California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Munger, Tolles & Olson attorney Mark H. Epstein to serve as a judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Mr. Epstein will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas I. McKnew. Mr. Epstein’s appointment is one of six announced by Gov. Brown on Dec. 23, 2016.
“I am honored to be selected by Gov. Brown and excited to begin a new professional chapter as a member of the judiciary,” Mr. Epstein said. “I know that I will miss working with my colleagues, but I leave Munger Tolles thankful for the collegiality, friendship and opportunities the firm has offered me.”
Mr. Epstein, who joined the firm in October 1988, concentrated his practice on complex litigation matters, including trials and appellate work. Among his key trial and arbitration representations, he defended JCPenney in litigation brought by Macy’s; Michael Ovitz in a derivative action stemming from his tenure as president of the Walt Disney Company; and Peter Morton and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in multiple actions relating to the cancellation of a $1.25 billion condominium project and the sale of the hotel.
A graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law, Mr. Epstein clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Stanley A. Weigel, Associate Justice Edward A. Panelli of the California Supreme Court and Associate Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The firm is proud to count a number of its other alumni as members of the judiciary. They include:
- Anne Egerton, Los Angeles County Superior Court
- Michelle T. Friedland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Diane Johnsen, Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One (vice chief judge)
- Carolyn Kuhl, Los Angeles County Superior Court
- Christian Markey Jr., Los Angeles County Superior Court (retired)
- Rita Miller, Los Angeles County Superior Court
- Carl H. Moor, Los Angeles County Superior Court
- Lester Olson, Los Angeles County Superior Court (retired)
- John B. Owens, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Mark Rindner, Anchorage Superior Court, Third Judicial District
- Natalie Stone, Los Angeles County Superior Court
- Paul J. Watford, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit