Friday, August 2, 2002
Superior Court Judge Reginald Dunn Slates Retirement
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Reginald A. Dunn said yesterday he will retire by the end of October and take up private judging.
Dunn, 71, said he would not wait for the expiration of his term in January. Deputy District Attorney Richard Walmark and Workers’ Compensation Judge John Gutierrez are vying for his seat in the November election.
Dunn told the MetNews he expects to join ADR Services.
“The worst thing you can do in a job like this is stay around too long,” he commented. “I think I’m still on top of my game,” he added, and said he was looking forward to seeking out a niche in private dispute resolution, as well as spending more time with his children and grandchildren “and smelling a few roses.”
Dunn equivocated last year about whether to run for a new term.
He told acquaintances he wasn’t running, leading others to file for the race. He then filed a declaration of intent to run on the last possible day, but ultimately pulled out rather than run in what would have been his third judicial contest.
He first ran in 1988, when he was chief of criminal operations for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, but lost to then-Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Malcolm Mackey. He got his judgeship a year later, by appointment of then-Gov. George Deukmejian.
He retained his seat without opposition a year later, but was challenged in 1996 by Los Angeles attorney Kenneth Griffin, who had lost a civil case in Dunn’s courtroom a few years earlier.
Dunn defended his record, got a “well qualified” rating from the County Bar, hired Cerrell Associates Inc. as his campaign consultant, and won over 70 percent of the vote.
The New York City native came to Los Angeles after serving a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy and working for the Ohio Youth Commission as a “cottage parent” in a home for delinquent minors. He worked as a California Youth Authority probation officer while attending Loyola Law School, from which he graduated in 1970, then accepted a position as a deputy public defender.
He switched gears in 1977, when he joined the City Attorney’s Office. He worked as a criminal trial deputy, then as a special assistant to then-City Attorney Burt Pines, until 1981. He moved over to the Department of Water Power, which he represented in inverse condemnation, toxic waste and personal injury litigation, then went back to the criminal unit as chief in 1984.
His brother, the late G. William Dunn, was a Long Beach Municipal Court judge from 1979 to 2000.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company