Friday, March 12, 2010
Three Central District Bankruptcy Judges to Retire in Next 12 Months
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Three bankruptcy judges for the Central District of California will retire within the next 12 months, a colleague told the Federal Bar Association yesterday.
Judge Sheri Bluebond, speaking at the Los Angeles chapter’s annual “State of the Circuit/District” presentation, said that Judge Samuel Bufford will be leaving Sept. 1 to take a teaching position at Pennsylvania State University, while Judge Kathleen Thompson will retire in January of next year and Judge Geraldine Mund in February.
Mund, the only one of the three who could be reached yesterday for comment, confirmed that she was leaving because “I’ll be 67 years old.” But she expects to sit as an assigned judge for about three years after that, “and then I’m out of here,” she said.
The court will be undergoing a number of other changes, Bluebond—standing in for Chief Bankruptcy Judge Vincent Zurzulo—said. Judge Peter Carroll will move from Riverside to Los Angeles in September and take over as chief judge at the end of this year, and two judges will move from Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley after Thompson and Mund retire.
Bluebond also said the court now anticipates that its San Fernando Valley Division will remain in its leased space in Warner Center. The economy, she explained, has convinced the property owner that it is better to have “a paying tenant who can print more money or borrow it from China” than to allow the lease to expire in an effort to develop the property commercially.
The court anticipates leasing the property for an additional five-year term with five one-year renewal options, the judge said.
Bufford, 66, has been a bankruptcy judge since November 1985. He practiced corporate, bankruptcy, antitrust, securities, and other types of business law in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, and New York between 1974 and his appointment to the bench, except for a stint teaching law and urban planning at The Ohio State University between 1975 and 1977.
He is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, the University of Texas—where he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy—and the University of Michigan, where he earned his law degree magna cum laude and was Order of the Coif.
Mund, 66, has been a bankruptcy judge since 1984. She practiced bankruptcy and creditor’s rights law from 1977 until her appointment to the bench.
She is a graduate of Brandeis University and Smith College—where she earned a master’s degree in physical education—in Massachusetts, and of Loyola Law School. She is a former chief bankruptcy judge of the district.
Thompson, 64, has been a bankruptcy judge since 1988, was a bankruptcy practitioner from 1982 until her appointment to the court, and was a law clerk to a bankruptcy judge for two years before that.
She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and UCLA School of Law.
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