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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb. 4, 2019—The Orange County Bar Association recently honored Associate Justice William W. Bedsworth as its Franklin G. West Award recipient. The award was presented at the OCBA Judges’ Night & Annual Meeting on Jan. 25, 2019 at the Irvine Marriott.
“Justice Bedsworth is a legal icon whose many achievements speak to his scholarship, lasting legal impact, and great sense of humor,” said 2019 OCBA President Deirdre Kelly. "I admire his dedication to improving civility in the legal profession, and he is a great role model for our younger lawyers and law students."
First established in 1971 in honor of the late Judge Franklin G. West, the Franklin G. West Award represents the highest honor awarded by the OCBA. Each year, the OCBA recognizes one outstanding attorney or judge whose lifetime achievements have advanced justice and the law.
Associate Justice Bedsworth began his illustrious legal career at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in 1972. He first served as a trial deputy, then as appellate attorney, and finally managing attorney in charge of its law and motion/appellate division. He was elected to an open seat on the Orange County Superior Court in 1986. Then, in 1997, he was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 3 by Governor Pete Wilson, where he currently serves.
He is a past president of the Association of Orange County Deputy District Attorneys, former board member of the OCBA as well as the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and a principal in Fair Share 502 – a charity whose 10 members raised almost a million dollars for homeless children.
In addition to his continued public service, Associate Justice Bedsworth has taught at Western State College of Law, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law, the California Judicial College, and currently teaches at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. In addition to his work on the Court of Appeal, he is well-known as a humor columnist, notably through his nationally syndicated humor column “A Criminal Waste of Space” published monthly in Orange County Lawyer.
Associate Justice Bedsworth earned his Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Loyola University in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1968. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971.
About the Orange County Bar Association
Established in 1901, the Orange County Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary bars in California. The mission of the Orange County Bar Association is to enhance the system of justice, to support the lawyers who serve it, and to assist the community served by it.
About the Franklin G. West Award
Established in 1971 in memory of the late Judge Franklin G. West, a highly respected jurist who served on the bench from January 1939 to March 1965, the West Award is bestowed upon an outstanding attorney or judge who has made significant contributions to advance and elevate justice and law. Judge West’s 26 years and two months on the bench constituted the longest term ever served by a judge in California.