Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Alan H. Friedenthal Dies at Age 64
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Former Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Alan H. Friedenthal, 64, known for his jovial nature and intellect, died yesterday morning.
Alan H. Friedenthal
He had long been suffering from heart problems. Friedenthal, who primarily handled juvenile dependency and delinquency cases, retired from the bench on July 15, 2017.
Admitted to the State Bar in 1985, Friedenthal was active, through the years, in the alumni association of his law school, Southwestern. He was also admitted to practice in New York, Texas and the District of Columbia.
Friedenthal became a commissioner in 2005 after serving nearly eight years as an as-needed referee. Swearing him in was another commissioner: his wife, Steff Padilla, who remains a bench officer.
In 2006, he ran unsuccessfully for a Los Angeles Superior Court open seat. In endorsing him, the Los Angeles Times said:
“He has a steady command of the law and has shown himself to be an impartial and dedicated administrator of justice.”
Friedenthal was severely publicly admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance in 2012 for remarks he made in court. The commissioner, who was Jewish, told a mother who had made anti-Semitic remarks: “You’re going to raise a little Nazi.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Randolph Hammock—who was a Dependency Court referee from 2007 until his election as a judge in 2010, commented yesterday:
“Alan was my friend, and in many ways he was a mentor to me.”
“I simply would not had become a judge without his encouragement and support.
“He loved being a judicial officer. He loved politics and the theatre. He was a true Renaissance Man.”
Friedenthal was on the Board of Directors of the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and was active in the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, and the Anti-Defamation League. He served as secretary-treasurer of the California Judges Association in 2012-13.
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