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Court Alerts
Upcoming Events

Court Alerts
Litigation Section Newsletter

Michael C. Tu

Litigation Executive Committee:

Joshua G. Hamilton, Chair
Angela M. Machala, Chair Elect
Monisha A. Coelho, Vice-Chair
Douglas N. Silverstein, Secretary
Helen Zukin, Immediate Past Chair

Court Alerts

Los Angeles County Superior Court Updates:

Central Civil Judicial Changes

The following are recent judicial changes for the Central Civil judges:

  1. Judge Dennis Landin is now sitting in a Personal Injury Courtroom, Department 93.
  2. Judge Marc Gross of Family Law will be in a Personal Injury Courtroom, Department 92.
  3. Judge Michael Raphael of Independent Court, Department 51 is now sitting at the California Court of Appeal.  Assigned Judge Minning is covering his courtroom for this month.
  4. Judge Monica Bachner of Independent Court, Department 71 has returned from the California Court of Appeal.

Proposed Changes to Local Rules 2.1, 4.5, 4.12,  and 4.136

Rule 2.1 (PRINCIPAL DIVISIONS OF THE COURT): The change would amend subsection (h) to reflect the current Probate and Mental Health department.

Rule 4.5 (PROBATE CASE AND DOCUMENT COVER SHEET): The change would add a new rule to mandate the use of the Probate Case and Document Cover sheets.

Rule 4.12 (EX PARTE PROCEDURES): The change would amend subsection (a) to reflect new filing deadlines and practices in support of Probate electronic filing per General Order "Amendment to Los Angeles Superior Court Local Rule 4.12(a) re Ex Parte Applications Filed in the Probate Division" (2017-GEN-013).

Rule 4.136 (BRIEF PRELIMINARY EVALUATIONS OF THE MENTAL COMPETENCY OF A CRIMINAL DEFENDANT): The change would add a new rule to allow the Mental Health Court to continue determining criminal competency using "short" reports by forensic experts in anticipation of an amendment to California Rule of Court 4.130 effective January 1, 2018.

The proposed amendments above were reviewed and approved by both the Superior Court's Rules Committee and Executive Committee. Comments may be submitted via email at, or in writing to: Sandra Pigati-Pizano, Room 620, Judicial and Executive Support, Los Angeles Superior Court, 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Comments must be received no later than October 30, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Each of the proposed amendments above may be viewed on the Court's website here.


Family Law Cases to be Heard at Whittier Courthouse by January 2018

In a continuing effort to make better use of available resources for litigants, the Court has announced the five family law courtrooms will begin hearing cases at the Whittier Courthouse, located at 7339 Painter Ave., by January 2018.
The Court's announcement may be viewed here.


United States District Court for the Central District of California Updates:

Passing of District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell

Chief Judge Virginia A. Phillips announced the passing of District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell on October 8, 2017. Judge O’Connell was 52 years old.

Judge O’Connell received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Juris Doctorate, Magna cum Laude, in 1990, from Pepperdine University School of Law. Following law school, she practiced at the law firm of Morrison & Foerster from 1990 until 1995. She then joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the criminal division, where she served until 2005. In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.

On November 14, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Judge O’Connell to be a United States District Judge for the Central District of California. She was confirmed unanimously by the Senate on April 15, 2013 and received her commission on April 30, 2013. She was well known for her service to the legal community, regularly teaching courses at Loyola Law School, Pepperdine University School of Law, and the B.E. Witkin Judicial College, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

Upon learning of Judge O’Connell’s death, Chief Judge Phillips said the following: “Mere words are inadequate to express the depth of our loss. Judge O’Connell justly earned her reputation as a brilliant and exceptionally hard working judge. Those who appeared before her appreciated her wisdom and fairness, as well as her innovative use of technology in the courtroom. Her judicial colleagues and all members of the court family were vastly enriched by her generosity, energy and dedication to justice. She made an indelible mark on our court, and we mourn our friend and colleague.”

In honor of Judge O’Connell, the flags outside the courthouses of the United States District Court for the Central District of California will be flown at half-mast.

Judge O’Connell was also a cherished member of the Litigation Section Executive Committee. Judge Phillips will speaking to honor her memory at the Litigation Section’s October 26, 2017 Federal Courts Symposium.

Upcoming Events
October 26, 2017

2017 Federal Courts Symposium: Changes, Trends, and Updates

Come join us for Southern California’s signature program on practicing law in our federal district court that happens just once every two years!  The symposium will be held on October 26, 2017 in the Main Ballroom of the DoubleTree Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, 120 S. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Confirmed speakers include District Judges Dolly M. Gee, Phillip S. Gutierrez, S. James Otero, Virginia A. Phillips, Christina A. Snyder and Otis D. Wright II, and Magistrate Judges Alka Sagar, Suzanne H. Segal and Patrick J. Walsh.  Program highlights include: Successful Motion Practice in the District Court (Federal District judges will provide insight on how to draft and argue motions to help give your clients the best chance for success), Federal Discovery Disputes (Federal magistrate judges will provide updates on the latest procedures, trends and tips for resolving discovery disputes in the Central District) and Inside the Judges’ Chambers (District Judges reveal their likes and dislikes and best practices for appearing in federal court).  Attendees will receive 2.5 hours of CLE credit.  The event is organized by the Litigation Section and co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association.
For more information and to register, click here.

November 2, 2017

"Eliminating Bias: Let's Start By Looking In The Mirror" MCLE program at the Mosk Courthouse

Superior Court Judges from the Access and Fairness Committee of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in collaboration with attorneys from the Access to Justice Committee and Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association will present a 3-hour, interactive training on bias on November 2, 2017 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 N. Hill Street, in downtown Los Angeles.
For information and to register, click here.


About Court Alerts

The Litigation Section of LACBA is proud to provide "Court Alerts," an e-mail publication aimed at informing LACBA Litigation Section members of recent news related to the Los Angeles Superior Court and the U.S. Central District of California, including re-assignments of judges, changes in court structure, and other information important to litigators.

Readers are advised that changes in the law may affect the accuracy of this publication or the functionality of links after the publication date. The foregoing practice tips were prepared for information purposes only. Such practice tips do not constitute tax, legal or other advice and no responsibility is assumed for any reliance upon them or with respect to assessing or advising the reader as to tax, legal, or other consequences arising from a particular situation. The accuracy of the information provided should be independently verified by the reader and should not be treated as authoritative.



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