Richard D. Aldrich

Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Second District

Background: Law degree from UCLA in 1963 Served as president and counsel for Casualty Insurance Co. of California, and later as counsel for Great Western Savings & Loan Association Went into private law practice in 1971, specializing in general civil litigation Appointed to Ventura County Superior Court bench in 1991 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian Named to California Court of Appeal in 1994 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

Accomplishments: Soon after graduating law school, represented plaintiffs in 1966 Corvair case and persuaded a California jury that the General Motors car with the engine in the rear was defective Helped establish the state's first court-sponsored alternative dispute resolution program, which cut the time needed to resolve lawsuits by using retired judges and others to hear cases Chaired special statewide task force to mediate unification of Municipal and Superior courts Last year was part of a judicial panel that ruled the children of a woman shot to death at an L.A. County courthouse can sue the county for failing to provide adequate security. Case is now being reviewed by the state Supreme Court Listed in Best Lawyers of America publication in 1987, 1988 and 1989 Won 1992 Superior Court Trial Judge of the Year award.

Buzz: Frequently mentioned as contender for California Supreme Court because of his scholarship and temperament Known as consensus builder Often spends weekends studying cases Has no patience for frivolous cases and many lawyers have opted to settle litigation rather than go before him Popular lecturer on topics ranging from personal injury cases to alternative dispute resolution.

Lourdes Gillespie Baird

Judge, U.S. District Court

Background: Born in Ecuador to an Ecuadoran mother and American father, youngest of seven children Family moved to Los Angeles when Baird was a year old First enrolled in college as a married mother of three Says, "I had no intention of going to law school. It was like stepping on a train that continued to accelerate" Graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1976 Worked as assistant U.S. attorney from 1977-1983, prosecuting tax shelter fraud cases and eventually becoming an assistant chief in the criminal division Left for private practice, founding two all-women firms Rose through the ranks after her 1986 appointment to East Los Angeles Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian Appointed to Los Angeles Superior Court in 1988 Named by President George Bush in 1990 to head U.S. Attorney's Office in L.A Nominated in 1992 by Bush to U.S. District Court.

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