Judge Lance Ito Will Address Pasadena Rotary on Wednesday

Published : Saturday, September 1, 2018 | 5:22 AM

Pasadena resident Judge Lance Ito, who presided over the O.J. Simpson trial at the Los Angeles County Superior Court 22 years ago, will speak at the Rotary Club of Pasadena’s weekly meeting on Wednesday, September 5.

The meeting, which runs from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m, is open to the public. The University Club buffet lunch charge is $33.

Ito, who retired in 2015, will speak on the topic “How to Avoid Jury Service – The Inside Story,” according to a Rotary Club announcement.

Ito was born and raised in Los Angeles. Both his parents were kept in Japanese-American internment camps with their families during World War II. He is a proud graduate of the John Marshall High School, where he was student body president and received the Scholar Athlete award in 1968.

He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from UCLA in 1972 and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall in 1975. He then joined the Los Angeles district attorney’s office in 1977.

In 1981, he married Margaret Ann York, the first woman to attain the rank of Deputy Chief in the Los Angeles Police Department and that department’s highest ranking woman officer when she retired in 2002.

Governor George Deukmejian appointed Ito to the Municipal Court of the Los Angeles Judicial District in 1987, and elevated him to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1989. Ito has served twice as a member of that court’s executive committee.

From January to October 1995, Ito presided over the murder trial of former NFL player, broadcaster, and actor OJ Simpson, which resulted in an acquittal.

From 1993 to 2000 Ito served as chair of the Judicial Council Court Interpreters Advisory Panel and has taught the course on the effective use of spoken language interpreters at the B.E. Witkin Judicial College for the past two decades. He remains an ardent advocate for equal language access to the courts.

Ito was the court Vienna Convention on Consular Relations compliance coordinator. Ito has served on assignment on three occasions with the Second District of the Court of Appeals. In 2012, Ito lost his courtroom staff due to statewide court budget cuts and served as the emergency preparedness coordinator for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

In retirement, Ito says he plans to resume guitar lessons he missed at age 12, and travel the country by train. He is preparing to audition for Bugles Across America, an organization which provides buglers for the funerals of military veterans.

Ito will be introduced by Pat Wright at Wednesday’s luncheon meeting at the University Club of Pasadena, at 175 N. Oakland Avenue.

The University Club of Pasadena is located at 175 N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena.

For more details, visit www.pasadenarotary.com. For inquiries, send an email to office@pasadenarotary.com.

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