Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Page 3


Superior Court Judge Pines Named to Judicial Council of California


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Chief Justice Ronald M. George yesterday announced the appointment of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Burt Pines and nine others to the Judicial Council of California.

Pines and three other judges were named to three-year terms as voting members of the council effective Sept. 15. Los Angeles attorney and former LACBA President Edith R. Matthai will also serve a three-year term as a voting member at the appointment of the State Bar Board of Governors, George said.

She was chosen May 15.

Pines, who joined the Superior Court in 2003 at the appointment of then-Gov. Gray Davis, served as Davis’ judicial appointments secretary from 1999 to 2003, advising the governor on all appointments to the trial and appellate courts. He was also Los Angeles city attorney from 1973 to 1981.

Assistant U.S. Attorney

Admitted to the State Bar in 1964 after attending USC and law school at New York University, Pines was in private practice for 24 years, specializing in complex civil litigation and administrative law, and served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Pines is a member of the Bench-Bar Coalition and has served on the Judicial Council’s Working Group on Judicial Pay and Benefits. He also served on the council’s Judicial Service Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2005 and is currently a member of the Superior Court’s executive committee and chair of the Legislature Relations Committee of the California Judges Association.

In 2000, he was selected as the Metropolitan News-Enterprise’s Person of the Year for his contributions to the justice system.

Defense Specialist

Matthai, of Robie & Matthai, specializes in the defense of lawyers in malpractice actions, the defense of judges facing disciplinary actions, and business litigation.

She has served on many task forces and committees with representatives of the plaintiff and defense bars to improve rules and procedures, and is a co-author of Matthew Bender’s Practice Guide: California Pretrial Civil Procedure and the matching Practice Guide: California Civil Discovery.

Matthai is a past president of the California Defense Counsel, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and the Los Angeles chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and she served as president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association from 2005 to 2006. She is also a member of the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability.

Her Judicial Council experience includes service on the council’s Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions since 2007.

Matthai was named a member of the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame by the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California in 2008 and received the Champion of Justice award from Loyola Law School in 2006. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Hastings College of the Law, she joined the State Bar in 1975.

Matthai is one of four State Bar representatives who serve on the council. 

In addition to Pines, Justice Douglas P. Miller of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s Div. Two, Plumas Superior Court Presiding Judge Ira R. Kaufman and Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge James E. Herman were named to three-year terms as voting members.

Other Appointments

Shasta Superior Court Presiding Judge Stephen H. Baker was also appointed to complete the term of Tehama Superior Court Judge Dennis E. Murray, who is expected to retire from the bench in the next several months.

Four appointees were named as advisory members of the council. They are Contra Costa Superior Court Presiding Judge Mary Ann O’Malley, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teri L. Jackson, Orange Superior Court Judge Robert J. Moss and Orange Superior Court Chief Executive Officer Alan Carlson. 

All advisory members were appointed to three-year terms effective Sept. 15, except for O’Malley, who will serve one year, first as an advisory member through Dec. 31 and then as a voting member to complete the year. 

The Judicial Council is chaired by the chief justice and consists of 14 judicial members appointed by the chief justice, four attorney members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors, one member from each house of the Legislature, and 11 advisory members. The administrative director of the courts serves as secretary to the council. 

Established by the state Constitution in 1926, the council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial and accessible administration of justice in the nation’s largest court system.


Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company