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PASSINGS: Barbara J. Miller

Barbara J. Miller, judge who sided with UC Berkeley in building plans that prompted a tree-sitting protest, dies at 58.

November 09, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Barbara J. Miller, 58, an Alameda County Superior Court judge who ruled in favor of UC Berkeley in a dispute over a proposed athletic facility that was the focus of a tree-sitting protest, was found dead Friday in her Oakland home, police said.

The cause of death has not been determined, Oakland police said.

Miller ruled in June 2008 that the university had satisfied environmental and seismic issues over the project, which was part of a plan to renovate Memorial Stadium, home of the school's football team and built on an earthquake fault.

Building the athletic facility next to the stadium required cutting down an old oak grove, prompting activists in late 2006 to take up perches in the treetops and refuse to budge. The standoff finally ended in September 2008.

Miller was born June 12, 1951, in Whitefish Bay, Wis. She earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco and was named a Superior Court commissioner in 1987. She was elected to the Superior Court in 1996 and was presiding judge in 2004 and 2005.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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