Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, January 24, 2011


Page 3


Ninth Circuit Names Three New Bankruptcy Judges in Central District


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has announced the appointments of three new judges for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

Redlands sole practitioner Wayne E. Johnson was appointed Thursday to fill a judgeship left vacant by the retirement of  Judge Samuel Bufford in August 2010, while Scott C. Clarkson of Torrance and Mark S. Wallace of  Los Angeles were assigned to fill temporary judgeships approved by the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit in 2009.

Clarkson and Wallance were sworn into their positions Thursday and will have chambers in Santa Ana, and Johnson will have his chambers in Riverside after he takes his oath of office, court officials said

Kozinski remarked that “[w]e have been fortunate to find such knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorneys to serve as judges of one of our busiest bankruptcy courts” and welcomed the appointees to the bench.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California serves seven Southern California counties. The court is authorized 24 judgeships, three of which are temporary. It received 138,585 bankruptcy filings in fiscal year 2010, up 42.2 percent from the previous year.

Johnson, 43, was a bankruptcy attorney in the Commerce and Finance Group of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP, in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2003, prior to opening his solo practice.

He spent two years as an adjunct professor of law at Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, from 1999 to 2001 and worked as a bankruptcy attorney at Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard LLP in Los Angeles from 1994 to 1996.

The attorney has published numerous articles on bankruptcy matters and is an active participant in bar association activities and programs including the Bar Advisory Board for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, the Inland Empire Bankruptcy Forum, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

A native of Pasadena, Johnson graduated magna cum laude from Cornell

University in 1989 before completing his legal education at the University of Pennsylvania and being admitted to practice in California in 1992.

Clarkson, 56, was the managing attorney of Clarkson, Gore & Marsella APLC for the past 20 years.

He was a direct observer of and participant in the creation of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. House of Representatives and also a member of the Bar Advisory Board Committee of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

As a longtime member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Clarkson has served as the chair of the organization’s Bankruptcy Committee from 2004 to 2006 and as the chair of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section from 2008 to 2009.

A native of Houston, Texas, Clarkson received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 1979 and his law degree from George Mason University in 1982. He was licensed to practice in California in 1989.

Wallace, 57, has been of counsel at the law firm of Stutman, Treister & Glatt, P.C. since 1991.

From 1979 to 1991, Mr. Wallace was a shareholder at the Phoenix law firm of Osborn, Maledon P.A., where he  was the firm’s principal tax attorney.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum and  served as its liaison to the Pro Bono Bankruptcy Subcommittee since 2006.

Wallace also served as a director on the Board of Directors of Public Counsel from 2006 to 2009 and as chair from 2005 to 2007 of the Bankruptcy and Workouts Committee, an organization in which he was a founding member.

He was born in Paterson, N.J. and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1974. Wallace then attended law school at Columbia University where he was the notes and comments editor of the Columbia Law Review before he graduated in 1977 and joined the California State Bar in 1991.

Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have statutory responsibility for selecting and appointing bankruptcy judges in the nine western states that comprise the Ninth Circuit. The court uses a comprehensive merit selection process for the initial appointment and for reappointments. Bankruptcy judges serve a 14-year, renewable term, at a salary of $160,080, and handle all bankruptcy-related matters under the Bankruptcy Code.


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