Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Local Attorney Richard Allen Honn Named to State Bar Court
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Richard Allen Honn, a Los Angeles business attorney and USC lecturer, was named a State Bar Court hearing judge yesterday by the State Supreme Court, which also reappointed Madge Watai as Review Department judge.
Honn fills the post left vacant when Stanford Reichert was appointed a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner. He said he expects to take office in January and will serve a term expiring Nov. 1, 2004.
He will be one of three judges hearing attorney discipline cases in Los Angeles, joining Robert Talcott, an appointee of Gov. Gray Davis, and a new judge to be appointed by Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson, D-Culver City. Wesson’s appointee will succeed Judge Paul Bacigalupo, who was recently elected to the Los Angeles Superior Court for a term beginning in January.
Honn told the MetNews he was “thrilled” to be joining the State Bar Court and “humbled” to have survived the selection process, in which he was one of 11 finalists interviewed by the evaluating committee chaired by First District Court of Appeal Justice Paul Haerle. There were reportedly more than 100 applicants, including some Los Angeles Superior Court judges.
Honn is currently a partner in a downtown firm, which recently reorganized as Honn Kasai LLP.
The timing of his departure is odd, he quipped, since he “just spent a lot of money on stationary.” But his clients have been supportive, and he is leaving the firm in the “good hands” of Wayne Kasai, whom he has practiced with for the last eight years, he said.
Honn has been in private practice since graduating from Loyola Law School in 1978, and a lecturer in clinical finance and business economics at USC’s Marshall School of Business since 1981. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from UCLA, and has been a volunteer mediator and judge pro tem, and a hearing officer for various hospitals in cases involving physician peer review.
Watai, who did not return a MetNews phone call, has served on the court since 1996, when the Supreme Court appointed her as a hearing judge. She was elevated to the Review Department two years ago.
The 74-year-old jurist practiced in Los Angeles from 1968 to 1978 with her husband, Gardena attorney George Watai. She left the firm when then-Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to the Los Angeles Municipal Court.
She was elevated by Brown to the Superior Court in 1981 and served there until being named to the State Bar Court. Her new term runs to Nov. 1, 2008.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company