Hon. William Bedsworth
Judge, California Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 3, Santa Ana
William W. Bedsworth received a Bachelor’s Degree (cum laude) from Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1968 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1971.
After graduation from law school, he joined the Orange County District Attorney’s Office where he served as a line deputy, felony trial deputy, appellate attorney, and finally as managing attorney in charge of the appellate division of that office. He handled cases in both the California and United States Supreme Courts, and his argument before the California Supreme Court in In re James D. (1987) 43 Cal.3d 903, was videotaped by the National School Safety Center for educational use. During his career as a prosecutor, he was twice chosen President of the Association of Orange County Deputy District Attorneys and twice elected to the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association.
In 1986, he was elected to an open seat on the Orange County Superior Court. He was re-elected in 1992, and in 1997, the State Bar of California’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation rated him “exceptionally well qualified” (highest possible rating) for appointment to the Court of Appeal. He was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 3 by Governor Pete Wilson in February, 1997. He was then elected to that position in 1998 and re-elected in 2010.
Justice Bedsworth has taught law school classes at Western State University, Chapman University and the University of California, Irvine. He has also taught at the California Judicial College in Berkeley, and served on the Board of Advisors of Whittier Law School. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and was a principal in Fair Share 502 (a charity whose 10 members raised almost a million dollars for homeless children). He was the Hispanic Bar Association’s Judge of the Year in 1997 and received the LGBT Lavender Bar Association’s first Leadership Award in 2011. The Celtic Bar named him Judge of the Year in 2012.
In addition to law review articles, he has published a great deal in the lay press, most recently in Sierra and Coast magazines. His monthly humor column “A Criminal Waste of Space” is nationally syndicated, and self-described as the most aptly named feature of the dozen legal publications in which it appears. He has published two books of legal humor and is a sought-after public speaker.
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