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Born: Nov. 21, 1947Appointed: Feb. 25, 1997, by Wilson Previous work of note: Orange County Superior Court judge (elected to open seat), 1987-1997. Orange County deputy district attorney, 1972-1987.Law degree: Boalt Hall School of Law (1971)Notable opinions: In re Transcripts of Phase Three Grand Jury Proceedings, 64 Cal.App.4th 1203; People v. Simpson, 65 Cal.App.4th 854.If your eyes glaze over as soon as you start reading a court of appeal opinion, it’s a pretty safe bet you’re not reading one authored by William Bedsworth.Bedsworth has a knack for turning out crisp and clever opinions. In one run-of-the-mill case, Bedsworth opened his discussion of a liquor store robbery with a poem styled after The Night Before Christmas. In People v. Simpson, 65 Cal.App.4th 854, he described a suspect’s pack of 14 Dobermans as “the Luddite equivalent of AK-47s.”One of his biggest rulings so far concerned a request by a group of media companies to make public grand jury transcripts stemming from a criminal investigation into the causes of Orange County’s 1994 plunge into bankruptcy. Here’s how Bedsworth began his ruling in favor of the media in In re Request of Transcripts of Phase Three Grand Jury Proceedings: “A driver coming across an unfamiliar road sign should expect unfamiliar conditions to follow. So too, a reader encountering a case with as unusual a caption as this must know the territory to be traversed will be exotic, if not downright alien. And so it is.” That preamble seemed prophetic when the California Supreme Court recently agreed to review his work on the case.A fan of country western music and dress, Bedsworth moonlights as a goal judge for the National Hockey League and writes a regular column for Orange County Lawyer magazine. Unlike most other appellate court judges, Bedsworth didn’t begin his judicial career as a political appointee. After a 15-year career as a prosecutor, Bedsworth ran for an open seat on the Orange County Superior Court in 1987, and was promoted to the court of appeal 10 years later by Wilson.POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: In 1994, Bedsworth gave $250 to Pete Wilson’s gubernatorial campaign.

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