1 CRIMINAL JUSTICE WALL OF FAME In Honor of Los Angeles Judges and Lawyers Whose Outstanding Conduct and Professionalism Made Significant Contributions to the Criminal Justice System During Their Lifetimes JUDGES CRIMINAL DEFENSE COUNSEL PROSECUTORS John F. Aiso Harold Ackerman Kathryn J. McDonald Thomas L. Ambrose William Tell Aggeler Hayes F. Mead John G. Barnes Joseph A. Ball William B. Neeley Earl C. Broady Betty T. Berry James P. Nunnelley Georgia P. Bullock Richard S. Buckley Earl Rogers David Coleman Grant B. Cooper Gladys Towles Root Lewis Drucker Ellery E. Cuff Joseph M. Rosen Charles W. Fricke Charles R. English Frank Rothman Benjamin I. Hayes Jerry Giesler Joseph Scott Volney E. Howard Richard B. Goethals Max Solomon Edwin L. Jefferson Jack W. Hardy Maxwell M. Spencer Bernard Lawler Mark J. Horton John A. Tolmasov Agustin Olvera Clarence S. Hunt Frederick H. Vercoe Kathleen Parker Gerald D. Lenoir Stephen M. White Philip H. Richards Noel B. Martin A. L. Wirin Gordon S. Ringer Al Matthews Walton J. Wood William L. Ritzi Ygnacio Sepulveda Thomas P. White David W. Williams Donald R. Wright Adolph Alexander Joseph P. Busch Joseph L. Carr John F. Dockweiler Thomas P. Finnerty David N. Fitts Clara Shortridge Foltz W. Joseph Ford John D. Fredericks William E. James George W. Kemp Edward J.C. Kewen J. Miller Leavy Charles Matthews S. Ernest Roll Ted C. Sten Jere J. Sullivan Cameron E. Thom Fred N. Whichello Thomas L. Woolwine Evelle J. Younger
2 CRIMINAL JUSTICE WALL OF FAME In Honor of Los Angeles Judges and Lawyers Whose Outstanding Conduct and Professionalism Made Significant Contributions to the Criminal Justice System During Their Lifetimes JUDGES CRIMINAL DEFENSE COUNSEL PROSECUTORS M. Ross Bigelow Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. James G. Kolts Mildred L. Lillie Albert C. S. Ramsey Bonnie Lee Martin Richard A. Walton Nancy Belcher Watson
3 Judges John F. Aiso ( ) Justice Aiso was born on December 14, He graduated from Harvard Law School in Justice Aiso was in private practice in New York and Los Angeles between 1935 and He received a gubernatorial appointment to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in He was subsequently elevated to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Justice Aiso was appointed tot he California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District on November 4, In World War II, he served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. He was the highest ranking Japanese American in World War II. He was awarded the Legion of Merit by President Lyndon Johnson for his World War II Service. Justice Aiso was inducted into the Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame in Justice Aiso was an outstanding lawyer, a superlative military officer, and a very distinguished jurist. Thomas L. Ambrose ( ) Born in Dexter, Maine on September 28, 1872, Thomas Lyford Ambrose came to California in He was elected to the State Assembly in Judge Ambrose served in the legislature from 1913 to 1917, and again in Judge Ambrose received his LL.B. from USC in After he was admitted to the Bar, he continued to serve in the Legislature. In 1919, Judge Ambrose served on the Civil Service Commission. From 1923 through 1926, Judge Ambrose served as a Justice of the Peace for the Los Angeles Township Court. Subsequently Judge Ambrose was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court. He served one term as Presiding Judge. Judge Ambrose was elected to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in He retired from that court in Judge Ambrose was respected for his demeanor and compassion by the criminal defense bar. He presided over many notorious cases. The most publicized was the trial of Earl Kynette a police lieutenant accused of bombing an investigator s car, and the home of Clifford Clinton, a political reformer and restaurant owner. John G. Barnes ( ) Judge Barnes was born in Sydney Australia. He received his law degree from USC in 1923 and was admitted to practice the same year. From 1929 to 1952 Judge Barnes worked at the District Attorney s office in Los Angeles, first as a deputy District Attorney, and then as Assistant District Attorney. As a prosecutor, his famous cases included the trial of Louise Peete, who was sent to the gas chamber for killing the wife of an aged and wealthy friend. Judge Barnes was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1952, and elevated to Los Angeles County Superior Court in Judge Barnes was admired for his judicial demeanor and balanced treatment of counsel on both sides.
4 Earl C. Broady ( ) I not only was born across the tracks. I was born on the wrong side of that place across the tracks, Judge Broady once said. A native of Los Angeles, Judge Broady began working as a janitor at age thirteen. He also worked as a mail carrier, was an accomplished pianist, and a band leader. He is also remembered as a generous philanthropist. He began his career in criminal law by joining the Los Angeles Police Department in He was one of the first African American police officers to be elevated to the rank of Lieutenant and Watch Commander. Judge Broady attended night classes at USC and the Los Angeles College of Law. He left the LAPD in 1944 to practice law. He was later elected President of the Criminal Courts Bar Association of Los Angeles. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Broady served as Chief Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. He was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court on June 7, He retired in Judge Broady was a member of the McCone Commission which studied the causes behind the Watts riots. Georgia P. Bullock ( ) Georgia Bullock was born in Chicago in She decided to become an attorney after her husband passed away even though she did not need to earn an income. She graduated from USC law school in Shortly after graduation, Judge Bullock served as a special referee without pay for three years for the Women s Court a section of the Police Court for women s cases. While serving as a referee, she mastered the challenge of serving private practice clients while meeting her responsibilities as a single mom. In 1917, she joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney s Office. In 1924, she was appointed as a judge on the Woman s Court. Two years later, the Woman s Court was absorbed into the Los Angeles Municipal Court. As a result, she became a municipal court judge. Judge Bullock was appointed to the Superior Court in She was the first woman to serve as a Superior Court Judge in California. She was also the first female member of the Los Angeles Bar Association. David Coleman ( ) Born in Waco Texas on January 02, 1898, David Coleman served in World War I. He subsequently earned his law degree from Harvard. Before becoming an attorney, Judge Coleman worked on the editorial staff of the Salt Lake Tribune, the Salt Lake Telegram, San Francisco Bulletin and Los Angeles Examiner. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1928 and specialized in criminal law. Judge Coleman served as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney from 1929 to He prosecuted many high profile cases while serving in that office. Judge Coleman was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in He was elevated to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Judge Coleman served as president of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Council, and worked with countless civic groups, charities and institutions. Judge Coleman presided over the celebrated Finch-Tregoff trial. Judge Coleman was known for his humanity and compassion. For example, in 1948, he accepted a ten-pound jar of honey for a $5 traffic fine when the defendant said she had no money.
5 Lewis Drucker ( ) Judge Drucker is remembered for his considerable talents as a jurist and dedication to public service. Before attending law school, Judge Drucker served as Deputy Assessor for Los Angeles County, and subsequently as Deputy Clerk for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. He studied law while working as a clerk. After graduating from Southwestern University School of Law in 1932, Judge Drucker continued to work as a clerk and later served as a commissioner for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Twenty-eight years later, he became presiding judge of the Criminal Court the same court where he had worked as a clerk. Before taking the bench, Judge Drucker served on Governor Earl Warren s staff. He was appointed as the first Chairman of the California Adult Authority and served as Chairman of the American Prison Association s classified and casework committee. He was a California Deputy Attorney General from 1940 to During World War II, he served as Civilian Chairman of the Special Army Clemency Board. Judge Drucker was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in He was elevated to Superior Court in 1953 Charles W. Fricke ( ) Charles W. Fricke moved to Los Angeles in 1917 after a distinguished career in his hometown of Milwaukee Wisconsin. A graduate of New York University Law School, he served as a Deputy District Attorney and as a municipal judge in Wisconsin. In 1927 he was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles. He earned a reputation as one of the leading authorities on California Criminal law. As a prosecutor, his notable cases included the conviction of Clara Tiger Woman Phillips. Judge Fricke served as a Superior Court Judge from 1927 to He presided over the trials of Alexander Pantages, Joe Jeffers, Robert Rattlesnake James, Caryl the red-light bandit Chessman, and Barbara Graham. Judge Fricke also distinguished himself as a scholar and published several popular and well regarded textbooks entitled California Criminal Law, California Criminal Evidence, and California Criminal Procedure. He served as President of the Southern California Academy of Criminology. He also lectured at Loyola University and the Los Angeles Police Academy. Benjamin I. Hayes ( ) When Benjamin Hayes tied his mule to the pillar of the Bella Union Hotel in 1850, the practice of law by Americans began in Los Angeles. He is now best known as a prodigious chronicler of early Californian history. Upon arrival, Judge Hayes observed there seemed little hope for a lawyer. Rents were high, rooms difficult to get.... Boarding at the two public houses was from $7 to $10 per week; the tailor charged $35 for making a coat, and $8 for pantaloons. The monte banks were everywhere thronged. He was born in Baltimore, attended William and Mary College. He was admitted to practice in Maryland prior to his arrival in California. Because he spoke Spanish,
6 Judge Hayes quickly became acquainted with the leading figures in Los Angeles and was invaluable as a translator of state laws. He was elected county attorney in 1850 but resigned the following year. In 1852, he was elected as a judge of the first judicial district of California, which included Los Angeles and San Diego counties. He was the first judge to hold court at the old clock tower building on Temple Street. Although he was a Southern sympathizer, his notable cases include a decision preventing a man from transporting slaves to Texas because by prohibiting slavery, the California Constitution emancipated all slaves brought into the State. Judge Hayes also served for a year as a district attorney in San Diego and then as state assemblyman in Volney E. Howard ( ) Volney Howard was born in Norridgewock, Maine. He was a member of the Mississippi State House of Representatives in 1836, and later a member of Congress from Texas. He also practiced law in Sacramento and San Francisco where he opposed the local vigilance committee. In Los Angeles he served as District Attorney from 1863 to1 867 and again from 1873 to Judge Howard was a charter member and vice president of the Los Angeles Bar Association, founded in Before taking the bench he was known as one of the most reliable and best liked attorneys in Los Angeles. At a time when the City was experiencing its most unruly years, he had an impeccable reputation as a judge. He participated in the State Constitutional Convention of 1878 to 1879 that reorganized the State s judicial branch. When the first Los Angeles Superior Court was created in 1879, Volney Howard was one of two judges elected to serve on that Court. Edwin L. Jefferson ( ) Judge Jefferson was born in Coffeeville, Mississippi on May 22, While completing his undergraduate education and law degree at USC, he worked as a campus janitor and as a steward on the Santa Catalina Island steamers. From 1931 to 1941, he was in private practice. Judge Jefferson was known for his fairness and impartiality. Appointed to Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1941 and elevated to Los Angles County Superior Court in 1949, Judge Jefferson was the first African American judge to serve at that level outside New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He later became the first African American appellate court justice in the State of California, as an Associate Justice Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District. He served more than thirty-four years on the court. Bernard Lawler ( ) A native of Los Angeles, Judge Lawler attended the Universities of Santa Clara, UCLA, Creighton, and received his law degree from Georgetown University. He was admitted to the bar in 1936 and started out in private practice. Prior to World War II, he worked for the City Attorney s Office in El Segundo. From 1942 to 1947 he worked as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was appointed to Los Angeles Municipal Court in Judge
7 Lawler was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1961 where he served until he retired in Agustín Olvera ( ) Agustín Olvera was born in Mexico in He arrived in Alta California in Judge Olvera was an eminent figure in the early history of Los Angeles. Judge Olvera held various offices in the Mexican government before California became part of the United States of America. He helped to bridge the gap between the governance of California by Mexico and the United States. As a Mexican Commissioner, he was one of the officials who signed the Treaty of Cahuenga ending the war with Mexico. United States Military Governor Riley appointed Olvera to be Judge of the First Instance in Augustin Olvera was subsequently elected the first County judge of the newly formed County of Los Angeles in He relied upon a bilingual sheriff to translate the proceedings from Spanish because Judge Olvera did not speak English when he first took the bench. Along with his legal duties, Judge Olvera was also responsible, with his two associate justices, for administering County business until the establishment of the Board of Supervisors two years later. When his term expired in 1853, he entered the private practice of law. In 1877, the Los Angeles City Council changed the name of Wine Street to Olvera Street in his honor. He held the first County trials in his home near the historic Olvera Street marketplace and plaza. Kathleen Parker ( ) At a time when female attorneys were still quite rare, the combination of her dignified demeanor and sense of humor helped make her a role model for many women entering the profession in the '50s, '60s and '70s. Judge Parker was the first woman ever elected to the Los Angeles Superior Court. She was born in 1905 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from Los Angeles High School in Her first job was as a secretary. Years later, she took some law courses at Southwestern University Law School with the idea of becoming a legal secretary. After taking a secretarial job at a law firm, she decided to become an attorney, and received a law degree from Pacific Coast University. She was admitted to the State Bar in She returned to the same firm as a lawyer. In 1946, she became a hearing examiner for the Immigration & Naturalization Service. She also served as a research attorney for the California Court of Appeal. Before taking the bench, Judge Parker returned to private practice with the same firm. Appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1957, she heard mostly criminal matters and developed a reputation as an outstanding jurist. In 1962, her friends encouraged her to run for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She was opposed by thirteen men. She won the election. Judge Parker heard some notorious cases, including the trial of Deputy District Attorney Jack Kirschke, who was accused of murdering his wife and her lover. Judge Parker also presided over the trial of Black Panther leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, and a murder trial involving a San Jose cheese factory owner with alleged Mafia ties. Judge Parker retired in As a retired judge she continued to preside on trials for more than fifteen years, pursuant to successive ninety-day assignments. In 1986, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise paid tribute to Judge Parker as "Person of the Year" in recognition of her thirty years of outstanding judicial service
8 Philip H. Richards ( ) A native of Riverside County, Judge Richards graduated from Los Angeles High School and attended Pomona College before receiving his undergraduate degree from Yale University in After serving in the army during World War I, he entered Stanford Law School. He graduated in He was in private practice until he was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court bench in From 1964 through 1979, he was the consultant to the Los Angeles County Superior Court committee that drafted criminal law instructions (CALJIC) and civil law instructions (BAJI). His notable decisions included the approval of the city's plan to renovate the Bunker Hill area which lead to the development of the skyscrapers that now dominate the Los Angeles skyline. Judge Richards was also President of the Los Angeles Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the University Club of Los Angeles. Cordon S. Ringer ( ) Born in New York, Judge Ringer received a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's degree in french literature from UCLA before going on to law school at USC. He served as a law clerk for the Los Angles Superior Court and the California Court of Appeal. In the sixties, he served as a Deputy Attorney General. He was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Los Angeles office from 1967 to After serving for three years as director of a joint legislative committee to revise the California Penal Code, Judge Ringer was appointed to Los Angeles Superior Court by Governor Ronald Reagan in Judge Ringer heard some notable cases, including the last of the Manson family cases (the third trial of Leslie Van Houton) and the "Watergate West" trial concerning the break-in at the office of former Department of Defense aide Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. In the Ellsberg case, Judge Ringer ruled that President Richard Nixon could be subpoenaed as a witness. Among his colleagues, and those who appeared before him, Judge Ringer was known for his intellect, patience, and outstanding judicial temperament. William L. Ritzi ( ) Born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Judge Ritzi received his law degree from USC in After graduating, Ritzi worked as a law clerk for United States District Court Judge Paul J. McCormick. He later served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1944 to He subsequently worked as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney for nearly twenty years, and then as the assistant district attorney from 1966 to He was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Governor Reagan in Judge Ritzi was known for his even keel, informal style, and rapport with attorneys. He once said that he assumed that every lawyer is a gentlemen and tried to treat each that way. Judge Ritzi also taught courses at UCLA, Arizona State College, and at USC s Delinquency Control Institute. Judge Ritzi was also active in civic organizations.
9 Ygnacio Sepulveda ( ) In 1879, along with Judge Volney Howard, Judge Sepulveda was elected as one of the first two judges for Los Angeles Superior Court. Born in Los Angeles, Judge Sepulveda was admitted to the bar in He represented the second district in the California State Assembly from 1863 to His career also included two terms as Charges d Affaires for the United States in Mexico City. He also served as the Wells Fargo Representative in Mexico City from 1884 to Prior to the creation of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Sepulveda sat on the bench as a County Judge for the County of Los Angeles from 1870 to He then served on the California District Court for Los Angeles a judicial body that disappeared with the creation of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Judge Sepulveda was greatly admired by his peers and the citizens of Los Angeles. Thomas P. White ( ) A native of Los Angeles, Justice White became the youngest judge in the United States when he was named to the Los Angeles Police Court in Justice White graduated from USC and was admitted to the bar in He left that post to begin a successful career in private practice in He was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Justice White was elevated to the California Court of Appeal in From 1949 to 1959 he served as Presiding Justice of the Second Appellate District. With his appointment to the California Supreme Court in 1959, Justice White served on every level of courts in the state judicial system. He retired from the California Supreme Court in Known as a champion of individual rights and liberties, Justice White won national recognition for establishing the Women s Court in He also initiated the probation system in Los Angeles County. David W. Williams ( ) Judge Williams was a native of Atlanta but grew up in South-Central Los Angeles. He worked his way through UCLA and the law school at USC by mopping bank floors and running errands at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. He was admitted to the California bar in In the 1940s, he joined a small group of African American attorneys who worked with Thurgood Marshall, and the NAACP, to fight the restrictive covenants barring minorities from residing in many parts of Los Angeles. The covenants were declared unconstitutional in Judge Williams was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1956 and to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in He was appointed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Judge Williams was the first African American federal judge west of the Mississippi. He took on difficult assignments as a judge. For example, he presided over roughly 4,000 criminal cases stemming from the 1965 Watts riots. He took senior status in 1989 but maintained a heavy caseload, and continued to review cases in his sickbed up until his death.
10 Donald IL Wright ( ) Chief Justice Donald Wright served at every level of the California state judiciary. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1932, Chief Justice Wright worked in private practice in Pasadena for twenty years. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer in the Army Air Corps at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1953 he was appointed to the Pasadena Municipal Court. He served as a judge on Los Angeles Superior Court from 1961 to Governor Reagan appointed him to the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District in Two years later, Governor Reagan elevated Justice Wright to the California Supreme Court where he served as Chief Justice from 1970 to Under Chief Justice Wright s leadership the Court expanded rules regarding the exclusion of unlawfully obtained evidence in criminal cases. It barred police from spying on people in public restrooms and from attending university classes to gather information on dissidents. He was known as a guardian of judicial independence. Associate Justice Stanley Mosk would later remark that in all his years on the bench he had known no more genuine, 18-carat human being beneath a judicial robe than Donald R. Wright.
11 Criminal Defense Counsel Harold Ackerman ( ) Born in Melfort, province of Saskatchewan, Canada, Judge Ackerman became a United States citizen in He served with the 26th Infantry Division of the United States Army during World War II. After the war, he earned a B.A. and law degree from U.C. Berkeley. He graduated from Boalt Hall in From 1950 through 1965 he worked in private practice as a criminal defense attorney, later becoming an expert in death penalty trials and appeals, as well as habeas corpus proceedings. He also taught classes in criminal procedure. After serving as a Chief Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles, he was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in He was elected to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Judge Ackerman was also a co-founder and served as President of the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association. William Tell Aggeler ( ) A native of Downieville, California, Judge Aggeler earned an LL.B. from the University of Michigan in He received a J.D. in 1925, and an LL.D in 1930 from Loyola University. He served as Chief Deputy Public Defender from , and Public Defender from 1921 to 1927, Judge Aggeler was an important figure in the early development of the pubic defender s office. In 1927 he became a Superior Court judge. He was associated as a faculty member at Loyola Law School from its very beginning. Later he was described by fellow jurists as a man of ideal temperament to preside over criminal trials. Judge Aggeler was known for a fine appreciation of social justice and he never yielded to expediency at the expense of his principles. He was praised by his peers as an exemplar on the bench, in practice and as a professor. His son, Judge Leo Aggeler, served as a Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court. Another son, Judge Mervyn Aggeler, served as a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Joseph A. Ball ( ) Mr. Ball graduated from law school at USC. He was awarded the Order of the Coif. He passed the California State Bar examination in After working for the Los Angeles District Attorney s Office, he entered into private practice in Long Beach. Mr. Ball once refused to defend a wealthy man by saying I value my reputation as a lawyer more than you as a client. He turned down another case by saying I can get another client but I can t get another reputation. He was President of the State Bar of California, as well as the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the recipient of countless awards and honors across the nation. He taught Criminal Procedure for sixteen years at USC s law school. It was the most popular course. He served on the Warren Commission which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy. Mr. Ball also served on the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules for Criminal Procedure, the California Law Revision Commission, and the Committee to Revise the
12 Constitution of California. In 73 years as a courtroom lawyer, he tried over 500 cases. In an appellate opinion discussing the poor use of language, Justice Gerald Brown remarked not everyone can be a Daniel Webster, a William Jennings Bryan or a Joseph A. Ball. Joseph Ball represented some of the most loved and most hated people in society. His clients included wealthy oil sheiks and prominent Watergate figures. He took up unpopular causes, sometimes because no one else would. At the same time, he attracted the clients everyone else wanted because of his universal reputation for unimpeachable integrity. Betty T. Berry ( ) Betty T. Berry was raised in New York. She joined the nation s first Public Defender s Office in Los Angeles about the time it started in She was the first woman to serve in a public defender s office in the United States. Ms. Berry graduated from the Southwestern University School of Law in She was its first graduate. In 1933, she received a Ph.D. degree from USC. In 1933, Ms. Berry was appointed president of the Girls Collegiate School in Glendora, California. Ms. Berry was highly respected in her community for her many accomplishments including her prowess as a concert pianist. Richard S. Buckley ( ) Richard S. Buckley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in He received his law degree from the USC School of Law in He began his service in World War II as a private. He was promoted to the rank of Captain. He was also awarded the Bronze Star for bravery. He was appointed to the Office of the Public Defender by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in He served in that position until he retired in He demonstrated his independence as an advocate for his clients by filing a civil action against the County Probation Department to prevent it from sending juveniles to the state prison in Chino due to the overcrowded conditions in Juvenile Hall. He also filed an action against the Los Angeles Superior Court, challenging the under-representation of minorities in the jury pool. Grant B. Cooper ( ) Born in New York, Grant B. Cooper dropped out of high school and did odd jobs, finally signing on with an oil tanker that brought him to California. After a bout of seasickness, he accepted a job offer from a lawyer uncle. He subsequently enrolled in the Southwestern University School of Law. Mr. Cooper graduated in 1926 and passed the bar in Mr. Cooper later served as Chief Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. As a prosecutor, he helped Mayor Fletcher Bowron rid the city of a gambling syndicate. He also persuaded juries to recommend the death penalty in several cases. In later years, however, he voiced his personal opposition to capital punishment. He was a founding member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Vice-President of the California State Bar. As a defense attorney, his clients included Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, Dr. R. Bernard Finch, and Judge Lloyd Davis. Judge Davis was acquitted by reason of insanity for stabbing his wife.
13 Ellery E. Cuff ( ) A native son, Ellery E. Cuff did his undergraduate study at St. Mary s. He received his law degree at USC in He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army. He joined the Los Angeles County Probation Department in He transferred to the Los Angeles County Public Defender s Office as a deputy public defender in He was counsel in cases ordinary and infamous, like that of mass murderess Louise Peete. As a trial lawyer he was always courteous, but tough. He was given a two-year leave of absence in 1948 to serve Governor Earl Warren as the Research Counsel for the Criminal & Procedural Commission. Upon his return to the Public Defender s Officer, he was appointed the fifth Public Defender of Los Angeles County. He served in that capacity until his retirement in As Public Defender he demonstrated exceptional leadership and set the tone of the office for ethical and zealous defense. In reference to the office he held, Mr. Cuff said, Justice to each individual, regardless of financial conditions, race, creed or color, is the concern of all the public, and it is the duty of the State, rather than private individuals or agencies, to safeguard the rights of an accused person. Charles R. English ( ) Charles English graduated from UCLA Law School in 1966 and joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender s Office, where he remained until In 1998, he was named Outstanding Defense Attorney by the Los Angeles Bar Association. His clients included actors Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, James Woods, and Robert Downey Jr., rock musician Tommy Lee, and Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Hernandez. In 1994, Mr. English persuaded a Los Angeles Municipal Court judge to drop vandalism and assault charges against Jack Nicholson. In Mr. Baldwin s case, Mr. English won the film star s acquittal on battery charges, even though the actor admitted to pushing and kicking a photographer attempting to videotape Baldwin, his wife Kim Bassinger, and their newborn baby. He was also proud of keeping many cases out of court, and the newspapers, altogether. Fellow defense attorney Leslie Abramson once said about him: He was utterly dedicated to his clients, and nobody could make a deal like he could; Charlie could charm the bark off a tree and the bigger and meaner the tree, the faster the chips flew. Jerry Giesler ( ) Born in Iowa, Harold Lee Jerry Giesler arrived in Los Angeles in 1907 and entered law school at USC the next year. He dropped out of law school to finish his studies in the office of renowned attorney Earl Rogers. In 1910 he was admitted to the bar. Mr. Giesler cut his teeth by assisting Rogers in the defense of the nation s most well known criminal defense attorney, Clarence Darrow. He became famous as a result of his defense of theater mogul Alexander Pantages. Errol Flynn relied on him to win acquittal on charges of statutory rape. His other famous clients included actor Robert Mitchum, and director Busby Berkeley. After the first two trials for murder ended in hung juries, Berkeley was acquitted in a third. He also won acquittal for Lili St. Cyr, Charlie Chaplin, gangster Bugsy Siegel, producer Walter Wanger accused of shooting an agent who was paying too much attention
14 to Wanger's wife, actress Joan Bennett and Los Angeles County District Attorney Buron Fitts. For more than half a century, Jerry Giesler was a household name across the country. He was the first President of the Criminal Courts Bar Association in Los Angeles. Richard B. Goethals ( ) Richard B. Goethals was born in Riverside, California. He graduated from the College of the Pacific in 1944, receiving his diploma and his commission as a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps at the same time. He served during World War II. He completed his education at the USC School of Law. He joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender s Office as a trial attorney, learning trial work as the eighth lawyer in the office. After nine years, he joined the firm of Schell & Delamer and began a civil law practice. He left after twenty-five years, having reached the position of managing partner, to start his own firm in Pasadena. He continued to practice for most of the remainder of his life doing arbitration and mediation work in his latter years. Mr. Goethals was a true believe in the American justice system, and he was proud to be a lawyer. He trained many young lawyers to advocate vigorously in court, yet respect the other participants in the judicial system and treat them with dignity inside and outside of the courtroom. Jack W. Hardy ( ) Born in Chicago on April 27, 1904, Jack W. Hardy received his BA and JD from Stanford. He was admitted to the California State Bar in He served as Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy during World War II. Mr. Hardy s memorable trials included the successful defense of a woman who admittedly struck her abusive husband in the head twenty-three times with a meat cleaver. The incident began when the husband arrived at home with another woman and his wife chased them away with a wrench. When the husband returned and began beating his wife, the couple s handyman shot him twice before the gun jammed. The wife finished him off with the cleaver. Gladys Towles Root successfully defended the handyman. He defended Barbara Graham in her murder trial pro bono. He dedicated many months to preparing her defense and the trial of her case. As a result, he could not represent clients who sought to retain him. His financial ruin for accepting an appointment to represent an indigent induced the California Legislature to enact laws that provide compensation for court appointed lawyers. Mr. Hardy served as trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association from 1933 to Mark J. Horton ( ) Born in California, Mark J. Horton received his undergraduate and law school education at USC. He worked as a production time keeper in an aluminum factory while attending school. He served in the United States Army during World War II as a Sergeant-Major. Admitted to the California State Bar in 1953, he joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender s Office in His quick study and his extraordinary grasp of the justice system
15 made him a superb trainer. Several generations of attorneys owe their informed entry into the fray to Mr. Horton s tutelage. His extensive knowledge of the working of the courts provided the base for Mr. Horton to institute coordinated procedures for full attorney coverage of the courts. He was Chief Public Defender, Central Municipal Court Trials, when he died at the early age of fifty-one. Clarence S. Hunt ( ) Born on July 24, 1904, Clarence Hunt graduated from USC s law school in He started his career as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney s Office. Within six months he handled felony jury trials on his own. After his close friend Joseph Ball left his position as Deputy District Attorney to enter private practice, Mr. Hunt and Mr. Ball frequently found themselves opposite each other on the same case. In 1943, Mr. Hunt left the District Attorney s Office and entered the United States Navy where he became an intelligence officer. At the end of World War II, he joined Joseph Ball in private practice. Like Mr. Ball, he was known for his tremendous skill and civility. He served as Vice-President and as a member of the Board of Governors for the State Bar of California. Gerald D. Lenoir, Sr. ( ) Gerald D. Lenoir, Sr. was born in De Ridder, Louisiana on August 26, 1922 to Ivy Darensbourg Lenoir and Reverend York Alonza Lenoir. Mr. Lenoir grew up in New Orleans. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Xavier University in Louisiana. He received his law degree from the Lincoln University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, having graduated with honors. Mr. Lenoir was admitted to the California State Bar in He served for seven and one-half years as a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney s Office, and then entered private practice as a criminal defense attorney. Mr. Lenoir was one of the first African American Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles. He was a member of the Langston Law Club, The National Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He was the recipient of many honors and awards. Mr. Lenoir was a mentor to many other prominent attorneys in the Los Angeles area, including Johnnie Cochran and former Mayor Tom Bradley. In 1990, Mr. Lenoir retired from his highly successful law career and moved back to his native New Orleans. Noel B. Martin ( ) Noel B. Martin ran away from home in South Dakota at age fourteen and worked as a printer s devil. He served in the United States Navy during World War I, and became a small-town newspaperman in Illinois before studying law on his own, with no formal legal education. He practiced law in Illinois, Oregon, and Idaho before coming to California. Mr. Martin abhorred the use of alcohol, never-the-less he argued the case to repeal Prohibition before the United States Supreme Court. In Idaho he turned down a post on the Idaho Supreme Court and moved to Los Angeles. He became a member of his fourth state bar, in California, in 1934 and entered private
16 practice. In 1941 he joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender s Office. He is remembered as a highly respected attorney by the bench and bar. He had the skill to persuade the toughest judges to consider alternatives to a state prison sentence for many of his clients. Mr. Martin was a senior trial deputy until he left public service reluctantly at the age of seventy due to mandatory retirement in Al Matthews ( ) Born in Dubuque Iowa, and a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law, Al Mathews received his law degree in 1940 and was admitted into practice the same year. He began his law career as a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles. He later entered private practice as a criminal defense attorney. Mr. Matthews clients included Fred Stroble, and L. Ewing Scott. Mr. Mathews was appointed by the Los Angeles County Supreme Court to represent Barbara Graham in her automatic appeal. He also represented Linda Kasabian of the Manson family. No stranger to controversy, Mr. Mathews constant fight for the abolition of capital punishment prompted him to lend his name in 1968 to a group seeking clemency for Sirhan Sirhan. Kathryn J. McDonald ( ) Kathryn J. McDonald was born in Los Angeles. She graduated from Southwestern University School of Law in 1938 while working as a Los Angeles County Municipal Court clerk. She joined the Los Angeles City Public Defender s Office in She became a member of the Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender s Office when the two agencies were combined. Ms. McDonald commented that: [m]y first assignment was Lincoln Heights Court.... I would have to go into the jail and the drunk tank and talk to my people. None of them men or women has ever been hesitant in talking to me. I ve never found being a woman any disadvantage in this office. Ms. McDonald added, This job gives you the chance to look for the good in everyone instead of the bad. You can t pick and choose your cases, but take them as they come. I prefer, however, those that have some human interest rather than statistical cases such as embezzlement. She became a leading authority on Juvenile Court Procedure and the rights of juveniles. She was a highly respected trial lawyer. She served as co-counsel for Gergory Powell in the famous Onion Field case. She also served as President of the Women Lawyer s Club of Los Angeles. When she retired she was the Head Deputy Public Defender of the Juvenile Courts Division. Hayes F. Mead ( ) Born in Ohio, Hayes F. Mead grew up in California attending Franklin High School. He received his Associate Arts degree at Citrus Junior College in 1932 and his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Mr. Mead was admitted to the California State Bar in January He was a Los Angeles Municipal Court clerk from 1934 to He served as a Staff Sergeant in the United Sates Army during World War II. In
17 1946, he joined the Los Angeles City Public Defender s Office as a trial lawyer. He transferred to the County Public Defender s Office in He worked his way through the ranks becoming the Head Deputy of the Long Beach office from 1965 until his retirement in William B. Neeley ( ) William B. Neeley was born in Colorado. He received his law degree at the University of Colorado. He served his country during World War I. In 1924 he was admitted to the Colorado State Bar and worked as a deputy district attorney before moving to California and being admitted to practice here in In late 1928 he joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender s Office as a trial lawyer. He represented hundreds of clients, from the notorious to the unremembered. He became the fourth Public Defender to serve Los Angeles County in He served in that capacity until his appointment to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench by Governor Earl Warren in His twenty years on the Court was served in the criminal and psychiatric departments and as presiding judge of the Juvenile Court. With special interest and expertise in mental health, he was a frequent lecturer at the USC Medical School on forensic medicine. He also served on the Los Angeles County Music Commission and numerous Glendale music associations. James P. Nunnelley ( ) James P. Nunnelley was born in Alabama. He earned his law degree at Southwestern University School of Law in He was admitted to the California State Bar the following year. He went to work for the Los Angeles County Counsel in He transferred to the Public Defender s Office two years later. He rose through the ranks, and retired in 1971 as Chief of Superior Court Central Trials. He served as President of the Lawyer s Club, State Public Defender and Legal Aid Association, and the Los Angeles County Employees Association. He reputedly tried over 4000 cases during his career, and his laid-back, friendly, southern-accented arguments convinced many jurors and judges of his client s innocence. Earl Rogers ( ) Earl Rogers served as defense counsel in seventy-seven murder trials. He lost only three. His most sensational cases include the defense of Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Sebastian, who later became mayor, on charges of illegal sexual relations with a minor and of Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, who donated the land known as Griffith Park, for the attempted murder of his wife. He also defended heavyweight boxing champion Jess Willard on charges of second degree murder and United Railroad chief Patrick Calhoun on charges of corruption and bribery of public officials. Mr. Rogers is well remembered for a Catalina Island murder case. Three men went into a room to play poker. After the sound of gun shots, two men exited the room, leaving behind the dead body of the third. Each survivor accused the other of firing the fatal shots. There were no fingerprints on the gun. Mr. Rogers won the
18 acquittal of both men in successive trials. Mr. Rogers astonished medical experts with his probing crossexamination questions. His expertise was so complete he became a professor of medical jurisprudence and insanity in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as a professor at USC law school. In 1906, he switched sides and used his medical expertise to send Morrison Buck to the gallows for the murder of a wealthy socialite. In a trial called by the media as The Case of the Grinning Skull, Mr. Rogers introduced the skull of a victim to prove that what appeared to be a fracture resulting from a violent blow from a blunt instrument was, in fact, the result of carelessness by the autopsy surgeon. His client walked free. Earl Rogers died February 23, Ten years later, impressed with accounts of Mr. Rogers superb defense strategy, attorney and author Erle Stanley Gardner reincarnated Rogers as the character Perry Mason. Gladys Towles Root ( ) Gladys Towles Root earned her law degree from USC. She was admitted to practice law in California in At a time when female lawyers numbered in the single digits, she was extraordinarily successful. She averaged seventy-five courtroom appearances a month throughout her fifty-two-year career and she maintained this rate throughout two pregnancies. She earned a reputation for defending poor clients for little or no pay. She also was recognized as one of the best cross-examiners in this state. Her clients benefitted from her enormous confidence and spirited defense. She accepted morals cases as a matter of principle when other attorneys refused. Her biography is entitled Defender of the Damned. She served as President of the Los Angeles Women Lawyers Association. After collapsing in the courtroom, Gladys Towles Root passed away in Joseph M. Rosen ( ) A native of Michigan and graduate of Michigan Law School, Joseph Rosen won the Jerry Giesler award in 1967 for his work as an exceptional criminal defense attorney. The Joseph Rosen Justice Award was later created in his honor to reward and acknowledge leading members of the criminal defense bar. Frank Rothman ( ) Frank Rothman graduated from USC Law School in After graduating, he served as a law clerk for the Appellate Department of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a Deputy City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney s Office. His skill as a trial lawyer led the Los Angeles County District Attorney s Office to send new prosecutors to observe his courtroom mastery. He went on to become one of the nation s most respected and well-known trial attorneys. He brought honor and distinction to the legal profession. Deeply admired by colleagues and friends, he also was held in the highest esteem by judges and business executives across the country. He demonstrated extraordinary skill and exemplary standards in his practice of law. The National Law Journal called Mr. Rothman a legendary litigator and featured him on its list of the country s 100 most influential lawyers. He was considered to be a preeminent white collar criminal defense lawyer. His clients included Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, as well as the NFL, NBA, NHL and PGA. He
19 was Chairman and CEO of MGM studios from 1982 to 1986, and named Entertainment Executive of the Year in In later years, he was an antitrust specialist. His trials included the defense of the NFL in a 1986 antitrust case filed by the now-defunct United States Football League, in which a jury found the NFL guilty of violating one count of antitrust law but awarded only one dollar in damages. He also handled a case that invalidated an NBA rule preventing players from entering the league before their college class graduated. Joseph Scott ( ) Joseph Scott was born in Penrith, England. He came to Los Angeles in He was admitted to the California State Bar in He was counsel in many famous cases. He and Clarence Darrow represented the defendants who were accused of bombing the Los Angeles Times Building. Mr. Scott is also remembered for his civic leadership and his willingness to assist in any worthy cause. He was a prominent layman in the Catholic Church. He helped to establish the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, and organized countless charity drives. He served as President of the Board of Education for the City of Los Angeles for five years. He was also President of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce from 1910 to Max Solomon ( ) Famous for defending alleged gangsters like Mickey Cohen, Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, bookies, madams, and gamblers, Max Solomon once commented: Somebody s got to represent them... it might as well be me. He went into law during the depression and chose criminal defense over civil cases because they paid faster. Benny [Siegel] was a nice guy in public," he said. "But he was a vicious gangster and shouldn't be glorified. Commenting on his representation of organized crime figures, he also stated you get them acquitted, but you don t shake their hand. He was admired by judges and prosecutors for his congeniality and delightful sense of humor. Max M. Spencer ( ) Maxwell M. Spencer was born in Canada but grew up in Los Angeles. He graduated from Roosevelt High School. He served as a Los Angeles Superior Court clerk starting in Mr. Spencer received his law degree from Southwestern Law School after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. As a Deputy Public Defender, Max Spencer worked the Lincoln Heights courts. For years he was the only Deputy City Public Defender in the Municipal and Superior Courts of the San Fernando Valley. He handled all the preliminary hearings, misdemeanor cases, and the drunk court in the Van Nuys Municipal Court. In 1959 he moved to the County Public Defender s Office. He retired as senior trial deputy in 1969 and entered private practice. Spencer was one of a group of lawyers who founded the San Fernando Valley Criminal Courts Bar. After his passing, his colleagues eulogized him by writing: An outstanding trial lawyer and student of the law, his dry humor, courage, integrity and interest in his
20 fellow man was an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact. John A. Tolmasov ( ) John A. Tolmasov was a native son. He obtained his law degree from Blackstone College of the Law. Tolmasov became a member of the California State Bar in He joined the Los Angeles County Public Defender s Office in 1949 as a trial attorney representing clients facing the severest of felony charges. He served as Head Deputy Public Defender of the Pomona Branch Court from 1965 until his retirement in During that time he was credited with the efficient and effective management of an office that was chronically short of staff due to its remote location, yet faced prosecutors and a bench that prided itself on its tough criminal justice stance. Frederick H. Vercoe ( ) Frederick H. Vercoe was born in Chicago, Illinois. He received his undergraduate degree at lake Forest University. He received his LL.B and LL.M. degrees at the University of Chicago Law School. He was admitted to the Illinois State Bar. In 1914, he was admitted to the California State Bar and joined the new Los Angeles County Public Defenders Office within months of its opening. He served as defense counsel in many publicized cases. He was co-counsel in the attempted kidnapping case of actress Mary Pickford. He was appointed as the third Public Defender of Los Angeles County in He served as the head of the office until he retired in As Public Defender, Mr. Vercoe told the County Board of Supervisors, The Presumption of Innocence, the strongest presumption known to the law, and the Doctrine of Reasonable Doubt, are but as tinkling brass and empty phrases unless a strong advocate of the law, in the form of a Public Defender, takes up the challenge with the authority of the law, with resources, with years of training and with years of experience behind him. Vercoe also served on the Monterey Park City Counsel from 1917 to 1926, and was mayor from 1922 until Stephen M. White ( ) Born in San Francisco, Stephen M. White studied law at Santa Clara College. He was admitted to the California State Bar in He moved to Los Angeles to practice law. He served as the District Attorney of Los Angeles County from 1882 to Mr. White was a charter member of the first Los Angeles County Bar Association. He was also a member of the State Senate from 1887 to 1891, where he served as President pro tempore. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of California in 1888 and later represented California for one term in the United States Senate from 1893 to He endeared himself to the people of Los Angeles for winning a seven-year struggle to secure a deep-water harbor at San Pedro forerunner to today s Port of Los Angeles. When he died in 1901, he was acclaimed in San Francisco and Los Angeles as the state s as perhaps the most eminent of the State s native sons.