Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, September 13, 2013


Page 1


Superior Court Judge Rayvis Takes Disability Retirement


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Cynthia Rayvis has taken disability retirement, an official told the MetNews yesterday.

Commission on Judicial Performance Director/Chief Counsel Victoria Henley said Rayvis’ request for disability retirement was approved at the commission’s last meeting and given final signoff by the chief justice, effective Aug. 22. A judicial colleague, who asked to remain anonymous, said she has been dealing with cancer for several years.

Rayvis, 66, was appointed to the court by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2001, and sat most recently at Airport Court. She was a deputy district attorney from 1990 until her appointment to the bench, and began her judicial career in Downey, where she once served as site judge.

A 1985 graduate of Southwestern Law School, she once explained in an interview posted on the school’s website that she had been an elementary school teacher with a master’s degree in education, and was raising young children when the school started its PLEAS program in 1981. The program, one of few in the country, allows students to attend part-time during the days, and largely attracts students with child or elder care responsibilities.

Her primary interest in law school was criminal law, and she externed with the Public Defender one summer and the District Attorney the next. “I realized that I liked the prosecutorial aspect more than the defense aspect,” she explained, and “never considered going into anything other than criminal law,” although she did civil work for several years because she was able to do it part-time.

She took her first fulltime job, as a deputy district attorney, when she was 41 and her youngest child was 12, she explained. Her assignments there included five years in the Hard Core Gang Division.

In the interview, she acknowledged that her training as an advocate got the better of her during the early part of her career, as she found herself questioning a witness during a preliminary hearing.

“I read the transcript and I thought to myself, ‘I’ve taken over the prosecutor’s role here,”’ she told the interviewer. “So I started paying attention to that and realized that I was no longer an advocate. I realized that I had absolutely no stake in the outcome.”

Earlier this year, Rayvis vacated Terrence Prince’s 31-year-old murder conviction, finding that he was deprived of his right to a fair trial because the state failed to disclosed exculpatory evidence in the form of statements made to police by witness immediately after the crime that would have raised doubts about Prince’s guilt. The evidentiary hearing in the case lasted 42 days.


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