Wednesday, June 5, 2019
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan M. Speer’s last day on the bench will be June 21, ending a 21-year judicial career.
Speer was appointed March 12, 1998, to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. She had been a deputy district attorney since 1981.
The judge said yesterday that the “most compelling reason” for retiring is to spend more time with her four “adorable grandsons, ages 2, 3, 4 and 5, who live too darn far away.”
Plans to Travel
“I also hope to travel more. We have visited over 40 countries and hope to continue to add to our bucket list of places to explore. While home, I will do volunteer work with animals and the elderly, hoping to use my degree in nursing in some capacity.
“I plan to continue studying Spanish, attend culinary school, read, entertain, golf and exercise more. Sleeping in sounds wonderful too!”
The judge reflected:
“My fondest memories on the bench are having the opportunity to help victims, families of victims and those defendants willing to be helped. One really doesn’t know if they have made a positive difference in the lives of anyone because of decisions they made as a judge.
“I can only hope that there are souls whose lives were made a little bit better because of the decisions that I made.”
Watching Lawyer Joust
Speer also commented:
“I loved presiding over jury trials where the attorneys were exceptionally skilled and cordial. Watching trial gladiators do battle gallantly in front of a jury is one of purist joys of being a judge as you witness a real-life drama unfold.
“I have enjoyed the company and congeniality of my colleagues including my fellow bench officers, attorneys, interrupters and my wonderful support staff. I will miss them the most.”
In a 2010 case attracting wide attention, Speer sentenced to life in prison a woman convicted of torture and mayhem. She set an exotic dancer on fire outside a bikini bar.
Speer was named the San Fernando Valley Bar Association’s Judge of the Year in 2011. She and her husband, William Speer—who retired as a employed by the Los Angeles Police Department detective in 2009—have been active in the Valley Community Legal Foundation (“VCLF”) and were honored by it in 2017.
‘Valley Lawyer’ Article
An article by retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Rosenblatt in the June 2017 issue of “Valley Lawyer” says Speer “is known for her wisdom, her legal reasoning, her poise, and her professionalism, both in and out of her courtroom.” It goes on the remark:
“Judge Speer defines the reason why we volunteer to work together to help our community. She has worked on many projects each year, always investigating new ways for VCLF to raise donations for scholarships and grants, working tirelessly with her husband Bill and others on the golf tournaments and Gala auctions, introducing honorees, working day and night on the program for the CBS New York Street Gala, and so much more. Between her volunteer work for VCLF and for her court committee work. Judge Speer spends a great deal of her non-judicial time giving Pack to the San Fernando Valley community.”
Rosenblatt’s article relates that before becoming a prosecutor, Speer was a neonatal ICU nurse—and even after joining the District Attorney’s Office, she regularly provided care at night for infants at Los Angeles’s Children’s Hospital.
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