Thursday, June 6, 2019
By a MetNews Staff Writer
MARGARET S. HENRY
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
Margaret S. Henry will retire on June 29 after more than 18 years on the Los Angeles Superior Court bench.
She was appointed to her post in April 2001, by then-Gov. Gray Davis. Henry was then a 53-year-old Santa Monica attorney specializing in employment law.
“I am planning to write about the child welfare system, a biography of my mother, and anything else that comes to mind,” she told the MetNews.
The judge said she will also help care for her first grandson, Chace, who is 3½ months old.
“I may also sit as a temporary assigned judge,” she advised, adding:
“In my spare time I would like to study physics and learn Spanish, among other things.
“I do not understand people who think they would be bored if retired. If nothing else I will walk our pit-bull mix every day.”
She recounted the “thrill” of her appointment to the bench “because this was my dream job” and told of having enjoyed her 10 years as supervising judge of the Juvenile Dependency Court, from 2005-12, having had “the ability to have some effect on child welfare policy.”
But, Henry continued, the past three years “presiding over the 18 & Up Court, which was created from my proposal, were the best,” elaborating:
“I got to talk to, or at least review reports for, and supervise the cases of thousands of youth. From the stories of these youth aging out of the child welfare system I learned much about what we do right and what we do wrong.”
“Resilience of foster youth can be amazing, but they unquestionably do better with more support and positive reinforcement. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from the over 17½ years in the Juvenile Division of L.A. Superior Court.”
The jurist termed the Edelman Children’s Courthouse “a jewel, with everyone connected by a shared mission” and said the “people there are what I will miss most.”
‘Judge of Year’
In 2017, the Wilmont Sweeney Juvenile Court Judge of the Year Award was conferred on Henry by the Juvenile Court Judges of California, a section of the California Judges Association. Henry previously chaired that section.
The CJA said in a statement:
“As Supervising Judge she led a number of initiatives including those related to dental health, civil court access for injured youth in foster care, and access to government benefits. Judge Henry also arranged monthly training for judicial officers in juvenile dependency court relating to law and to legal procedures as well as for services available to children and families.”
Henry, who received her law degree from Ohio State University in 1972, was admitted in Ohio that year and served as an assistant attorney general there. She became licensed to practice in California in 1974.
Before opening her own law office, she was managing partner of Rosner, Owens, Nunziato & Henry; senior counsel for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.; and a Los Angeles deputy city attorney.
Henry is one of three judges who have disclosed plans to leave the county’s Superior Court. The others are Judge Bert Glennon and Judge Susan Speer.
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