Friday, October 17, 2014
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Leslie A. Dunn to Retire
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Leslie A. Dunn is retiring.
“I’ve been a judge 34 years,” she told the MetNews yesterday. “That’s a long time.”
The jurist, who turned 65 Wednesday, will sit in her Van Nuys courtroom for the last time today. Her official retirement date is Nov. 10.
Judge Alan Schneider takes over for Dunn in Dept. 120 on Monday.
Dunn said she was “keeping my options open” as far as future plans, but that she does not intend to do anything law-related. “I want to spend time with family, travel, and enjoy life outside of the bench,” she said.
That said, however, she “loved every single day” of her judicial career, Having been eligible to step down with maximum benefits any time in the last five years, she said, she wanted to “leave while I’m still enjoying” the work.
“I hope to live robustly and enjoy every day,” she commented.
A native of Kansas City, Mo., Dunn performed in summer stock during high school and college, majored in urban affairs at USC, and graduated from what is now Loyola Law School in 1974. She began her legal career that year, as a Los Angeles deputy city attorney.
She rose through the ranks of the office over the next several years, eventually being named chief of the Branch Operations Division in 1979. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1981, and she became a Superior Court judge through unification in 2000.
Dunn, a criminal trial and preliminary hearing judge, made headlines as a victim herself in 1986, when she struggled with a man who attempted to rape her near her Tarzana home. A suspect was eventually arrested in the case, and turned out to be man she had sentenced four years earlier on a charge of disturbing the peace, which had been pled down from battery, although police said they did not believe the two crimes were related.
Dunn also held various posts within the municipal and superior courts, including chair of the Los Angeles Municipal Court Personnel Committee, assistant supervising judge for the Superior Court Northwest District, and site judge for the Van Nuys West Courthouse.
She received the Judicial Excellence Award given by the Criminal Courts Bar Association in 2012.
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