Thursday, December 27, 2001
Davis Appoints Commissioner Gilbert Lopez as Judge
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Gray Davis yesterday named Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Gilbert Lopez as a judge of that court.
Lopez, 51, has sat as a Superior Court commissioner since unification last year. He was appointed to the Southeast Municipal Court as a commissioner in 1995.
He will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Patrick Murphy.
Currently assigned to Huntington Park Court, Lopez presides over a criminal calendar handling misdemeanor trials and felony preliminary hearings.
He previously handled a “fast-track” civil calendar consisting of limited civil jurisdiction cases, unlawful detainers, defaults and jury trials.
Lopez has been immortalized by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who in numerous speeches, including a 1998 State of the Judiciary address to the Legislature, has told of how the jurist built a jury box, bench and bailiff’s desk in his home workshop at his own expense when the court could not afford to furnish his courtroom.
George said Lopez’s effort was an example of “how the best of our system can rise above the worst.”
Before being appointed to the Municipal Court Lopez was a sole practitioner from 1990 to 1995 and a partner in the law firm of Genesta & Lopez.
Lopez was certified as an immigration law specialist by the State Bar of California. He also handled personal injury and criminal defense.
Lopez has served as a trustee of the Southeast District Bar Association and Mexican-American Bar Association.
He earned his undergraduate degree from USC and his law degree from Loyola Law School.
The governor yesterday also appointed San Diego attorney Joel Pressman, 55, to the San Diego Superior Court. He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Moon.
Pressman has been a partner with San Diego law firm Kolodny & Pressman since 1983, focusing on business, corporate and real estate litigation.
He has handled a wide array of civil cases, including personal injury, partnership disputes, securities fraud, broker-dealer negligence, antitrust, employment and construction defect cases.
Pressman has also prosecuted several class action cases on behalf of consumers, including an antitrust case against cellular phone companies U.S. West and Airtouch for price fixing in the San Diego area.
He was the 1991 recipient of the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association’s “Outstanding Trial Lawyer” award.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his law degree from Hastings College of the Law.
The newly appointed judges will receive a salary of $136,224.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company