Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, March 6, 2017


Page 3


‘Trailblazers’ Hailed at Senior Lawyers, IALA Dinner


Selma Moidel Smith, at right, waves arms to the beat of “Selma’s Samba,” being played by Gary S. Greene, Esq. and His Big Band of Barristers Thursday night at a joint meeting of the Italian American Lawyers Association and the Senior Lawyers Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Smith, who is in her 75th year as a member of the State Bar, has composed more than 100 pieces of music. In accepting the Senior Lawyers’ “Trailblazer of the Bar” Award, she told the gathering at Casa Italiana: “A month from tomorrow, if the good Lord is willing, I will become a 98-year-old.” Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert made note of her leadership roles in bar groups not only locally and nationally, but internationally. Seated are, from left, Nowland Hong, chair of the Senior Lawyers Section and a founder of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, and Robert M. Mallano, a former Court of Appeal presiding justice. Mallano, who succeeded Vaino Spencer in heading Div. One of this district, spoke of the elegance, efficiency, gentle nature, and skills of Spencer, who received a Trailblazers of the Bar Award posthumously.


Southwestern Law School Dean Susan Westerberg Prager comes to the podium to accept the Trailblazer of the Bar award, honoring Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vaino Spencer, from Senior Lawyers Section Chair Nowland Hong (himself a former honoree). Prager said the scroll will be placed on exhibit at Southwestern along with Spencer’s papers, photographs, and memorabilia. Spencer, who died Oct. 25 at the age of 96, was the first African American female judge in California, and the third in the nation. She was an alumnus of Southwestern, and was active in its Alumni Association. At the right is a photograph of her as a Municipal Court judge, appointed in 1961. Prager said the photograph appeared, across the nation, in what was then referred to as the “Negro press.”






































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