Legal Briefs (from the Daily Legal Record)
Governor Jerry Brown did not waste much time in offering Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Asa Hornscar a seat on the California Supreme Court. Yesterday, and in his second month in office, the Governor called Judge Hornscar at her chambers in Santa Monica to say he wanted to nominate her to the state’s highest bench.
But Judge Hornscar has taken even less time to politely decline his offer. ”A queen doesn’t leave her hive,” she said this morning in a statement sent to the media. “And as I’ve said before, I believe my destiny plays out in the trial courtroom. In fact, without drawing unnecessary attention or distractions to a particular case in my current load, I will only say that to leave this courtroom now would cruelly thwart my decades of patience.”
Patience, indeed. Judge Hornscar has turned down at least four prior offers for elevation to higher courts. This has been a bipartisan set of rejections through the years, spurning Pete Wilson, Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarznegger, and then even Jerry Brown in his first act as Governor.
In another head-scratcher for court observers, the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association issued a joint statement praising Judge Hornscar but refusing to endorse her nomination to the Supreme Court. “No doubt, Asa Hornscar is one of the most influential judges in the state,” the statement concludes, “but we find frankly that she is more legend than fact.”
The legend will continue to preside in Santa Monica. Along with her notably keen intellect and sense of humor, Judge Hornscar’s written opinions are well-known for being invariably populated by insect references and metaphors. Rare insect photographs adorn the judge’s bench and courtroom walls.
Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Carla Found has published an article about cyberfraud in the February issue of WIRED magazine. The title of her piece, There’s One Born Every Minute, refers not to suckers but to the perpetrators of online scams. In contrast to the formality of her definitive legal treatise on the subject, Deputy Found wants to burn off the varnish. Here’s a sample: “Don’t call any of these predators a scam artist,” she warns WIRED readers, “It only encourages him, and it sure ticks me off.”