Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, June 1, 2018


Page 1


Judges House, Hess, Goldberg to Retire


By a MetNews Staff Writer









Three Los Angeles Superior Court judges—Mary Thornton House, Robert Hess and Hank M. Goldberg—have slated retirements.

Goldberg will be leaving first, on July 30. House has slated an Aug. 20 retirement but her last day on the bench, she said, will be July 29.

Hess will leave in August, but hasn’t set a date,

House has been a judge the longest of those retiring. She was placed on the court in January 1996 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

At the time of the appointment, she was a Los Angeles assistant city attorney. House had been with the office for 17 years.

In 2004, she ran for the post of assistant presiding judge but she and then-Judge Peter Lichtman (since retired) were defeated by Judge J. Stephen Czuleger, who became presiding judge two years later.

She was named “Judge of the Year” in October 2004 by the Pasadena Bar Association and in March 2013 by the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. In 2008, the California Judges Association chose her to receive the Bernard F. Jefferson’s Award for Excellence in Judicial Education and in February 2011, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association bestowed on her its Excellence in Judicial Administration award.

House served in 2011 and 2012 as dean of the B.E. Witkin Judicial College.

In 2016, she handled an aspect of the conservatorship of Zsa Zsa Gabor, who died two months later.

Hess was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by Gov. Pete Wilson in January 1993. He was, at the time, a principal in the law firm of Smaltz & Anderson.

In 2000, he was automatically elevated to the Superior Court through trial court unification.

His law degree is from USC. Hess was executive editor of the Southern California Law Review.

In 2004, he dismissed a libel case against then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. A woman claimed that Schwarzenegger had twice assaulted her; his campaign suggested to reporters in an email that they check to see if she had a criminal background; she didn’t and sued for defamation.

“The evidence before the court establishes that Mr. Schwarzenegger neither knew of nor approved the text of the disputed e-mail before it was sent,” Hess judge wrote.

Hess has handled a $150 million action brought by ailing media magnate Sumner Redstone to recover gifts he had given to two women, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs’ contract action against then-Sheriff Lee Baca, and an attorney-fee dispute related to Lawrence D. Wollersheim’s $8.7 million award against the Church of Scientology for brainwashing him.

Hess turned 70 on May 21.

Goldberg, 55, won election to the Superior Court in 2002. He was a deputy district attorney at the time.

He handled complex civil litigation during a stint with Pettit & Martin in 1988-89.

The judge completed undergraduate studies at UCLA in only two years, graduating magna cum laude, and was in the top 11 percent of his class at Loyola Law School.

Goldberg in 2016 received the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Southern California Chapter Distinguished Jurist Award, and last year was named Family Law Judge of the Year by the American Inns of Court’s  Southern California Chapter and was given the Levitt and Quinn Outstanding Community Service Award.


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