Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Page 3


Former Commissioner Wada Explains Decision to Become Supervising Probate Attorney


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Former Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Robert S. Wada yesterday explained his decision to step down from the bench to become the court’s supervising probate attorney, saying he wanted to remain focused on that area of law.

His decision, he insisted, had “nothing to do” with the voluntary separation program announced by the court two weeks ago, which offers an incentive to commissioners to depart from the court’s employ.

“I was unaware of anything of that nature” being developed, Wada said, and “I didn’t really have a concern with [job security].” The timing of his resignation, which was effective Oct. 1, was “just a coincidence,” he said.

Wada said he was worried that as a commissioner, he could “end up someplace other than probate,” and “I’ve always been in probate, so when this [position] opened up, that was the thing that kind of thrust me into going back in this direction.”

Wada assumed his new position effective Oct. 1, succeeding Sandra Rae Riley, who has retired.

Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Lee Edmon said that following the retirement of Riley, “we needed somebody strong in that position” and Wada is a “perfect person for it.”

A graduate of UCLA and Western State University, Wada was admitted to practice in 1982 and worked in private practice, handling probate and estate planning matters before joining the court.

Wada served as a probate attorney for the court from 1997 until 2008, and presided over a probate civil calendar courtroom in Norwalk as a commissioner for the last three years.

 “I had the best courtroom staff that one could ever hope for, and I will miss all of them,” Wada said yesterday, but he said he was happy to be “back in probate…and getting back into the swing of things back here.”


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