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Born: Dec. 29, 1937Appointed: Dec. 3, 1982, by BrownPrevious work of note: Los Angeles Superior Court judge 1980-82 (Brown). Los Angeles Municipal Court judge 1975-1980 (Brown). Private practice in Los Angeles, 1965-75.Law degree: Boalt Hall School of Law (1963)Arthur Gilbert is the California Court of Appeal’s poet-in-residence. He is widely acclaimed as author of the tightest, snappiest, most eloquent appellate opinions on the court.“Here, for a refreshing change, is a statute that is clear and intelligible,” Gilbert observed in City of Moorpark v. Superior Court, 49 Cal.App.4th 973. “Its words do not beg to be understood, nor do they defy comprehension.”For Gilbert, City of Moorpark was more than a rhetorical vehicle. His ruling rocked the management-side employment bar and was quickly contradicted by an opinion from another appellate panel. But the Supreme Court ultimately reached the same result as Gilbert.In many ways, the case was typical. As one of the last remaining Jerry Brown appointees on the court of appeal, Gilbert is probably one of the court’s most liberal members. But reversals of his decisions by the Supreme Court are infrequent, depublications slightly more than average.While Gilbert reversed several criminal convictions between 1996 and 1998, he also interpreted a controversial anti-gang statute in prosecutors’ favor. He also ruled that a 15-year-old boy who impregnated an adult woman could be held responsible for child support payments. “Victims have rights. Here, the victim also has responsibilities,” was how he opened the opinion.Notably, Gilbert was the only Democratic appointee that a Republican party endorsement committee recommended be retained. (The party has never taken an official position on the panel’s recommendation.)Gilbert is an accomplished jazz pianist and is well known in the bench and bar for a regular humor column he writes for the Los Angeles Daily Journal.His Division Six falls in the middle range of effiency on the Second District, with a median 97 days from briefing to decision in civil appeals, 73 in criminal appeals.

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