By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Metropolitan News-Enterprise, which has been paying tribute to “Persons of the Year” each year since 1983, is redesignating the 2020 awardees—attorneys Harry L. Hathaway, Nowland C. Hong, and John L. Moriarity—as honorees for 2020/2021.
Annual dinners feting the “Persons of the Year” began in 1988 when Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Officer Frank Zolin was the honoree and the emcee was former Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Joseph Wapner, then a “television judge,” (both now deceased).
“Persons of the Year” are typically named in late September, with the dinner in their honor held on the last Friday on the following January. It was announced one year ago that the customary dinner would not held be held in January 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, METNEWS Co-Publisher Jo-Ann W. Grace expressed the hope that Hathaway, Hong and Moriarity would be honored on Jan. 28, 2022, along with the 2021 “persons of the year.” Due to uncertainty as to whether it will be feasible to stage a dinner on Jan. 28, Grace said yesterday, the decision was made not to plan for such an event, which normally attracts in excess of 200 attendees.
To name three “Persons of the Year” for 2021, and another three for 2022, she said, would mean a total of nine honorees at the anticipated Jan. 27, 2023 dinner which, Grace remarked, would be unmanageable,
Former Los Angeles District Attorney Robert H. Philibosian, now of counsel to Sheppard Mullin, has agreed to emcee the event in 2023, for the 26th time.
“Persons of the year” have included two California chief justices, four Court of Appeal presiding justices (and three future presiding justices), six Los Angeles Superior Court presiding judges, three assistant presiding judges of that court, two U.S. District Court judges, four State Bar presidents (and one future president of that group), five Los Angeles County Bar Association presidents, two district attorneys, two law school deans, two sheriffs, two county supervisors, a state attorney general, a county public defender, and a Los Angeles city attorney.
Emcees other than Philibosian and Wapner have been then-Los Angeles then-Los Angeles City Council President John Ferarro (now deceased) and former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lawrence Crispo.
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