“I’ve enjoyed the rigor of private practice and having great clients and great colleagues, but I’m under no pretense that this is public service in the true meaning of the word,” Hansell said.

And that idea of public service has always appealed to Hansell, who is 64. After earning his undergraduate degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, he had a brief career working as a park ranger for the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon. In fact, around the same time he was admitted to law school at Northwestern University, he was offered a full-time position as a ranger. Split between the two choices, he called his mother.

“And that’s how I gave up a very promising career as a park ranger,” he said, laughing.

Hansell’s legal career turned out alright, however. He’s spent the majority of it defending corporate clients such as El Segundo’s Big 5 Corp. against consumer class actions and in other complex civil matters, although he also spent time as an assistant attorney general in Illinois and served on the Los Angeles Police Commission.

Despite his distinguished career, Hansell said he was still floored when he got the call from Joshua Groban, the governor’s judicial appointment adviser, telling him he had been tapped for a seat on the bench.

“After I hung up with (Groban), I called my partner and then I called my brother to tell them,” Hansell said. “And then I had to take a walk because I couldn’t concentrate on anything.”

Brown’s other appointees to the court are: Lisa Jaskol, 56, a directing attorney at Public Counsel in Koreatown; David Hizami, 49, a deputy public defender in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office; Andrea Davalos, 44, a deputy Los Angeles district attorney; Andrew Kim, 42, also a deputy district attorney; LaRonda McCoy, 55, a head deputy at the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender’s Office; and William Sadler, 52, a commissioner at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Staff reporter Henry Meier can be reached at hmeier@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 221.

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