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Born: May 8, 1950Appointed: Sept. 13, 1989, by DeukmejianPrevious work of note: Fresno Superior Court judge 1987-89 (Deukmejian). Fresno Municipal Court judge 1983-87 (Deukmejian). Fresno County Justice Court judge, 1981-83. Private practice, 1976-83.Law degree: Santa Clara University School of Law (1975)In 1976, Steven Vartabedian was in private practice with law partner Charles Poochigian. Twenty two years later, Poochigian was a state Assembly member, and Vartabedian was on the Fifth District Court of Appeal.Like Poochigian, Vartabedian is a hometown hero, born and raised in the Fresno area. As with most of the Fifth District justices, Vartabedian is even-tempered and interested during oral argument.Vartabedian has made some good calls as appellate judge. His holding that a fetus injured from its mother’s workplace injury is not limited to workers’ comp was upheld by the California Supreme Court, as was his ruling that a county could bring a federal antitrust class action against an electric utility. Likewise, his dissent in the custody “move-away” case Marriage of Burgess carried the day with the Supremes.He missed on the minimum requirements for parolee searches in People v. Reyes, 51 Cal.App.4th 1388, but hey, nobody’s perfect.POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Vartabedian contributed $550 to Poochigian’s Assembly campaigns from 1995 to 1998. Vartabedian’s wife, Marilyn, contributed $300 to Dan Lungren’s AG campaign.

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