RIVERSIDE—Associate Justice Thomas E. Hollenhorst, of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two announced his retirement effective August 1, 2017, after 45 years of public service—over 28 years on the Court of Appeal in Riverside.
Justice Hollenhorst served as the acting district attorney, assistant district attorney and deputy district attorney of Riverside County from 1972 to 1981. He was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., to the Municipal Court, Riverside Judicial District in 1981, where in 1984 he served as presiding judge. In 1985 he was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to the Superior Court of Riverside County, and then to the Court of Appeal in 1988. During his judicial career Justice Hollenhorst was elected, or retained in office, by the voters five times.
“Tom is an ideal judge, that rare individual who is blessed with both a head and a heart. He worked hard inside the courthouse, but never forgot to give back to the community through his work with the Rotary Club and education and outreach programs. He is a self-described ʻplough horse’ and one of the hardest working, most prolific appellate court justices in the state, authoring close to 5,000 opinions,” commented Presiding Justice Manuel Ramirez. “He is a man of many talents and interests, a modern day ʻRenaissance Man’—he began the unprecedented practice of sending tentative opinions to counsel to prepare for oral argument—he was very active in judicial education and ethics—on a daily basis, worked to improve the administration of justice and the lives of those he came into contact with. He truly saw himself as a public servant, devoting his life to serving others, most especially the people of California.”
Justice Hollenhorst chaired the Center for Judicial Education and Research Governing Committee and their Ethics Education Committee. He also served as faculty on statewide judicial education programs and institutes, including science and the law, judicial ethics, and court technology. He was a member of the American Bar Association Appellate Judge Seminar Series Planning Committee, the California Judges Association Ethics Committee, the Science and Law Steering Judicial Council Advisory Committee, and the Court Technology Judicial Counsel Advisory Committee.
In 1995, he published a study of the tentative opinion program that he co-founded. (Hollenhorst, Tentative Opinions: An Analysis of Their Benefit in the Appellate Court of California (1995) 36 Santa Clara L.R. 1.).
Justice Hollenhorst received a B.A. from San Jose State College in 1968, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1971, and an L.L.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1995.
An avid fisherman and pianist, Justice Hollenhorst enjoys time with family, friends, and his dogs, and motorcycle rides and small aircraft flights around Southern California. He is married to Beth Hollenhorst and is the father of two adult sons and has four grandchildren.