Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Superior Court Judge John Henning to Retire
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Henning, one of the senior members of the local bench, is retiring, the MetNews learned yesterday.
Court sources said Henning, 78, abruptly informed the presiding judge’s office last week that he will take his accrued leave and officially retire Sept. 8. He could not be reached for comment.
Henning was appointed to the Superior Court by Gov. Jerry Brown in January 1983, just as Brown—who appointed him to the Los Angeles Municipal Court a year earlier—was ending his first tenure in office. He had previously served two years as a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner.
The Minnesota native went to St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, graduating a year behind Brown. “Of course, he was much holier than I was, and he went on to the seminary and I went on more quickly to become a lawyer,” Henning once told a reporter.
He added that Brown was a family friend and that may have helped him in the appointment process.
Henning graduated from UC Berkeley and Hastings College of the Law, then traveled in Europe for six months. He said he had “no burning desire to become a lawyer” when he graduated and failed to take the State Bar exam seriously before finally passing in 1966.
He was a deputy public defender from 1966 to 1969, heading the Huntington Park office before leaving for private practice.
He worked for various attorneys until 1979, and then established his own practice before leaving to become a commissioner the following years. He also served on indigent defense panels in both criminal and juvenile courts, as an as-needed juvenile court referee, and as a member of the State Bar Committee for Juvenile Justice.
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