Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Page 1


Justice Orville Armstrong to Retire From Court of Appeal at End of July


By a MetNews Staff Writer




Court of Appeal Justice

Court of Appeal Justice Orville “Jack” Armstrong will retire from this district’s Div. Five at the end of the month, the court said yesterday in a release.

Armstrong, who could not be reached for comment, has been a member of the court since 1993. He had previously served on the Los Angeles Superior Court, and was president of the State Bar in 1987-1988.

The 84-year-old jurist is a native of Austin, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas in that city. He acquired his nickname at a time when “Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy” was a very popular radio program.

His law degree is from USC, and he began his legal career in 1957 at MacDonald, Halsted & Laybourne.

He became a partner in that firm, eventually headed its litigation practice, and then became a partner in Baker & McKenzie after it absorbed MacDonald Halsted in 1988. Then-Gov. George Deukmejian appointed him to the bench in 1991, and Deukmejian’s successor, Pete Wilson, elevated him two years later.

He served in the United States Air Force from 1946 to 1949. He is also a past president of the Chancery Club, as well as a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Yesterday’s release noted that Armstrong authored 2,000 appellate opinions, including 1,253 civil law opinions and 969 criminal law opinions. Among the more significant, the release said, were Luther v.Countrywide Financial Corp. (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 789, which reversed orders sustaining demurrers on investor claims under the 1933 Securities Act, holding that California had concurrent jurisdiction as to claims under 15 USC §77v(a);, People v. Mayer (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 403, which upheld the convictions of a South Gate political candidate for filing false election declarations and for perjury,  and Marshak v. Ballesteros (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 1514, which affirmed summary judgment against a husband who sued his attorney for legal malpractice where the attorney had advised the husband to settle his marital dissolution matter; the opinion holds that the husband did not meet his evidentiary burden to prove the case was settled for less than it was worth.

Div. Five Presiding Justice Paul Turner said in a statement:

“July 31 ends a career of dedicated service to our Constitutions; a career which began in 1945 when Jack enlisted in the United States Air Force. He leaves public service with an earned reputation for hard work on behalf of the people of our state.” 

Administrative Presiding Justice Roger Boren commented:

“The Second Appellate District will miss a stalwart judge who served this district and the people of California for more than two decades with energy and devotion,” said of Justice Armstrong. “He carried the nickname ‘Jack’ very well.”


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