Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, June 30, 2011


Page 1


Judge John Shook Slates Retirement Next Month


By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Shook has slated his retirement for July 15, court officials said yesterday.

Shook, 72, could not be reached for comment.

He began his bench career in 1983, with an appointment by then-Gov. Jerry Brown to the Compton Municipal Court. Two years later, he was elevated to the superior court by Gov. George Deukmejian.

The judge presided over a criminal courtroom for several years in Torrance, where he was embroiled in a scandal over the appearance of favoritism in his appointment of defense attorneys. He was transferred to downtown Los Angeles during that period.

Shook stipulated to discipline by the Commission on Judicial Performance and was publicly admonished in 1998 for four counts of misconduct.

The charges arose from his appointments of a defense attorney who rented space in an office building owned by Shook and his wife, Torrance lawyer Elfriede Shook; another with whom Shook had a social relationship; and a third who had paid for Shook and his courthouse staff to go to lunch in a limousine.

Shook also admitted telling an attorney who was a prospective tenant in his building that he would ensure the attorney received criminal case appointments which would cover the rent.

Before becoming a judge, Shook worked as general trial counsel for United California Bank from 1969 to 1974 and was a partner in the Torrance firm of Shook, Dunkerly, Thompson & Anderson.

He graduated from what is now Loyola Marymount University in 1962 and from Southwestern Law School in 1968.

Shook is the father of attorney Michael D. Shook, proprietor of Shook and Associates and a former candidate for Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

The judge becomes the latest of several bench officers to slate July retirements. Judge William Birney’s departure from the bench becomes official July 7, while Judge Martha Bellinger is due to sit for the last time tomorrow and retire July 31, which is also the retirement date for Commissioners Burt Barnett and William R. Torres, who have already left the bench.


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