said in a release. He called Grace an “outstanding prosecutor” with “no ego at all.”
Grace recently secured convictions against Helen Louise Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt, the elderly women charged with murdering elderly homeless men in order to collect life insurance proceeds, as well as the conviction of murderer and rapist Chester Turner, the most prolific killer in the history of Los Angeles.
The favorable verdicts, Grace said, were the result of a team effort. In addition to praising his co-counsel, deputy district attorney Truc Do, Grace said:
“You don’t do anything alone. I have the good fortune to work with a really good group of people, and all their efforts make things happen.”
Grace also praised the fourth honoree of the evening, Glovin, as “beloved” by other deputy public defenders for “extending himself to everyone who works there.”
Glovin is the head deputy of the Public Defender’s Airport Branch Office, with over thirty years of experience as a deputy public defender. The 50-year-old Philadelphia native said he has had “my fair share” of capital murder cases which have worked out well for his clients.
Laura Green, an assistant public defender said Glovin is an “extraordinary trial lawyer,” and “an inspiration to his troops.”
The chair of tonight’s event, deputy district attorney Beatriz Dieringer called him a “dream for a supervisor” who “leads by example” and is respected by everyone.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company