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March 27, 2001


Judge Richard Hodge Retires From the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda

Judge Richard Hodge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, has announced his retirement, effective March 31, 2001, after twenty years judicial service to the community. Governor Jerry Brown appointed Judge Hodge to the Superior Court in 1981.

Judge Hodge has served the Superior Court in a variety of assignments, including juvenile, mental health, civil law and motion, and criminal and civil trials. For the past ten years he has presided over a civil trial assignment that has encompassed the spectrum of civil litigation from intersection accidents to complex and sometimes high profile environmental and class action cases. He is regarded as a skilled mediator and settlement judge. In 1994, he was named California Trial Judge of the Year by the California Trial Lawyers’ Association in recognition of his significant and innovative contributions to the adjudication of environmental and consumer protection cases. The Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association has also honored him as Trial Judge of the Year.

Judge Hodge has served on the Judicial Council and on four separate occasions as a justice pro tempore on the First District Court of Appeal, authoring nearly a hundred opinions.

Judge Hodge graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and The University of Chicago Law School. He served as a Deputy District Attorney in Contra Costa County and as a litigation specialist with Miller, Starr and Regalia before commencing a storied career in San Francisco in the fields of criminal and entertainment law. He won acquittals in numerous high profile cases, including the “Oakland 7” case, the “Los Siete de la Raza” case and the “Soledad 7” case.

As an entertainment lawyer, Judge Hodge was in the forefront of expanding the rights and bargaining positions of musicians. He represented over 25 recording artists, including The Steve Miller Band, Boz Scaggs, and Kenny Loggins. He also represented authors, film directors, actors, and visual artists. Author Richard Brautigan dedicated his novel The Tokyo-Montana Express to the judge. Judge Hodge’s representation of criminal and entertainment clients has been chronicled in numerous articles and books, including Strictly Ghetto Property by Marjorie Heins, Star Making Machinery by Geoffrey Stokes and The Politics of Punishment by Eric Wright.

When asked of plans after retirement, Judge Hodge said “My leisure phobia will keep me active, if not in private judging then in that vast world beyond the law with which I should probably reacquaint myself.” He intends for his “retirement” to be as abbreviated as possible and to continue to be active in the adjudication and mediation of cases. He has associated himself with Alternative Adjudication, a private firm composed primarily of judges retired from the Alameda County Superior Court and will also be a member of the American Arbitration Association.

The contact for this information release is Barbara J. Fox, Chief Assistant Executive Officer, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, (510) 272-6504.

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