Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, June 29, 2015


Page 1


Brown Nominates Judge Luis A. Lavin to Court of Appeal


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Gov. Jerry Brown Friday nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin to Div. Three of this district’s Court of Appeal.

If confirmed, the 56-year-old jurist would succeed Justice Walter Croskey, who died last August. The governor’s office noted in a release that he would be the district’s first openly gay justice.



Superior Court Judge

The nomination came on the same day that the Supreme Court ruling in Obergfell v. Hodges made sex-same marriage the law of the land. Lavin is married to Michael Fleming, who oversees the political and charitable endeavors of billionaire David Bohnett, a major donor to Brown and the Democratic Party.

Fleming is also a member of the City of Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

The governor commented on the Obergfell decision in a press release:

“With the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots this weekend, we’re reminded of how long and winding the road to equality has been. Today, our highest court has upheld a principle enshrined in our Constitution, but only now finally realized for same-sex couples across America.”

Brown appointed the first state’s first openly gay appellate justice, James Humes, to the First District Court of Appeal in 2012 and elevated him to presiding justice last year.

Confirmation for Lavin would be by the state Commission on Judicial Appointments. When considering Second District nominations, the commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris, and the district’s senior Court of Appeal presiding justice, Paul A. Turner of Div. Five.

Lavin has been a Superior Court judge since December 2001. At the time of his appointment, he was general counsel and director of enforcement at the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, having been appointed to that post in 1999.

He was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1995 to 1999, working in the Civil Rights Division’s employment litigation section. He was associate general counsel at the Directors Guild of America from 1992 to 1995, and an assistant state attorney general in Massachusetts from 1990 to 1992.

He was an associate at various law firms between 1985 and 199, practicing general litigation. He is a graduate of Cornell University, where he majored in labor and industrial relations, and Harvard Law School.

Lavin currently sits in a writs and receivers department in the trial court, and has done so since.  His previous assignments included family law, criminal law and general civil.

He also has sat by assignment on the Court of Appeal.

The jurist is a native of Cuba, and came to the United States in 1962. He did not return a MetNews phone call seeking comment on his appointment.


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