July 2012 - Judicial Appointments and Vacancies
by Dimetria A. Jackson
In May, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced 17 judicial appointments throughout California, including two appointments to the Orange County Superior Court and one to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. Governor Brown appointed David A. Thompson, Assistant Presiding Judge, Orange County Superior Court, as associate justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three. The Governor also appointed Lewis W. Clapp, formerly Director of the Orange County Associate Defender’s Office, and Superior Court Referee Julian W. Bailey to judgeships in the Orange County Superior Court. I am honored to have had the opportunity to personally congratulate Justice Thompson, Judge Clapp, and Judge Bailey.
Justice David Thompson
The appointment of David Thompson fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Justice Kathleen O’Leary to Presiding Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three. According to Justice O’Leary, Justice Thompson “is a talented scholar and a gifted analytical thinker who will enhance the work of the Orange County Court of Appeal.” [The writing of this President’s Page predates Justice Thompson’s June 28, 2012 confirmation hearing]. This appointment requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
Justice Thompson, who expressed that his appointment is “a dream come true,” has served as an Orange County Superior Court Judge since 1998 and Assistant Presiding Judge since 2011. Justice Thompson previously worked as an associate at both Rutan & Tucker and Morrison Foerster, practicing civil litigation and business transactions. In 1983, he served as a staff attorney for Associate Justice Edward J. Wallin, of the Orange County Court of Appeal. According to Justice Thompson, a graduate of UCLA School of Law and Georgetown University, he has been “blessed with incredible mentors every step of the way,” including his sister, Sharon Thompson Strople, and uncle, Allen B. Gresham (both attorneys), John Hurlbut, Esq., Ronald DeFilice, Esq., Justice Wallin, and Presiding Judge Tom Borris. John Hurlbut notes that “his commitment to excellence, his diverse work as a lawyer, and his experience as a trial judge portend that he will be an outstanding jurist on the court to which he has aspired since he clerked for (Ret.) Justice Wallin.”
Judge Thompson enjoys family activities with his wife and their two young children.
Judge Lewis Clapp
Judge Lewis W. Clapp has served as Director of the Orange County Associate Defender’s Office since 2011 and was with the Orange County Offices of the Public Defender for 20 years prior. Judge Clapp has had a rewarding practice as a criminal attorney, due in part to the strong camaraderie among members of the criminal defense bar. He has enjoyed working with indigent clients for the past 30 years as a public defender, and hopes to bring a high degree of compassion and justice to the bench. According to Larisa Dinsmoor, of Orange County Offices of the Public Defender, “Judge Clapp has inspired several generations of public defenders. He is known for his intellect, prolific trial experience, and ability to take on the toughest trials with perseverance and passion.” Judge Clapp’s mentor was the late Dean Allen, a former public defender, who exhibited compassion for his clients, was dedicated to the law, and shared his knowledge with others. Judge Clapp aspires to be like the judges he admires: those who treat people with respect, understand the facts, and apply the law. “I have always been impressed by his judgment, advocacy for his clients, work ethic, and professionalism. He will be an extraordinary addition to the Superior Court bench,” notes Justice O’Leary.
Judge Clapp, a member of the Hispanic Bar Association, attended Loyola Law School and Loyola Marymount University. A resident of Anaheim, Judge Clapp and his wife, who have been married since 1979, have four children and one adoring toddler grandson, Noah.
Judge Julian Bailey
Judge Julian Bailey served as a referee for the Orange County Juvenile Court from 2007 to 2011, and then as a referee for the Orange County Superior Court. Previously, Judge Bailey practiced criminal law with Bailey and Brott, as a partner and associate. He was also a partner at what is now Dolan, Bailey, Reopelle, Brott & Jones and an associate at Giles, Callahan & McCune. Prior to private practice, he was a deputy district attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Bailey’s mentors include the late Alfie Wells, former Deputy District Attorney, who taught him a lot about being a lawyer, and the Honorable Robert Rickels, Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two, and presiding judge of the juvenile court, who was a “terrific man” and a “great judge.” According to Justice O’Leary, Judge Bailey has been an “outstanding judicial officer for a number of years. He is tried and true in every respect.”
Judge Bailey received his juris doctorate from UCLA School of Law. He, his wife, and three children all attended UCLA. Judge Bailey is the proud grandfather of Riley and Dane, born 15 days apart, in 2010. I have a strong suspicion that there will be another generation of UCLA graduates in the Bailey family.
Orange County Superior Court Judicial Vacancies
While the Orange County Superior Court is pleased with the recent appointments, according to Presiding Judge Borris, “as of July 1, 2012, two vacant court commissioner positions will convert into two additional vacant judicial positions. Orange County Superior Court will have 10 judicial vacancies available for appointment by the Governor. In these difficult times of budget cuts to the Orange County Superior Court, it is very challenging to serve the public and the bar with an 8% vacancy rate for judges.” The Orange County Superior Court awaits additional judicial appointments to fill the remaining vacancies on the bench and a resolution to the judicial budget shortfall.
Dimetria A. Jackson is 2012 President of the Orange County Bar Association, a freelance attorney with Montage Legal Group, handling corporate transactional matters, and the Chief Executive Officer of redBAMBINA.com. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.