Thursday, September 11, 2014
Kuhl, Buckley to Lead Superior Court for Next Two Years
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Carolyn Kuhl and Daniel J. Buckley will be the presiding judge and assistant presiding judge of the court in 2015 and 2016, Presiding Judge David Wesley informed the bench yesterday.
Wesley said in an email that a committee of three senior judges had certified that neither Kuhl nor Buckley had drawn an opponent. Kuhl, the current assistant presiding judge, continues the tradition of the assistant presiding judge being elevated without opposition, and Buckley has been the lone contender for assistant presiding judge since declaring his candidacy in March.
Superior Court Judge
DANIEL J. BUCKLEY
Superior Court Judge
Kuhl, a St. Louis native, will be the second woman to serve as presiding judge. She moved to Los Angeles in 1978 to join the law firm that is now Munger, Tolles & Olson.
After three years with the firm specializing in corporate law, Kuhl moved to Washington where she served for a year as special assistant to Attorney General William French Smith in the Reagan administration.
Kuhl returned to Munger Tolles in 1986 as a partner and focused on litigation and appellate work before being named by then-Gov. Pete Wilson to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1995. She held both criminal and civil assignments before serving as assistant presiding judge.
She served two stints as supervising judge of the civil courts—a post now held by Buckley—sandwiched in between service as supervising judge of the complex litigation courts. She is married to fellow Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger.
Buckley, in announcing his candidacy for assistant presiding judge, urged an investment in cost-cutting technology, and beseeched lawyers to do their part by filing fewer demurrers.
He was appointed to the court in 2002 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He was supervising judge of the East District in 2009-10, has been a member of the Executive Committee (presently an ex officio member), is on the Personnel and Budget Committee, and chairs the Technology Committee and the Civil and Small Claims Committee.
He has been an adjunct law instructor at Loyola Law School, Southwestern, USC and Notre Dame.
At the time of his appointment, Buckley was managing partner in the law firm then known as Breidenbach, Buckley, Huchting & Hamblet, where he represented defendants in tort and environmental litigation. He was with the firm for 22 years.
Buckley received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
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