Wednesday, December 26, 2001
Orange County Jurist Named to Fourth District Court of Appeal
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts
Orange Superior Court Judge Richard D. Fybel was named by Gov. Gray Davis Monday to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Div. Three.
If confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, Fybel will fill a newly created position. His appointment would leave one vacancy on the court, resulting from last summer’s retirement of Justice Thomas Crosby.
Fybel, 55, was appointed to the Superior Court last year after 30 years in private practice, first at Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliot and, from 1981 to 2000, as a partner at Morrison & Foerster.
He specialized in complex business litigation, including contract, banking, energy, trade secret, labor and real property issues. He currently presides over a felony master calendar court, after previously hearing civil and criminal trials and civil law and motion matters.
Fybel graduated from UCLA, where he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees, and was a member of the law review. He is a past president of the UCLA Law Alumni Association and currently serves on the board of the UCLA Foundation.
The Commission on Judicial Appointments, when considering Fourth District nominations, consists of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, and the district’s senior presiding justice, Daniel Kremer of Div. One.
The governor Monday also named three new Orange Superior Court judges—Senior Assistant District Attorney Claudia Silbar, Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Kirkwood, and Newport Beach lawyer Peter Polos.
Silbar, 43, oversees the homicide, sexual assault, family protection, gang, felony charging, and felony trial units within the office. She is also a veteran of more than 50 felony jury trials.
Silbar was an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, doing civil litigation, before joining the District Attorney’s Office. She succeeds retired Judge John Ryan.
Kirkwood, 50, has headed the felony trial unit since 1999, prior to which she spent six years in the homicide unit. A graduate of the University of Colorado and Western State University School of Law, she was in private practice in Orange County before she became a prosecutor in 1986.
She succeeds retired Judge Ronald Owen.
Polos became a partner in Lopez, Hodes, Restaino, Milman, Skikos & Polos in 1996, after six years as an associate of the late David M. Harney. He is a plaintiff’s tort lawyer, specializing in medical malpractice and pharmaceutical litigation.
He was one of the lead attorneys in the Fen-Phen diet drug cases. A graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School, Polos succeeds retired Judge John McOwen.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company