Wednesday, July 2, 2003
Judge Robert Sandoval Gets Presiding Judge’s Nod for Superior Court Appellate Division Opening
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Dukes is recommending Judge Robert J. Sandoval for the impending vacancy on the Appellate Division, the MetNews learned yesterday.
Sandoval, 52, would succeed Judge Charles Lee, who has been recommended for elevation to presiding judge of the division. The current presiding judge, William C. Beverly Jr., is retiring in August to work on a history of the city of Los Angeles and do some private judging.
The constitutional authority to appoint appellate division judges in all counties lies with the chief justice of California, but the recommendations of the presiding judge are usually followed. Neither Dukes nor Sandoval could be reached yesterday for comment.
Sandoval grew up in San Gabriel and graduated from California State University-Los Angeles in 1972 as a political science major. He graduated from McGeorge School of Law and began his legal career in 1977 as a Santa Barbara County deputy district attorney.
After a short stint in private practice in Santa Ana, primarily doing juvenile defense work, he moved to the criminal division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office in 1978, remaining there six years and trying more that 100 criminal jury trials.
He was made a Los Angeles Municipal Court commissioner in 1984. He moved through a series of assignments at what was then the Criminal Courts Building, including arraignments, master calendar, preliminary hearings, and jury trials, before being sent to a direct-calendar criminal court in Hollywood.
He made plans to run for a judgeship on that court in 1996, garnering a significant number of endorsements and contributions from fellow judicial officers, but no open seat materialized.
He was named a Superior Court commissioner in 1997, and received the “Outstanding Judicial Officer Award” from the Juvenile Courts Bar Association in November 2000. A month later, he was named a judge of the court by Gov. Gray Davis.
He took several months’ absence from the court last year to undergo treatment for liver cancer, but returned to his duties in September and currently serves as the site judge in Burbank.
Sandoval is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the California Judges Association and the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. He and his partner, who adopted a son in 1993, are featured in the book “Uncommon Heroes,” a 1995 American Library Association Book Award winner profiling more than 100 gay and lesbian Americans.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company