Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Judge Bob T. Hight Sets November Retirement Date
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bob T. Hight yesterday said he plans to retire Nov. 1 after a 55-year legal career.
His last day on the bench will be Oct. 30, he said, explaining that he was “going to stay on deck to make sure my files are in order” since he did not know who would be filling his position.
“I think 25 years is a nice long period of time as a judge,” Hight, 82, said of his decision to step down. “I think it’s time to turn my attention to my family…and I certainly want to accomplish some other things while I’m still around.”
Among those accomplishments, he said, were visiting family and doing some travel, golf and “whatever comes up.” Hight added that he was contemplating a trip to his wife’s native Austria and that he “[planned] to put some time in on Maui” as well.
Hight said he had “no present plans” to enter private judging or return to the bench on assignment, although he said he would miss his fellow bench officers and the courthouse staff.
“I love the camaraderie of the courthouse,” Hight reflected. “It’s really a nice way to spend the day, its always exciting and always new.”
The 1955 graduate of Southwestern Law School was appointed to the bench in 1984 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian. At the time of his appointment, Hight was serving as president and managing partner of Spray, Gould & Bowers.
Prior to joining the firm in 1960, Hight had spent three years as an associate with Moss, Lyon & Dunn, and he began his legal career with a year in the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.
Hight also said he served in the U.S. Navy during the “World War II era,” where he won a boxing championship.
“They had a tournament and I got coaxed into representing my company,” Haight claimed. “Then lo and behold, I won it and surprised everybody, especially me.”
He insisted that he was really “a track man,” having entered sprint events while attending UCLA.
“I did some good things.…I was the city sprint champion in Long Beach and always in the CIF Finals…but I don’t consider myself the world’s best or anything,” Haight said. “I did pretty good.”
Hight’s father, Long Beach Municipal Court Judge Percy Hight, was one of the original judges in Long Beach, and his grandfather, John Platt Hight, was a San Bernardino County attorney. His son, Robert Hight, is a Los Angeles deputy district attorney working in Long Beach.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company