Monday, June 9, 2014
Services Scheduled for Retired Judge Juelann Cathey
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Services have been scheduled for later this month for retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Juelann K. Cathey, who died May 31 at the age of 78.
Presiding Judge David Wesley informed his colleagues of Cathey’s death Friday in an email.
Cathey left the bench in 2001, when she had major heart surgery. She was formally granted disability retirement in June of the following year.
Cathey was elected to an open seat on the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1988, three years after that court’s judges made her a commissioner. She was handling the misdemeanor master calendar at what was then the Criminal Courts Building at the time of her election as a judge, and later sat in the San Fernando Valley.
She was supervising judge of the San Fernando branch from 1990 to 1994 and became a Superior Court judge through unification in 2000.
At the time of her appointment as commissioner, she was a member of the State Youthful Offender Parole Board, to which then-Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her in 1981. She had previously been general counsel to a real estate developer and held a Nevada real estate license.
The Minnesota native graduated from what was then the University of San Fernando Valley College of Law, now part of the University of La Verne, in 1969 and was admitted to the State Bar in 1970. The mother of six began her law studies, without the benefit of a college degree, after her husband was killed in an industrial accident when she was 28 years old.
“My choice was medical school or law school, and medical school is a long row,” she once told a reporter. “My mother’s brother was an attorney, and I guess I thought, if he could do it, I could do that too, no offense to my uncle.”
She was a Los Angeles deputy public defender from 1970 to 1974, then moved to Colusa County where she was public defender in 1975 and 1976 and assistant district attorney in 1976 and 1977 before returning to Los Angeles.
Services are to be held June 28 at 1:30 p.m., at the San Fernando Mission Catholic Cemetery, 11160 Stranwood Avenue, Mission Hills, CA 91345.
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