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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Malibu’s Latest Chapter of Judicial History Concludes with Closure of Courthouse

• Judge Decides to Retire with the Change; Given City Commendation and High Public Accolades

BY BILL KOENEKER

It was the first public appearance for retired Judge Lawrence J. Mira last Tuesday night at Malibu City Council chambers when the jurist was given a commendation “in recognition of his service to the Malibu community.”  The Malibu courthouse closed on May 31.
Mira, who attended law school at Loyola Marymount University, was a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County before he was a practicing criminal defense attorney.
In 1998, he followed Judge John Merrick on the Malibu bench and remained  the presiding judge in Malibu for 26 years.
Mira was sometimes known as “the judge to the stars” for the many celebrity defendants who visited his courtroom.
He announced that he decided to retire after the Malibu courthouse closed last week. Privately, he has told people that he is retiring to undertake his first love—music—now that he has concluded a career in law.
Mira told the council members during the commendation ceremony that he appreciated being included by city officials in such a way with the community.
“Malibu is blessed with many things. It is blessed with a city government. I will miss Malibu. I will miss the Malibu courthouse,” he said.
Mira said John Merrick was his mentor and set the demeanor for the Malibu courthouse.
He said he tried to follow the doctrine that justice should be swift and fair, and it should be provided equally to the famous and the not so famous and be applied with compassion.
Councilmember Laura Rosenthal said that when she learned about Mira retiring, she indicated that she and others got a promise from him that if the city could somehow reopen the courthouse, Mira would return.
Councilmember Joan House said about Mira, “It is people who make Malibu and they make us a little bit better than we could have been.”

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