Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, September 12, 2011


Page 3


State Bar Board Names Angela Davis, Mark Robinson to Judicial Council


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The State Bar Board of Governors has selected Angela Davis of Los Angeles and Mark P. Robinson Jr. of Newport Beach to join the Judicial Council of California, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said Friday.

The attorneys were appointed to three-year terms, which will commence Thursday.

Robinson did not return a message seeking comment, but Davis said she was “honored and delighted to be selected.”

She added that “the attorneys who have previously served on the council, as well as the judges, are people for whom I hold the greatest admiration.”

The assistant U.S. attorney said she met Robinson about a month ago, although she has known him by reputation through mutual friends for some time, and that “it is an honor to be in his company” in joining the council.

‘A Challenging Time’

Davis, who is currently completing a three-year term on the State Bar Board of Governors, said she was interested in pursuing an appointment to the council because  “the independence of the judiciary has been an issue that has cropped up repeatedly during the years in which I’ve been involved in bar leadership and it’s something that I believe is of the highest importance,” and because “this is a particularly challenging time given the unprecedented budgetary cuts and what that means for the courts and the public.”

She remarked that she “can’t claim to have the solution,” but felt that “it’s going to be very important for the interested parties to continue having a dialogue” on the issues affecting the branch.

The attorney also said it was “refreshing” that the council has recently taken measures to make its operations more transparent, which is “clearly a positive development, and I think the council’s leadership is committed to that.”

“It’s a really difficult time, and there’s no questions about that,”  she continued, “but I think there is a lot of talent and good will and enormous experience on the council right now, and my hope is that if any group of people can get our court system through this crisis, it’s the group on the council right now.”

Davis has served as a prosecutor  in the major frauds section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California since 1995. 

She is fluent in Spanish and previously served as an instructor for judicial reform courses taught, in Spanish, to public officials in Mexico as part of an initiative sponsored by the U.S. and Mexico governments.

Was in Private Practice

The attorney worked in private practice from 1986-1993 and as senior attorney for the U.S. Trustee—a division of the Department of Justice which serves as a watchdog for bankruptcy proceedings—before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Her activities have included serving as a past president of California Women Lawyers and as chair of the editorial board for the Los Angeles County Bar Association journal.

Davis completed her undergraduate education at Stanford before attending law school at UCLA and becoming a member of the State Bar in 1986.

Robinson is the senior partner of Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis Inc. and focuses his practice on products liability cases.

He served as counsel in the landmark Ford Pinto case. More recently, in 1999, he obtained a verdict as co-trial counsel in Anderson v. General Motors, in which a jury ordered General Motors to pay $4.9 billion to the plaintiffs for a defectively designed fuel system that caused their Chevy Malibu to burst into flames after it was rear-ended.

In 2006, Robinson obtained a $51 million verdict in Barnett v. Merck against the makers of the prescription drug Vioxx, which was subsequently reduced to $1.6 million.

Robinson is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the International Society of Barristers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.  He was elected president of the Consumer Attorneys of California in 1999.

He is currently the national treasurer of the American Board of Trial Advocates and teaches Trial Advocacy at the UC Irvine School of Law. 

Trial Lawyer of the Year

In 2008, Robinson was named California ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year, and was also honored by the Anti-Defamation League with one of two jurisprudence awards in Orange County. Earlier this year he was inducted by the California Bar Litigation Section into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. 

Robinson attended Stanford University before he graduated cum laude from Loyola Law School and joined the State Bar in 1972.

Davis and Robinson join Miriam A. Krinsky, a lecturer at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs, and Los Angeles attorney Edith R. Matthai as lawyer members of the council, which includes 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 and the chief justice serves as its chair.


Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company