Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Page 3


Services Tomorrow for Retired Commissioner Fried


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Services will be held tomorrow for retired Culver Municipal Court Commissioner Seymour Fried, who died Sunday at age 87.

Fried was a commissioner of the court from 1985 until his retirement in 1995, and was married to Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Mina Fried.

He was a practicing attorney for nearly 34 years before joining the bench. He once told the interviewer he applied for the commissioner slot because “practice was not fun anymore.”

A New York native and graduate of Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, he studied music at Los Angeles City College. He served in the Army during World War II and played saxophone and clarinet in a touring band after the war, before entering Southwestern University to study accounting.

After two years in that program, he entered the university’s law school, the only part of the institution that survives today. He graduated in 1950 and opened a practice in Watts the following year, mostly doing criminal defense work.

One of his clients was comedian Lenny Bruce, whom he represented in a divorce and custody battle, as well as in a San Francisco obscenity case.

Over the years, he moved his practice to Beverly Hills and began taking on tort work.

He was also active in the State Bar Court, which at the time was operated primarily by volunteer attorneys serving on a part-time basis. He served on the Executive Committee of the court from 1979 to 1984, and was assistant presiding referee in charge of the investigation department and later the hearing department.

He was appointed to the review department in 1984, resigning the following year when he was appointed commissioner.

His work as a commissioner was initially limited to small claims and traffic cases, sitting in the smallest courtroom of one of the smallest courthouses in the county, although he later heard misdemeanors as well.

Tomorrow’s services are scheduled for 11 a.m. at Mt. Sinai Chapel of Mt. Sinai Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive.


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