Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Page 3


A Judge Tells of Plans, Reflects on 20 Years on the Bench


By Monica Bachner


(The writer is a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. She was appointed to her post on Oct. 17, 2002 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. Today will be her last day on the bench. After using up earned vacation days, she will officially retire on May 12.)



URING MY RETIREMENT, I hope to use my free time practicing French, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

In my 39 years of public service, it has been my honor to appear before and work with extraordinary judges. Appearing before dedicated, kind and patient judges such as Judge Robert Takasugi and Judge Terry Hatter inspired me to submit my application to the Los Angeles Superior Court. As I consider the last 20 years, I know I have been privileged to have experienced many assignments on the bench, starting in a misdemeanor criminal trial court in West Covina, moving to the Criminal Courts Building, then the North Valley as assistant supervising judge and supervising judge, and finally to my current assignment in an independent calendar civil court in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Also, from my first day on the court, I have had the pleasure to work with outstanding colleagues and a phenomenal and extremely dedicated court staff.

Each and every assignment came with different challenges making every day on the bench interesting. I have particularly enjoyed interacting with jurors and working with lawyers and litigants in resolving their cases, both in settlement conferences and discovery conferences. Every juror has an interesting story to tell, and similarly, during settlement conferences, the parties just want the opportunity to tell their story.

In addition to presiding over cases, my passion has been fostering judicial education. Since early on as a judge, I volunteered to teach judicial education classes. As chair of the LASC Judicial Education Committee, I have worked with fellow judges to create judicial education policy for the court, plan judicial education programs, and foster camaraderie on the Los Angeles Superior Court. In addition to planning, I have had fun teaching and coteaching classes on a wide range of subjects including anti-SLAPP Motions, Handling Sargon Hearings [examining the predicates of proposed testimony by expert witnesses] and Basics of Arbitration.

My other great pleasure has been working with and mentoring students. I have been teaching trial advocacy at USC Law School since the early 2000s. My externs, interns and fellows have included high school, college and law students, interns from the American Bar Association Litigation Sections Judicial Intern Opportunity Program and ABOTA [American Board of Trial Advocates] fellows. If I have any legacy, I hope that my students, interns, externs and fellows will all be civil and effective advocates.


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