May 19, 2000

Pioneering Hispanic Judge Retires

Superior Court Judge Ernest Borunda, South County's first Hispanic judge, will close out 21 years on the bench to pursue his dual loves of education and administration as Dean of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.

As Dean, he will oversee training of 3,000 judges annually from 50 states and 150 foreign countries in all practice areas. He will also launch the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Courts and the Media, where jurists and journalists can gather to discuss policy on first amendment and other issues that confront members of both disciplines.

Appointed to the former South Bay Municipal Court in 1979, Judge Borunda displayed a penchant for court administration during four separate elections as presiding judge. From his first term in 1981 to the last in 1997, he oversaw the court's greatest growth period and the court coordination which led to the December, 1998 unification with Superior Court.

Judge Borunda has taught for 16 years at the Center for Judicial Education and Research, where he served as head of the Governing Board in 1997-98. Attended by judges statewide, his classes focused on court administration and diversity and fairness. In addition, he has served on the State Judicial Council's Advisory Committee to Identify Court Interpreter Issues since 1990.

Rounding out the judge's career change this month are his designation as the Bar Associa-tion's 2000 awardee for Service to the Legal Profession and his 30th wedding anniversary. "My family is the center of my life," the judge said. "Without Carol, there is no way I would have had the chance to do the things that I've accomplished."

The judge moved to South Bay in 1962 and subsequently earned his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of San Diego. He was a law clerk at the local Court of Appeal, served as a juvenile court judge pro tem, and was a sole practitioner for seven years before his appointment to the bench. He was sworn in to the Superior Court after the 1998 unification.

He and his family relocate after his June 5 retirement date.

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