Joseph R. Grodin
is a lawyer and
former judge from the state of California.
Grodin is a graduate from the University of California in Berkeley
(1951) and from Yale University (1954). In addition, he has a PHD
from the London School of Economics (1960).
Upon earning his law degree, he became a partner at the law firm of
Brundage Neyhart Grodin & Beeson in 1955. He practiced law
there until 1972, when he became a professor at the Hastings
College of the Law. He enjoyed his work there greatly and became
well-known in legal circles.
He entered public life in 1979 when then-Governor Jerry Brown
appointed him to the California
Court of Appeals. He served in that position until 1982. when Brown
appointed him to the California Supreme Court.
On the court, Grodin compiled a solid liberal record, voting mostly
in lockstep with Chief Justice Rose Bird
He was considered supportive of trial lawyers and defense
attorneys, while seeming skeptical of law enforcement and business
interests. This caused some controversy, as Bird and Brown had
become increasingly unpopular with a public which was increasingly
frustrated with a rising crime wave.
In California, state judges are on the ballot for confirmation,
with the option of confirming or removing the judge. Grodin was on
the ballot in 1982 and was retained, but by less than expected. In
1986, Bird had become highly controversial and unpopular, with many
politicians openly denouncing her in their campaigns, including
Governor George Deukmejain
Opponents of Bird succeeded in linking Grodin and another justice,
, to her. As a result,
Grodin was rejected by the voters by a 57% to 43% margin.
leaving the court, Grodin returned to the Hastings College
of the Law, where he remains today.
He has also
authored several books.