It appears there is no mountain too high for Bill Burke, a 64-year-old bankruptcy attorney with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP in Los Angeles.


Burke recently climbed 16,067 feet to reach the peak of Vinson Massif in Antarctica. Next month he'll climb Mt. Kosciuszko (7,310 feet), the highest mountain in Australia and the Carstensz Pyramid (16,023 feet) in West Papua, Indonesia. Then he'll only have Mt. Everest to scale in order to have completed the Seven Summits.


That's an impressive feat for mountain climbers of any age, even more so for a person who could be considered a senior citizen.


"There's been a lot of people over 60 who have made it to the top of Everest," Burke said. "But I don't know how many people have scaled all seven summits after the age of 60."


Burke has already climbed Alaska's Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet), Argentina's Aconcagua (22,834 feet), Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,339 feet) in Tanzania and Russia's Elbrus (18,510 feet).


There is a summit on each continent, but there is some disagreement in the mountain climbing community as to whether the seventh continent is Australia or Oceania. That's why Burke is climbing both Mt. Kosciuszko and the Carstensz Pyramid. He'll climb eight summits so he can claim the achievement, regardless of how it's broken down.


Burke admits his family is not keen on his avocation. His wife, four children and 14 grandchildren have all taken a dim perspective of his exploits. After all, he didn't start climbing until 1996, when he was living and working in Asia.


"They're not really thrilled about these big mountain trips or this upcoming trip to Everest," said Burke, who plans to climb the world's highest mountain in 2007. "They've adjusted. I wouldn't say they're happy but they understand."


Arnold's Appointments
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been busy recently, appointing four judges to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.


Ray G. Jurado, 45, of Los Angeles, has served as an attorney for the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review and assistant attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles. Jurado, who started out as a deputy district attorney for the L.A. County D.A.'s Office in 1988, also has worked on the private side, as a litigation associate for two small firms.


Alhambra's Mary Lou Villar, 52, has been an administrative law judge for the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board since 1991. She has been directing attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation, managing attorney for San Gabriel Valley Pasadena Legal Services and an attorney with Protection and Advocacy.


Steven D. Blades, 52, of Glendora, has been associate and partner at Manning & Marder Kass Ellrod Ramirez LLP in Los Angeles since 1996, specializing in civil rights and torts law.


Juan Carlos Dominguez, 52, of Alta Loma, has been in private practice for more than 16 years, specializing in criminal defense and civil cases. He was an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department for five years.


The annual salary for the position is $149,160.


Thinking Green
The European community's concerns over environmental issues are expected to grow in the next decade, and so are the regulatory constraints officials there will try to put on businesses.


With that in mind, L.A.'s Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP is welcoming Cynthia Burch as a partner in the firm's environmental and regulatory practice groups. She comes to the international firm from regional powerhouse Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.


Burch has represented large energy, chemical, manufacturing, retail and oil companies in regulatory and litigation aspects of environmental law.


"Issues concerning the European Union's regulatory regime for chemicals will grow materially over the next ten years, and Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw's global trade partners in Washington and Brussels can provide my existing clients with assistance on addressing these types of major governmental pressures," Burch said of her move.


Elsewhere, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP snagged former Capital Hill communications director Ellia Thompson to serve as an associate in its government, land use and zoning, environment and energy group. Thompson served under U.S. Reps. Louise Slaughter and Jane Harman. She'll be focusing on land use and government relations.


Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP has signed on federal judge Lawrence Irving as special counsel, effective May 1. Irving served as U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of California and will advise the firm's institutional investor clients on securities matters. He will also act as Lerach Coughlin's liaison with the regents of the University of California, the lead plaintiff in the Enron securities class action lawsuit.


Staff reporter Emily Bryson York can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 235, or at eyork@labusinessjournal.com .

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