Monday, August 29, 2011
CJA Gives Witkin Humanitarian Award to Ross Klein
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The California Judges Association on Friday announced its selection of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ross M. Klein as this year’s recipient of its Alba Witkin Humanitarian Award.
Named for the widow of legal scholar Bernard Witkin, who died in 1995, the award is presented annually to “a judicial officer who is making a difference outside of the courtroom,” according to a CJA release.
Klein on Friday exclaimed: “Wow, I can’t believe I won!”
He said it was “really surprising, in a good way” since “I didn’t think I really had a chance” at being selected.
The award is slated to be presented at a luncheon Sept. 16 in Long Beach.
Part of the honor is a donation of $500 from the California Judges Foundation and Witkin Foundation to a charity of Klein’s choice, although Klein said he had not yet made his selection.
“I’d like it to be something involving children,” he said, since “one of the things I do” is provide assistance to Franklin Classical Middle School in Long Beach.
Klein said he had his wife have “informally adopted” the school, and periodically donate supplies it cannot afford to buy.
The jurist also participates in the District Attorney’s Project L.E.A.D., which teaches elementary school children about the justice system, and volunteers to visit and read to children being treated at local hospitals through the National Law Enforcement Cancer Support Foundation.
He was appointed to the Superior Court by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 after serving for five years as a Superior Court commissioner and two years before that as a municipal court commissioner.
Klein was vetted for a possible appointment to Div. Eight of this district’s Court of Appeal in 2009.
The jurist was with the Public Defender’s Office for 18 years before becoming a commissioner in 1998, and he served as a volunteer law clerk and then attorney with Bet Tzedek Legal Services from 1978 to 1980.
A Democrat, he was admitted to the State Bar in 1979 and graduated from San Fernando Valley College of Law after attending UCLA.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company