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James L Smith

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 1994 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Judge James L. Smith publicly endorsed decriminalizing drug use two years ago, many saw it as an act of political suicide: At the time, a lenient attitude toward drugs drew little support in conservative Orange County. But others say coming forward was typical of Smith's independent nature and his determination to speak his mind. It's a trait that supporters say will serve him well as the new presiding judge of the county's Superior Court system, one of the state's largest.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 1994 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Judge James L. Smith publicly endorsed decriminalizing drug use two years ago, many saw it as an act of political suicide: At the time, a lenient attitude toward drugs drew little support in conservative Orange County. But others say coming forward was typical of Smith's independent nature and his determination to speak his mind. It's a trait that supporters say will serve him well as the new presiding judge of the county's Superior Court system, one of the state's largest.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 1994
Judge James L. Smith was reelected Friday by his colleagues on the Superior Court Bench to serve as presiding judge of the Orange County Superior Court for 1995. Smith, 57, was first elected to the Orange County Superior Court in 1980. Prior to that, he was a judge in Municipal Court in Westminster.
NEWS
September 12, 1986 | Associated Press
A drunk driver responsible for a 1984 head-on auto collision that killed a woman and her three children was sentenced today to 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder and other charges. Michael Wesley Reding, 27, a former engineer for Northrop Corp., sat quietly as Orange County Superior Court Judge James L. Smith pronounced sentence after hearing testimony from Robert Trueblood, the sole surviving member of the family.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1996 | MATT LAIT
A Superior Court judge Friday tentatively set a Sept. 16 trial date for Assemblyman Scott Baugh's chief of staff, who has been accused of voting fraud in her boss's election. Maureen Werft, Baugh's top aide, has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges that she lied on her ballot application and then voted in Baugh's district even though she did not live there.
BUSINESS
December 30, 1986 | KEN CHAVEZ
An attempt by attorneys of Old World shopping center developer Josef Bischof to invalidate a $1.2-million civil fraud judgment set against him earlier this year was squashed when a Superior Court judge denied the defense motion for a new trial. Instead, Judge James L. Smith ordered that a receiver be appointed to manage the property and assets of the Huntington Beach shopping center's board of directors, Old World Owners Assn.
NEWS
June 5, 1986
A murder trial that had been delayed because a doctor demanded a $500 fee to testify opened in Orange County in the absence of Dr. David Dantes of Santa Monica. Santa Ana Superior Court Judge James L. Smith issued an arrest warrant for Dantes after he failed to appear for the trial of Michael Wesley Reding on two consecutive days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1993
Superior Court Judge James L. Smith exhibits the typical tunnel vision of those members of the justice system who continue to insist that more and more jails will solve the ever-increasing crime problem ("We're in Trouble When Lawbreakers Thumb Noses at Courts," Aug. 15). It has been proven that tough sentences do not prevent criminals from committing crimes. Until society is willing to try a new approach by treating drug addiction as a medical problem, teaching job skills to the disadvantaged and educating the uneducated, we will need an increasing number of so-called "correctional facilities."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 1986
I am shocked beyond belief by the Draconian sentence of 15 years to life that was imposed on drunk driver Michael Reding, 27, by Superior Court Judge James L. Smith (Sept. 13). However, I well realize that Smith was following the lead of what is probably the worst Supreme Court in the United States--California's. I, a lifelong foe of the death penalty, can't wait to vote against certain judges of that court. Why, it may be asked, am I so critical of the California Supreme Court when it also is against the death penalty?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 1995 | HOLLY J. WAGNER
Tuesday is the deadline for interested persons to apply to sit on the Orange County Grand Jury. So far, 111 citizens have applied, Presiding Judge James L. Smith said. The grand jury oversees a variety of county governmental functions and also may indict suspected wrongdoers, who then face criminal prosecution. Thirty finalists will be selected from among the applicants, and the 19 who will serve the one-year term will be selected in a random drawing May 17. The term begins July 3.
NEWS
December 23, 1994
"These are not easy decisions and we know it. There is anguish. There is frustration. It will be years before the county completely recovers from this situation." MICHAEL R. CAPIZZI District attorney and member of the management team that recommended reductions "By golly, if someone can come in here and tell me how the public defender's office is going to do $3.7 million more worth of work with the same resources, it will be the modern-day equivalent of the fishes and loaves miracle." JAMES L.
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