Thursday, May 23, 2002
Davis Appoints Three Private Practitioners to Superior Court
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
Gov. Gray Davis yesterday appointed three private practitioners to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Media defense attorney Amy D. Hogue, employment lawyer Charles F. Palmer and civil litigator Gregory Keosian were given the nod by Davis. The three appointments bring the number of judicial vacancies in the Los Angeles Superior Court down to 16.
Davis also named San Mateo attorney and State Bar Board of Governors member Marie S. Weiner to the San Mateo Superior Court.
Hogue, 50, is a senior partner at the Los Angeles office of Pillsbury Winthrop where she is co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group and heads its Media Advertising and Content Team.
After graduating from Duke University School of Law in 1979, the Pennsylvania native moved to Los Angeles to join the law firm of Lillick, McHose & Charles, which eventually evolved into Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro and then into Pillsbury Winthrop.
“It’s been a very congenial law firm and I will be very sad to leave,” Hogue said.
The firm has been intimately involved in her application, Hogue said, especially after the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Committee sent questionnaires to everyone in the firm from the most senior partners to the mailroom staff.
Part of Process
“It is kind of gratifying that everyone in the office feels like they are part of the process,” she said.
Hogue said becoming a judge was never a lifetime goal for her, but a mediation training session and work as a mediator inspired her to apply for a judgeship.
“It occurred to me it would be even more fun to be a judicial officer,” Hogue said.
Concentrating in media defense work, Hogue has represented publishers and media companies in litigation involving intellectual property rights, libel, false advertising, employment, contracts, alleged frauds and commercial torts.
She has also defended media and advertising clients in right of publicity cases filed by actor Tom Cruise, astronaut Neil Armstrong, television personality Vanna White and basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and in defamation actions filed by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Suzen Johnson, the former flight attendant who reportedly had an affair with sportscaster Frank Gifford.
Hogue is a member of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Southern California and she also serves as president of the Duke Bar Association in Los Angeles. She is a past chair of the State Bar’s Standing Committee on Copyrights and a former trustee of the Los Angeles Copyright Society.
She graduated summa cum laude from Duke University. A Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, Hogue was a member of the Law Review while at Duke University School of Law.
Hogue’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Stephen O’Neil last July.
Keosian, 41, will be leaving the Encino law firm of Keosian & Keosian—which he formed with his father Armand Keosian in 1988—to take his spot on the Superior Court.
“I have really mixed feelings, especially being a family member, of leaving the firm, in terms of it being my dad,” Keosian said.
Keosian focuses his practice on civil tort litigation and representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases. Clients will have to be shuffled to his father over the next week weeks to allow Keosian to take the bench as soon as possible.
“It’s exciting on the one hand and its stressful on the other hand,” Keosian said.
Keosian said he was inspired to apply for a judgeship after serving as a judge pro tem in small claims and traffic cases and as a volunteer settlement officer for the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Before forming a partnership with his father, Keosian was an associate with the Pasadena firm of Scolinos, Slater & Sweetman for a year.
He has been a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Armenian Bar Association, San Fernando Valley Bar Association and Consumer Attorneys Association.
Keosian has also served as chair of the Armenian National Committee of the San Fernando Valley, as co-chair of the Armenian Bar Association’s Armenian Rights Watch Group, and as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of Holy Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church.
He completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA and received his law degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law.
Keosian will fill the vacancy created by the removal of Judge Patrick Couwenberg by the Commission on Judicial Performance. Last August the panel found that he had, among other misconduct, falsified his application for appointment to the bench.
Palmer, 55, has been a partner in the Los Angeles office of Perkins Coie since 1988, handling complex commercial litigation and defending employers against claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and wage and hour violations.
Palmer was a partner with the Los Angeles law firm of Johnson, Manfredi & Thorpe until 1988, when his firm merged with Perkins Coie.
Palmer served as the executive director of Public Counsel, a Los Angeles public interest legal organization, after working as an associate with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers from 1973 to 1977.
Palmer continues to be active in legal services programs and served as chair of the Legal Services Section of the State Bar and as president of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
He also served on the managing committee of Bet Tzedek Legal Services for a decade and he is a board member of the Inner City Law Center. Palmer is a former Los Angeles County Bar Association trustee and was a member of the Bar’s Judicial Evaluation Committee. He has also been a member of the American Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar Association and Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
Palmer earned his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and his law degree from Yale Law School.
He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kurt Lewin.
Weiner, 43, earned her law degree from San Francisco’s Hastings Law School in 1983. In 1986, she joined what is now Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy, specializing in complex business litigation cases that “involve dozens of people and a warehouse full of documents,” she explained.
Her firm currently represents debt securities investors suing Enron Corp. and shareholders with claims against failed telecommunications firm Global Crossing, among other high profile cases.
Weiner told the MetNews that she expects to take the bench in a month. She will leave Cotchett, where she has been a partner since 1991, and will give up her seat on the State Bar’s representative board, which she called her “one regret.” An appointee will fill her Board of Governor’s position until a special election can be held, Weiner said.
Weiner fills the vacancy left by Judge Linda Gemello’s elevation to the Court of Appeal in December.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company