Former Los Angeles County District Attorney John Van de Kamp, a former presiding judge, and five defense attorneys were remembered today at the Judges Arthur L. Alarcón and Warren L. Ettinger Criminal Justice Wall of Fame ceremony.
Speakers, including U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Senior Judge Stephen S. Trott, inducted the honorees at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center’s first floor terrace. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey also participated.
The honorees this year are:
- John Van de Kamp (1936-2017): As District Attorney of Los Angeles County from 1975 to 1982, he created the office’s first specialized units focused on prosecuting gang violence, sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. He also established a dedicated unit to assist victims of crime.
- Jack E. Goertzen (1931-2016): He served as a trial judge from 1968 until he was elevated to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in 1988. He was known for his sharp wit and respected for his leadership skills. He developed a reputation as one of the fairest judges and the most popular.
- Anthony P. Brooklier (1946-2016): Hailed as one of the best criminal defense lawyers of his generation, his legal acumen made him the go-to attorney for high-profile clients that included organized crime figures, law enforcement officers and celebrities, such as Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.
- William J. Genego (1951-2017): A champion of the underdog with an innate desire to right injustices, the former law school professor successfully fought to overturn wrongful convictions of at least five people who were serving life prison sentences.
- Paul Geragos (1927-2016): Known among his colleagues as the “last warrior” for his dedication to the legal profession and thorough knowledge of the law, he defended 17 clients facing the death penalty; none was sentenced to death. A judge dismissed his final case before it went to a jury.
- Franklin Peters Jr. (1949-2015): Renowned for undertaking the most challenging cases on the court’s docket, he believed even those accused of the most heinous crimes deserved the best defense possible. He was known for his stirring summations and impeccable memory.
- Charles R. Scarlett (1924-2017): During his storied career as a defense attorney, he represented clients such as James Brown and Little Richard. He served as a role model for aspiring attorneys. After retiring as a judge, he continued to sit in juvenile court in Inglewood and Compton into his 90s.
The Wall of Fame was created in 2006 to honor late judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys whose outstanding conduct and professionalism made significant contributions to the criminal justice system during their lifetimes.
Taken from a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.