Thursday, October 2, 2014
Judge Steele Retires From Superior Court
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Steele has retired, the court said yesterday.
JAMES A. STEELE
Superior Court Judge
In a release, the court said the 61-year-old jurist retired on Tuesday.
Steele was appointed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 after 29 years in civil practice.
That practice focused on business litigation in the construction industry. After his admission to the State Bar in 1977, he worked as in-house counsel for Federated Department Stores and moved on to various other in-house positions for companies engaged in construction contracting, real estate development, banking and heavy construction equipment manufacturing.
In 1989, he established the Woodland Hills firm of Steele & Persoff, where he is presently winding down his law practice. His clients there have included real property developers, hotel and resort operators, retailers and manufacturers.
Steele taught an extension course on the law of construction projects and contracts in UCLA’s Department of Engineering for many years, both before and after assuming the bench.
In addition to a degree from California Western School of Law in San Diego, he holds a masters’ degree in business from USC and a graduate degree in taxation from the University of San Diego Law School. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego.
The court also said yesterday that Judge Arthur Lew, who did not run for reelection, sat for the last time Tuesday and will officially retire Oct. 15. His successor, Ann Park, was elected in the June primary and is due to be sworn in Jan. 5.
Lew, who turned 69 Sunday, had been a Superior Court judge since 1994, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. He previously served on the Long Beach Municipal Court, to which he was appointed by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1991.
He spent the bulk of his Superior Court tenure in Compton.
A graduate of what is now California State University, Los Angeles and Southwestern Law School, he was a Los Angeles County deputy assessor from 1970 to 1978, and a deputy district attorney from 1978 until his appointment to the bench.
He was a member of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association.
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