Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Judge and Law Professor Under Consideration for Court of Appeal
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brian M. Hoffstadt and Southwestern Law School Professor Christopher David Ruiz Cameron are being considered for appointment to this district’s Court of Appeal, the MetNews has learned.
Neither Hoffstadt nor Cameron returned MetNews phone calls yesterday.
Hoffstadt, a Democrat, was appointed as judge in 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Hoffstadt became a partner at Jones Day in 2007. He served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 2000 to 2007, was senior counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice during the two preceding years and special counsel for the Federal Communications Commission from 1997 until 1998.
In 1995, he served as a law clerk to former U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Cynthia Holcomb, and he clerked for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 1996.
He received his bachelor’s degree from California State Polytechnic and law degree from UCLA School of Law.
He sat on assignment in the Court of Appeal this year. On May 15, he authored an opinion that tossed out a multimillion dollar judgment in favor of a California Highway Patrol officer, Anthony Pedeferri, who was injured when a vehicle driven by a drug user struck a stopped car on the shoulder of the freeway, causing an explosion that killed the driver of the struck vehicle and left the officer partially paralyzed.
Hoffstadt said the lower court erred in allowing an expert witness for the plaintiffs to testify that Jeremy White’s consumption of large quantities of marijuana prior to the collision likely did not contribute to his loss of control of the vehicle. The testimony, Hoffstadt concluded, was based on assumptions not supportable from the record and entitled the defendant to a new trial.
Cameron has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1991. He is credited with authoring or co-authoring two books, seven book chapters, and 23 law review articles, including his 2007 article, “Harry Pregerson, the Real Mayor of Los Angeles.”
Cameron’s work has earned over 300 reported citations, including several published appellate decisions, Southwestern said on its website.
He has served as a labor arbitrator, serving as a neutral on panels for the Writers Guild of America, the City of Santa Monica, the city and county of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Community College District.
Before entering academia, Cameron served as a law clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and represented labor organizations and employee benefit funds in private practice for six years.
He received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and attended Harvard University for Law School, where he was article editor for the Harvard Law Review.
“In teaching legal analysis,” Cameron said on his school’s website, “I try to show that law is about the questions, not the answers; it offers solutions, not absolutions; it is an art, not a science.”
The MetNews previously reported that U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sanjay Kumar are under consideration as well, and there have been unconfirmed reports that at least two other Superior Court judges are under consideration as well.
There are currently four vacancies on the court, with two more scheduled to occur in February.
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