Friday, September 23, 2011
Family Law Supervising Judge Steinberg to Retire
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marjorie Steinberg said yesterday she is retiring at the end of the year.
Steinberg, 65, has served on the court since October 2001. She had a brief assignment at what was then known as the Criminal Courts Building, but has sat in family law for nearly her entire judicial career.
She has been supervising judge of the family law departments for the past four years. Steinberg was named to that post by then-Presiding Judge J. Stephen Czuleger at the end of 2007, after having served as assistant supervising judge.
“I’ve loved the court, loved the assignment, loved being supervising judge,” she told the MetNews. “And I have wonderful colleagues.”
The decision to leave was a hard one, she said, motivated largely by a desire to travel and spend time with family. She is married to Mark Steinberg, who is now retired after a legal career that included partnership at O’Melveny & Myers, posts in Washington, D.C. at the state and justice departments, and service as a part-time adviser to then-Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.
The judge and her husband plan to “hit the road in January,” although they have not decided on their destination, the judge said.
In a 2008 newspaper interview about her role in family law court, Steinberg was asked if she had “advice on how to avoid the most common pitfalls of marriage,” and responded:
“Marry the right person in the first place!”
Steinberg spent her entire legal career, with the exception of two years in Washington, D.C. working on education issues for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., at the Los Angeles firm of Tuttle & Taylor. Primarily a real estate and bankruptcy lawyer, she was a partner at the firm at the time of its demise, which came months before she was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Gray Davis.
Steinberg, a graduate of Stanford University and UCLA School of Law, said she has no interest in private judging, but may volunteer her services to the court, either as an assigned judge or settlement officer.
Czuleger yesterday said Steinberg was an “incredibly valuable” judge, whose departure would be “a real loss” “to the family courts in particular and the Los Angeles Superior Court in general.”
He explained that when the court grappled with how to allocate its shrinking revenues during his tenure as presiding judge, Steinberg “always got her resources” by making “a consistently good showing” as to why family law needed what it was asking for.
When he left the presiding judgeship, he added, “the family law courts were running in the best shape imaginable.”
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company