A lawyer, speaking after being honored by his colleagues Wednesday, characterized courtroom congestion as "the issue of the day" and called for a quick solution to the growing backlog of cases in county Superior Court.
Santa Ana lawyer Eugen C. Andres was given the annual Franklin G. West Award for advancing and elevating justice and the law by the Orange County Bar Assn. at a dinner in Anaheim.
Andres said the list of civil cases awaiting trial has grown by almost 1,000--to 7,000--since prosecutors instituted a new policy last October of not discussing settlement of felony cases in judges' chambers.
As a result, fewer criminal cases are settled before trial, more judges are needed to hear criminal cases and less non-criminal business can be conducted, Andres said.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday January 16, 1987 Orange County Edition Metro Part 2 Page 2 Column 5 Metro Desk 1 inches; 31 words Type of Material: Correction
A story in Thursday's Times included an inaccurate list of new officers of the Orange County Bar Assn. Vernon W. Hunt Jr. was installed this week as president-elect, and Michael H. Gazin took office as treasurer for 1987.
"I hope that those members of our legal community who have the power to resolve this problem do so immediately so Orange County can be looked on once again as a county that allows both civil and criminal litigants reasonable access to jury trials in the Superior Court," Andres said.
Andres, 47, is a former prosecutor and past president of both the county bar association and the Orange County Trial Lawyers Assn.
He practices criminal and personal injury law in partnership with his wife, Ann Avery Andres.
New bar association officers were installed at the dinner, held at the Anaheim Hilton. They are Stuart T. Waldrip, president; Vernon W. Hunt Jr., treasurer, and Jennifer J. King, secretary.