California Appellate Court Legacy Project

The Legacy Project recounts the stories and preserves the rich judicial history of California judges, courts, and law through the voices of the justices who helped shape the development of California law in the 20th century.

The project was developed in 2006 as part of statewide efforts undertaken to commemorate the Centennial of the California Courts of Appeal in 2005.

Contact Info

Legacy Unit
(415) 865-4250

"The Backbone of the Justice System" is a compilation of clips from Legacy Project interviews.

The oral history archive comprises more than 150 videotaped interviews of retired justices of the Courts of Appeal, as well as active justices who may be nearing retirement. Interviewers were selected from within the state's appellate branch, and in most instances the interviews were conducted by a justice who currently serves in the retired justice's former court.

The interviews touched upon a host of personal and professional recollections, including childhood and youth, education, law school years, judicial careers and other government service, judicial philosophies, notable opinions, concurrences and dissents, significant historical events, and the attitudes, events, and experiences that have shaped the justices' perspectives.

The resulting archive is a historical record of the personal experiences of individual justices and the changes that have emerged over the years in the California judicial system and the legal profession.

Staff of the Judicial Council of California continue to schedule interviews with justices as they retire from the bench. See below for photos, videos, transcripts, and biographies of the retired justices that have been interviewed to date. They are listed by the appellate district in which a justice served and sorted in alphabetical order.

1st District

Carl W. Anderson

Terence L. Bruiniers

Betty B. Deal

Robert L. Dondero

Robert L. Dossee

Zerne P. Haning, III

Daniel M. Hanlon

Robert F. Kane

Laurence D. Kay

Donald B. King

J. Anthony Kline

Harry W. Low

James Marchiano

William A. Newsom, Jr.

Joanne C. Parrilli

J. Clinton Peterson

Marcel Poché

Stuart R. Pollak

John T. Racanelli

Maria P. Rivera

Ignacio J. "Nace" Ruvolo

M.O. Sabraw

Gabriel P. Sanchez

Patricia K. Sepulveda

Peter J Siggins

Gary E. Strankman

Douglas E. Swager

Herbert W. Walker

2nd District

Richard Abbe

Arthur L. Alarcón

Richard Aldrich

Orville Armstrong

Herbert L. Ashby

Elizabeth A. Baron

Edwin F. Beach

Paul Boland

Roger W. Boren

Paul Coffee

Lynn D. "Buck" Compton

Candace D. Cooper

Daniel A. Curry

Robert R. Devich

Halim Dhanidina

Norman L. Epstein

Robert Feinerman

Macklin Fleming

Arthur Gilbert

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Jack E. Goertzen

Margaret M. Grignon

J. Gary Hastings

James H. Hastings

Edward A. Hinz, Jr.

Shirley M. Hufstedler

Frank Jackson

Earl Johnson, Jr.

Patti S. Kitching

Joan D. Klein

Sandy R. Kriegler

Elwood G. Lui

Robert M. Mallano

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William A. Masterson

Richard M. Mosk

Richard C. Neal

Michael G. Nott

Reuben A. Ortega

Steven Z. Perren

Steven J. Stone

Robert S. Thompson

Charles S. Vogel

Miriam A. Vogel

Arleigh M. Woods

John Zebrowski

Laurie Zelon

3rd District

Coleman A. Blease

Consuelo M. Callahan

Rodney Davis

Hugh A. Evans

Fred K. Morrison

George W. Nicholson

Robert K. Puglia

Ronald B. Robie

Arthur G. Scotland

Richard M. Sims, III

Keith F. Sparks

4th District

Richard M. Aronson

Patricia D. Benke

Gerald Brown

Gordon Cologne

Charles W. Froehlich

Richard D. Fybel

John G. Gabbert

Barton C. Gaut

Judith L. Haller

Thomas Hollenhorst

Richard D. Huffman

Raymond Ikola

Daniel J. Kremer

Gerald J. Lewis

Judith D. McConnell

Franklin D. McDaniel

Alex C. McDonald

James A. McIntyre

Art W. McKinster

Eileen C. Moore

Gilbert Nares

Manuel A. Ramirez

William F. Rylaarsdam

Harmon G. Scoville

David Sills

Sheila P. Sonenshine

Robert J. Timlin

William L. Todd, Jr.

John K. Trotter, Jr.

Edward J. Wallin

James D. Ward

Howard B. Wiener

5th District

Kenneth Andreen

James A. Ardaiz

Jay R. Ballantyne

Timothy S. Buckley

Dennis Cornell

Betty Dawson

Stephen J. Kane

Robert L. Martin

James F. Thaxter

Steven M. Vartabedian

Rebecca Wiseman

George N. Zenovich

6th District

Nat Agliano

Harry F. Brauer

Christopher C. Cottle

Richard J. McAdams

Nathan Mihara

William M. Wunderlich