Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, September 12, 2016


Page 1


Fourth District C.A. Justice McDonald Dies at 79


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Services were pending Friday for Fourth District Court of Appeal, Div. One Justice Alex C. McDonald, who died suddenly Thursday at the age of 79.

McDonald had served on the court for 21 years, following a 32-year career in private practice.

Presiding Justice Judith McConnell said in a statement:

“We are all very saddened by the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Justice Alex McDonald. He served on the Court since June 1995 and was known for his deep intellect, willingness to learn new areas of the law, and great sense of humor. He made a great contribution to our Court and the cause of justice.”

Born in Butte, Mont., McDonald graduated from Stanford University, where he majored in industrial engineering.  He later earned his law degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a Master of Laws degree from the University of Virginia.

Following law school, he studied Indian constitutional law at the University of Bombay and was a law clerk for California Supreme Court Justice Raymond E. Peters. He practiced with San Diego firms, beginning in 1963, including McDonald, Hecht, and Solberg, where he was managing partner from 1972 to 1995.

He was appointed to the Court of Appeal by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. McDonald is survived by his wife, four daughters, and many grandchildren, the court said.

Among the many cases in which he authored published opinions were People v. Zondarak, a 2013 case in which the court upheld the constitutionality of California’s ban on assault weapons; In re A.G. in 2010, striking down San Diego’s curfew for minors; In re Lisa G., a 2005 case condemning a teacher’s search of a student’s personal belongings without prior information that the student engaged in misconduct reasonably related to the search; and Schroeder v. City Council of the City of Irvine, a 2002 case in which the court said a city had the right to conduct a voter registration drive and that a suit challenging the use of public funds for the drive was subject to an anti-SLAPP motion.


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