Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, October 13, 2011


Page 3


Cantil-Sakauye, Deukmejian Designated 2011 ‘Persons of the Year’


By a MetNews Staff Writer



California Chief Justice


Former California Governor

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and former California Gov. George Deukmejian will be recipients of the Metropolitan News-Enterprise’s “Person of the Year” awards for 2011, it was announced yesterday.

MetNews co-publisher Jo-Ann W. Grace, in announcing the awards, noted that 2011 marks the first year of Cantil-Sakauye’s administration as chief justice and the year that ground was broken for a new courthouse in Long Beach named after Deukmejian, who served as California’s attorney general in 1979-83 and governor in 1983-91.

Grace said that while Cantil-Sakauye “has just gotten started,” she has already taken positive steps toward smoothing relations of the Administrative Office of the Courts with the superior courts and increasing openness of the Judicial Council.

“Formerly,” Grace mentioned, “decisions were made on the first day of Judicial Council meetings, in closed session, then made official on the second day, in public. Cantil-Sakauye, to her credit, has ended those secret sessions.”

Deukmejian’s service as governor, she remarked, “is recalled by persons of both parties with reverence.”

His administration, Grace said, “was marked by an overall excellence in judicial appointments.”

The co-publisher recalled that when Deukmejian took office as governor in 1983, California had a $1.5 billion deficit. Slashing spending, Deukmejian within two years created a $1 billion surplus, she pointed out.

Profiles of Cantil-Sakauye and Deukmejian will appear in a special section of the MetNews in early January, 2012. They will be presented scrolls and plaques at the 24th annual “Person of the Year” dinner, to take place on Jan. 27.

Philibosian Comments

Former Los Angeles District Attorney Robert H. Philibosian, now of counsel to Sheppard Mullin, will for the 15th time emcee the event.

Philibosian commented yesterday:

“I’m delighted that Governor Deukmejian and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye are being honored as co-persons of the year. This will be an excellent commemoration of the long association of these most outstanding public servants.”

Philibosian recited that Cantil-Sakauye became Governor Deukmejian’s deputy legal affairs secretary in 1988.

(Earlier, she was a babysitter for the Deukmejians’ children.)

Deukmejian appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court in 1990; Gov. Pete Wilson elevated her to the Sacramento Superior Court  in 1997; she was placed on the Third District Court of Appeal in 2005 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; and she was named as chief justice by Schwarzenegger last year. Conformed by voters in November, she took office Jan. 3 of this year.

Deukmejian, before becoming attorney general, served in the state Assembly and the state Senate.

Already scheduled as presenters are Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich.

Previous Honorees

Former persons of the year include the late Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Mildred Lillie, 1983; the late California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk, 1984; the late Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Lester Wm. Roth, 1985; the late Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Parker, 1986; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Billy G. Mills (since retired), 1987; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Officer Frank Zolin, 1988 (now retired); then-Court of Appeal Justice Lynn “Buck” Compton (since retired), 1989; Court of Appeal Justice Miriam Vogel (now senior of counsel to Morrison & Foerster) and then-State Bar President Charles Vogel (now an arbitrator/mediator with JAMS), 1990; Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vaino Spencer (now retired), 1991; Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein, 1992; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge (now Court of Appeal Presiding Justice) Robert Mallano, 1993; Court of Appeal Justice Norman Epstein (now presiding justice), 1994; then-California Attorney General (now Congressman) Dan Lungren, 1995; California Chief Justice Ronald George (now retired), 1996; Los Angeles Superior Court Judge (then-Assistant Presiding Judge) Victor E. Chavez, 1997; U.S. District Court Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, 1998; and Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, 1999.

Others are then-Judicial Appointments Secretary (now Los Angeles Superior Court Judge) Burt Pines, 2000; then-State Bar President Karen Nobumoto, a deputy district attorney, 2001; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, 2002; then-Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, now on the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics in Washington, D.C., 2003; then-State Bar President John Van de Kamp and then-Los Angeles County Bar Assn. President John Collins (now retired), 2004; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge William MacLaughlin and then-Assistant Presiding Judge J. Stephen Czuleger, 2005; the late political consultant Joseph Cerrell, U.S. District Judge George Schiavelli of the Central District of California (now in law practice and mediation) and Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Paul A. Turner, 2006; San Fernando Valley attorney and civic leader Lee Kanon Alpert, then-Los Angeles County Bar Assn. President Gretchen Nelson, and Philibosian, 2007; then-Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Charles W. McCoy and then-Assistant Presiding Judge (now Presiding Judge) Lee Edmon, 2008; Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County Public Defender Michael P. Judge (since retired), and Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, 2009; and trial attorney and bar leader Jack Denove, Southwestern Law School Dean Bryant Garth, and Lawyers Philharmonic conductor and attorney Gary S. Greene, 2010.


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