A retired judge will decide whether Raymond Buckey's $20-million wrongful-prosecution suit in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case should proceed.
Lawyers for the parties agreed Friday that retired appellate court Justice Campbell Lucas should rule on a defense motion to dismiss the suit. The move was designed to avoid expected delays in Superior Court Judge William Burby's Los Angeles courtroom.
The agreement was disclosed Monday. If the case goes to trial, it will return to Burby's courtroom. Last August, Buckey filed the suit against Los Angeles County, former prosecutors, the city of Manhattan Beach and others. In January, 1990, a jury acquitted Buckey on 40 counts, including child molestation, and failed to reach verdicts on 13 others after the longest criminal proceeding in U.S. history. In a second trial, another jury deadlocked on eight remaining counts.