Thursday, August 7, 2003
Judge Lourdes G. Baird to Take Senior Status Next Year
By a MetNews Staff Writer
U.S. District Judge Lourdes G. Baird will take senior status next year, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reports.
Baird has designated May 12, her 69th birthday, as the day she will take on a reduced caseload. Since she has already completed 11 years of judicial service, she will then be eligible for the semi-retired status of senior judge under the “rule of 80.”
The jurist, a native of Quito, Ecuador, was U.S. attorney for the Central District of California when then-President George Bush nominated her to the federal bench in March 1992. She was confirmed by the Senate later that year and became the first Hispanic woman to serve as a judge in the district.
Baird earned her undergraduate and law degrees at UCLA and began her legal career in 1977 as an assistant U.S. attorney. She started out doing miscellaneous trials and appeals, then went to the Fraud and Special Prosecutions Unit—where she prosecuted a number of tax and securities cases—and eventually worked her way up to an assistant division chief position overseeing economic crimes prosecutions.
She left in 1983 for private practice, and was a partner in the firm of Baird, Munger & Myers when she was named to the East Los Angeles Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1986. She was presiding judge of that court when the governor appointed her to a vacant seat on the Los Angeles Municipal Court in September 1987.
She was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court a year later and was appointed U.S. attorney by Bush in 1990. While her nomination to the U.S. attorney position was pending, she drew an election challenge, easily defeating Century City attorney Mitchell Ezer.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company