LOS ANGELES—Associate Justice Norvell “Fred” Woods Jr., of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven (Los Angeles), will retire on March 31, 2015, after nearly 31 years on the bench.
On his retirement, Justice Woods said, “My participation in the legal profession has been a fantastic experience, by initially representing clients in private practice, eventually serving on the trial court, then on the Court of Appeal, writing opinions, and even as a justice pro tempore on the Supreme Court of California. I am in excellent health, as is my wife of 57 years. Now turning 80 years of age on the day I retire, it is time for a new chapter in my life.”
Justice Woods was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1984. Before his appointment, he was in private practice in Long Beach for 20 years as a senior partner, sole practitioner, and associate attorney. During this time he also served as a Family Law Mediator and Arbitrator with the Los Angeles County Superior Court. In 1988, Governor George Deukmejian elevated Justice Woods to the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, where he has been reconfirmed by the electorate three times.
Administrative Presiding Justice Roger Boren commented, “Having served alongside Justice Fred Woods for most of his judicial career, I can safely say he has been a wonderful colleague and a dependable friend. When Justice Woods retires, he brings to a close 31 years of dedicated public service on our court and to the public we serve. He has contributed to the court not only through his opinions, but also on our Executive Committee, as Acting Presiding Justice, on our Appellate Record Oversight Panel, and chairman of our Appellate Delay Reduction Committee and Executive Legislative Action Network. It helps that he was a marathon runner.”
Justice Woods served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1958 through 1975 rising from the rank of Ensign to Lieutenant Commander. He has been active in the Joe Ball/Clarence Hunt American Inn of Court, YMCA, Optimists Club, Rotary Club, California State Bar, Long Beach Bar Association, California Judges Association, and the Episcopal Church.
Justice Dennis Perluss, the presiding justice of Division Seven of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District said, “Justice Woods has been a warm and gracious colleague for more than 13 years. He was particularly outstanding in working with young lawyers at his Inn of Court, law student externs in his chambers and high school students visiting our court.”