Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Superior Court Judge Jan Greenberg Levine to Retire
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jan Greenberg Levine is retiring to pursue personal interests, Levine told the MetNews yesterday.
Levine, who was appointed by then-Governor Gray Davis in 2003, served six years in dependency court, followed by a move to civil court three years ago.
Although she will technically be a judge until Feb. 13, her last day on the bench will be Dec. 21.
Levine, 62, said that she plans to spend her retirement traveling and indulging in “community-based activities” and personal interests such as photography.
“I loved being a judge and working with my colleagues,” she said. “They’re a great group of people.”
She added that she is also impressed with the dedication of court staff and how well the court has been functioning as an institution, but has found it difficult to watch the court’s ability to respond to the needs of the people get “chopped away at” by recent budget cutbacks.
“We’re down to the bone,” she said, though she was quick to add that the cutbacks were not a factor in her decision to retire.
Earlier this year, in a public comment urging the Administrative Office of the Courts to adopt the recommendations of the Strategic Evaluation Committee, she described her job, in part, as follows:
“I am where the rubber meets the road; many of the litigants in my court are self-represented. Their homes, their meager resources, or their children are at stake, and they cannot afford lawyers, let alone private judges. We are their only recourse.”
Before becoming a judge, Levine was an attorney at Fogel, Feldman, Ostrov, Ringler & Klevens, which she joined in 1998, following a stint in environmental law with the Law Offices of Jan Chatten-Brown.
Earlier in her career she served on the State Bar’s Equal Access to Justice Commission and as a member of the board of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, in addition to having been a senior staff attorney for People for the American Way, where she reviewed and investigated judicial nominations to the federal bench.
Prior to that she worked at the Center for Law in the Public Interest, where she handled environmental litigation.
Levine’s undergraduate degree is from Harvard University and her law degree is from UCLA.
She was formerly married to Mel Levine, an attorney and former Democratic congressman and U.S. Senate candidate. Her father, Maxwell Greenberg, who died in 2007, was a prominent attorney, a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission, and a leading figure in the Jewish community, chairing the Anti-Defamation League.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company