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Born: July 10, 1932Appointed: February 24, 1997 (Wilson)Previous work of note: San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge 1992-97 (Wilson). Private civil practice, including 17 years at Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, 1963-92.Law degree: Boalt Hall School of Law (1962)Coffee wore many hats as a superior court judge, supervising the fast track calendar and the juvenile, probate and family courts at various times during his five-year tenure.His confirmation to the court of appeal was somewhat controversial, as confirmations go. Two environmental groups, including the Conejo Group Sierra Club, complained to the Commission on Judicial Appointments about Coffee’s handling of land use cases as a temporary judge on the Second District. The chairwoman of the Sierra Club branch called Coffee a “hanging judge on land use issues” and protested his nomination “in the strongest terms.”Coffee did get support, however, from the three other members of the Second District’s Division Six, who told the commission that, based on his work as a temp judge and from reviewing his trial court work, they considered him “exceptionally well-qualified to be confirmed.”The State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation rated Coffee “qualified.”Having only served for about 18 months at the time of this profile, Coffee hadn’t developed much of a profile at the appellate level. He had published only five opinions as of October of 1998.POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Gave $100 to Pete Wilson’s gubernatorial campaign in 1993.

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