A report on where

Ninth Circuit Senior Judge Harry Pregerson Dies…Trial of State Bar Charges Against Carmen Trutanich Postponed…Brown Elevates Lui to PJ Post

Judges, Lawyers Under Scrutiny

Carmen Trutanich
Former Los Angeles City Attorney

A trial in the disciplinary matter of Los Angeles’s former city attorney, set to get underway Nov. 13, has been continued, pursuant to a stipulation. A pretrial conference before State Bar Court Judge Yvette Roland is scheduled for Monday.
Trutanich, as the deputy district attorney prosecuting a capital murder case in 1985 and 1986, put on a witness who testified that she witnessed defendant fatally shooting a victim from a van. The witness said she was in a station wagon being driven by one Jean Rivers.
The Office of Chief Trial Counsel is alleging that when he “knew, or was grossly negligent in not knowing” that the testimony was false insofar as the identity of the driver, whose actual name was Arlene McKay. In failing to divulge the driver’s true identity, as well as her home address, Trutanich breached his constitutional obligation of making disclosures to the defense of potentially exculpatory evidence, as required by Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, it is asserted.
The initial notice of charges was dated Feb. 9. An amended notice was filed July 10.
The current charges are that Trutanich:
•By committing a Brady violation, ran afoul of Business and Professions Code §6068(a) (duty to “support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state”). •Suppressed evidence “in willful violation of Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 5-220.”
•Committed “an act(s) of moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption in willful violation of Business and Professions Code, section 6106.”
•By “intentionally or with gross negligence” failing to correct the testimony, “committed an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption in willful violation of Business and Professions Code §6106.”
Trutanich—who served as city attorney from 2009-13 and is now at Tucker Ellis LLP in Los Angeles—is also charged with allowing a police detective to testify falsely at a pretrial hearing in the same murder case. Trutanich has repeatedly denied the charges.
Trutanich is now an attorney with Tucker Ellis LLP.
He is represented by ethics lawyer David C. Carr of San Diego. The Office of Chief Trial Counsel has three lawyers assigned to the case: Senior Trial Counsel Eli D. Morgenstern, co-counsel Edward 0. Lear and deputy co-counsel Caitlin Marie Elen.
Trutanich has reportedly unsuccessfully sought appointment to the Los Angeles Superior Court and the San Diego Superior Court.

Judiciary: Vacancies, Appointments

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

There are five vacancies on the 29-judge court.
Judge Harry Pregerson took senior status Dec. 11, 2015 and died last Saturday, at the age of 94.
Judge Barry Silverman took senior status Oct. 11; and Judges Richard Clifton and Diarmuid O’Scannlain took senior status Dec. 31. Senior Circuit Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. died April 17.
There is one nominee. Ryan Wesley Bounds, assistant United States attorney for the District of Oregon, was nominated last month to assume the seat vacated by O’Scannlain.


There are six vacancies. Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell died Oct. 8 at the age of 52. Judge Audrey B. Collins retired Aug. 1, 2014 to join the state Court of Appeal; Judge Margaret Morrow took senior status Oct. 29, 2015 and subsequently left the bench to become president and chief executive of Public Counsel; Judge Dean Pregerson (son of the late Judge Harry Pregerson) took senior status Jan. 28 of last year; Judge Christina A. Snyder took senior status Nov. 23 of last year; and Judge George H. King retired Jan. 6.
There are no nominees to replace them.

Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar retired three months ago. No replacement has been named.

Second District

Presiding Justice Paul A. Turner of Div. Five died May 18. There is a prior vacancy in that division, due to the retirement of Justice Richard Mosk, who left the court March 30 of last year and died 18 days later.
There a vacancy in Div. Two, due to the Jan. 31 retirement of Presiding Justice Roger Boren. Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. on Nov. 2 nominated Justice Elwood Lui of Div. One to succeed Boren. A confirmation hearing is set for Dec. 14. Contrary to custom, it will be held in San Francisco, rather than at the Ronald Reagan Building in Los Angeles. The Commission on Judicial Appointments will be comprised of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and this district’s senior presiding justice, Arthur Gilbert.
A vacancy exists in Div. Three due to the Oct. 5, 2015 retirement of Justice Patti S. Kitching. Brown has nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Anne H. Egerton to replace her. Her confirmation hearing is slated for the same day, and before the same panel, as Lui’s.
No nomination has been made to the vacancy in Div. Seven, due to the retirement of Justice Fred Woods on March 31, 2015.
Among those whose names have been sent to the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation as possible appointees to the court are Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Gail Ruderman Feuer, Rita Miller, Richard Rico, Helen Bendix, Ann Jones, and Sanjay Kumar; Los Angeles attorneys Kent Richland and Bradley Phillips; Ventura Superior Court Judge Tari Cody; and Southwestern Law School Professor Christopher Cameron.
Eight judges are sitting pro tem. All are members of the Los Angeles Superior Court except Allan Goodman, a retired member of that court, and Kim Dunning, a member of the trial bench in Orange County.
Judge Natalie P. Stone’s stint ends today; Judge Anthony Mohr’s tour of duty ends Dec. 31; Judge Michael J. Raphael will remain until Jan. 19.
The following judges are assigned to the Court of Appeal until Jan. 31: Goodman, Dunning, Halim Dhanidina, Brian S. Currey, and Kerry R. Bensinger.

Fourth District

Justice Alex McDonald of Div. One died Sept. 8. Brown has named San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Guerrero to replace him. Her confirmation hearing is also set for Dec. 14. The senior presiding justice of the Fourth District, Manuel A. Ramirez, of Div. Two, will participate with Cantil-Sakauye and Becerra.

Seats in other districts are filled.

Los Angeles Superior Court

Brown on Nov. 2 made 10 appointments to Los Angeles Superior Court seats. They are:
•Rashida A. Adams, 39, a senior research court attorney at this district’s Court of Appeal since 2009, filling a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
•Brett Bianco, 49, court counsel to the Los Angeles Superior Court since 2001. Also filling a converted commissioner position.
•Bruce E. Brodie, 66, chief deputy alternate public defender since 2012, filling a converted commissioner position.
•Steve Cochran, 60, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP since 1991, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of John L. Henning.
•Nicole M. Heeseman, 44, a commissioner since 2014, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John P. Doyle.
•Wesley L. Hsu, 46, a deputy U.S. Attorney for Central District of California since 2017, filling a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissionership.
•Martha A. Matthews, 54, directing attorney of the Children’s Rights Project at Public Counsel since 2011, filling a former commissioner.
•Victor G. Viramontes, 44, national senior counsel at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund since 2010, filling the vacancy created by the death of Ralph W. Dau.
•Kerry L. White, 60, a head deputy district attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office since 2003, where he was a deputy district attorney from 1984-2003, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joanne B. O’Donnell.
•Amy C. Yerkey, 43, of a commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2015, fills a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position.
Judge David S. Wesley—a former presiding judge—retired effective Aug. 31. Three other judges retired recently: Leland H. Tipton on July 31, Lloyd Nash on March 3, and David Minning on April 6.
Vacancies that remain to be filled from last year were created by the retirements of Judges Soussan Bruguera Dec. 15, Sally Meloch Dec. 10, Steven Van Sicklen Nov. 1.
Among those whose names have been sent by the governor to the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation as possible appointees to the court are West Los Angeles attorney Mark DiMaria; Deputy Alternate Public Defender Tracee May-Brewster; Altadena attorney Cynthia Cannady; Deputy Public Defenders Jose Colon and Lisa Brackelmanns; Bakersfield attorney Bernard Barrman Jr.; Century City attorney Jonathan Rosenbloom; Deputy District Attorneys Candace Foy Smith, and Leonard Torrealba; retired Deputy District Attorney Brentford Ferreira; Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney—and former city attorney candidate—Michael Amerian; attorney/mediator Michael Diliberto; former Superior Court Referee Stephanie Davis; Los Angeles attorneys Angel Navarro and Lisa Mattern; Beverly Hills attorney Edward Tabash; South Pasadena attorney Mark S. Priver; Court of Appeal staff attorney Kenneth E. Roberson; Superior Court Commissioners Karin Borzakian, Timothy Martella, Pamela Davis, Collette Serio, Marilyn Kading Martinez, Robert Kawahara, Alan Rubin, Emma Castro, Jane Godfrey, Sharon Lewis Miller, Mark Zuckman, Dennis Mulcahy, Terry Truong and Kenneth Taylor; State Bar Court Judge Richard Honn; Deputy County Counsel Julie Ann Silva; and Glendale attorney Kenneth Wright.




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