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JUSTICE

l COLEMAN A. BLEASE
CALIFORNIA APPELLATE C OURTS -

THIRD DISTRICT
not thinking about the hundred or thou

PROFILE by
sands of other problFms that may be
generated the language they uoc."
Bleasc is a proponent of the Strict
construction of statbtes. That means
looking at what the language of the
App<>mted by Gm Jern 8m1111 rn >1a1utc <ays. and not how lcgi>lator.
the 3rd District Court ofAppeal. 1979: meant for it to apply or even how other
partner. Blease. la11derlaa11 & couns ha\ e interpreted the statute.
Rothschild. Sacramento. 196i- "9: Lawyers who appear before him
Sacrt1111ento lobb1ift. American Ci1t! 'hould be prepared to have the relevant
libertres l'mOll. -1960- "5: Sacra1110110 s1a1ute on hand. and 10 engage in a
lobbyist. Friends Com111111ee 011 detailed discussion of it
legif!ation. 1956-59
"He rs an ad,ocate for intcrprciing
Lah' school: l'C Berl.el<')' Sth<><1l a >laruc pnmarily JUS, from the \\Ords of
ofla11: 1955 the statute itself and not trying to second
AJ!e: 84
guess \\hat the Legislature may really
have been thinking abouL" said Davis
By Emily Green
appellate lawyer Kirl)ball J.P. Sargeant.
Daily Journal Staff Wmer
"The pomt being enacting a statute rs
SACRJ\ME TO Somcumcs
olleo a matter of compromise and jus1
one's best intentions can go a\\ ry.
because one senator thinks it's accom
Justice Coleman Bleae learned
1ha1 early 1n his career. when he
ph>hing A doesn't ny:an A was "rincn
that tendency. into the statute."
wa1ched nearly 800 students get am:>t
Regarding the state Supreme In a 20 I0 address 10 UC Da\'iS
cd at the University of Berkeley under a
Coun's jurisprudence. Blease said. School of Law. Ble ;aid. "It i> dis
law he himself had sloppily craflcd.
Blease was a profo;or in the uni,ers1- "Since they have screwed over so many d
tressingly common t find that an anor
of my cases. I'm nOI the bcM person 10 ncy. in a11;umg that a statute appl"-s in a
1y's pccch department. and the studcnL'
ask about it. They have different judg manner of benefi1 to his or her client. is
were pan of the 1964 seminal Free
menr'. <0 that'< what they're there for wholly unable 10 explain why or in what
Spc\.."\.h Mo\Cltlcnt
The cnminal JUStice ;ys1em. he manner 1he languagei of the state JUSti
TI1c law Blease though1 he \\TOI<:
gave janitors at libranes the power 10 said, is "terrible" because ir's O\crly fics 1ha1 conclusion."

rerno\ e homeless people who refused to punHI\ e. And he cnticiz1,,'tl the long A 2013 dccmon by Bleasc had an

leave. standing practice of appointing mostly immediate impact on vinually every


"I made one big error in it I trial judges to the appellate couns. adult in the state. H t penned a unani
1houi;h1 cus1<xhan meant jannor. Tum-; dcscnbmg tnal cxpcncncc as cssenual mous dcc1>1on that said customers at
out. 1hcrc arc lots of custodians. The ly useless except for learning rules of grocery stores coul no longer use a
go,ernor. the police. the county sherilfs C\'idcncc. self-checkout kiosk 10 buy alcohol. The
office. o it completely m1;,;,ed the But what Blcase is really passron C<be centcn..-d on the \)1C3nmg of a "cus
whole poin1. And I sat there. watching aie abour arc rules of staturory construc tomcr-opcmtcd chcc 14out stand." Blcase
800 people being hauled off - ultima1c rion. It's a topic on which he waws at !kltd it wasn't a close call what the
ly 1herc were that many arrested - under length. including 10 his colleagues. I Jc statute meant.
:1 s1aru1c that I had misdrafted." spent I7 years as a lobbyist in Bleasc was equally cenain of the
Blcase is 8-' and. after t\\ o decade' Sacramento. 14 of them representing meamng of "assault" in a ca.-.e that :.till
rcpre:.cnting unions and ci'll right:. the American Civil Libcnie; Union. ark:. him.
a on
organi/ations. " now in his 35th ye; Lesson o. I: the concept of di h ill\olved an angry man who
the state appellate coun in Sacramento cernmg legislative intent is O\t.-rblown ''ecred his pickup truck so close 10 his
Only Justice Joan Dempsey Klc in . who "Legislation inrcnrion io ... what enemies that he nearly r.in them ov.:r.
boas1> J6 year\ on the L< \n.:tdc,
- 1hc courts hide bchmd "hen rhcv "am t:
Bfcasc ovcnun1cd lhc dcf ndant's cun
appellate coun. outlasl< ham. to apply polrcy." he 'aid. "Legislator,, \ ic11on of a,;ault b<.--cause the jur y was
He was never one to hy from don't really intend anything unJc.,., n't allowed to consider his claim that he
debate or compromise l11s pnncipJe,. maybe it is to take care of the problem "anted to fnghten h1$ ad\t:n.:trie,. not
u
and rime has - if :111y1hi11g - acccn1 arc d which 1s in front of rhcm. And rhey Jrc h11 1h.:m.

e Daily Journal Corporation


2014-2
JUSTICE COLEMAN A. BLEASE, CALIFORNIA APPELLATE COURTS. THIRD DISTRICT

Blease said that m order for assault The tuition was $35 a semester. and LLP. Sacramcn10
to occur. there must be an intentional Blcasc took out a loan from the uni,er Central Coast Porest Association
attempt to bann someone. sity. \\hich he paid back SS a month. In 'Fish and Game Commission. 211 Cal.
He grudgingly reveTSed himself 1955. he graduated frcm U.C. Berkeley App. 4th 1433 remo,al of salmon
after the state Supreme Coun ordered School of Law. Soon after, he took his from register of enangered opcc1c>
him to reconsider his decision. People v. first lobbying job in Sacramento on (Supreme Coun rcviey.' b'fanted)
Wright, 100 Cal.App.4th 703 (Cal. App. behalf of the Quakers. For defendant and appellant: Tara
3rd Dist. 2002). In 1967. during his lobbying hey L. Mueller. attorney general's office.
That was more than 10 years ago. day. he founded a private law practice Oakland

but Blease still recalls the case vividly. that spcctah7ed in representmg public For plaintiffs and respondents:

as \\ell as the state upreme Coun JUS employees' and teachers' unton. His James L. Buchal. Murphy & Buchal
11cc who authored the opinion: his for fonner law partner. Lawrence K. LLP. Ponland. Ore.
mer colleague Jamee Roger.. Brown. an Karlton. " now a senior district judge In re Pugh on Habeas Corpu,,

outspoken conservative who now serves for the Ea.tcrn Disrric1 of California. 205 Cal. App. -tth 260 parole for an

a;, a federal appeals coun judge. In 1979, Gov. Jerry Drown inmate

"An incredibly >tupid case. They appointed Blea.c to the 3rd D1stnct For appellant: Pamela B. Hooley
Coun of Appeal. He was confinned by and Kasey E. Jon. onomey general'<
were wrong about C\crything in it ... It
a :!-I \Ote. with then-Attorney General office. Sacramento
W:b done by Jamee Rogers Brown. She
George Deukmejian opposing his For respondent: Michael Sams,
i> no great fa\Oritc of mine. If you ever
appointment. Bolinas
want to know somebody with an agen
da. she had one."
Blease has al..o had differences
In the years since, Blcase has
cemented his reputation among lawyers J
Tlris profile or1g nully <1ppearl'd 111

as being a rigorous and active jurist. the Los Angeles Datly Jo11mal and the
with some of the orgam:rations he reprc
-.cntcd. including the ACLU. After 1-t Said fonner appellate pracmioner J
San Francisco Dair ournal on .\larch
Charity Kenyon. "He has an e'Ccellent 3. !014
)cars lobbying for them at the >late
Legislature. he paned ways because of reputation for being an intellectual and
the group's suppon of the 1974 Robbins intellectually honest."
Rape Evidence Law. which limited
introduction of e' 1dcnce of the alleged I/err! arr! some ofJustice Blet1se's
'1c11ms se'Cual conduct. recent casef and the /:myers mvfred:
He said the ACLU saw prosecuting Caltfom1a Grocers Assoc1a1ton \'.
rapists as a civil libcntcs issue: he per Depanment of Alcoholic Bc,erage
CCl\Cd it 10 be a pro:.ccutorial func11on. ContrOI. 219 Cal. App. 4th 1065. pur
"And I said I am not here representing a chase of alcohohc beverage,, at grocery
prosecutorial function." stores
Former 3rd District Coun of For petitioner: James M. ScfT and
Appcal Presiding Justice. Anhur Christopher R. Rodriguez. P1ll<.bury
cotland. a Repubhcan appoint<!<! "ho Wimhrop Shav. Pittman LLP.
c.-ed with Blease from 1989 to 2010. Sacramento
de:.cnbcd him as man. >mart. sman." For respondent: Fic l D. Tigno and
"He is liberal politically but he Michael D. Gowe. attorney general's
doc> not have an agenda and I don't office. Oakland
think his political '1ews impropcrl) The Roman Catholic Bihop of
influence his JUd1c1al judgment." Jose Jose' Bo\\en. 219 Cal. App. 4th
Scotland said. "I ha'e great resJJ<.'Ct for -t84 a church's assets upon d1S>Olu11on
him." For plaintiffs and appellants; Laura
Another fonner colleague. rcured Borden Riddell and John M. Cox.
Ju.tice Rick Sims, said. "For a period of Sweeney & Greene LLP, Elk Grove
about 15 years. Presiding Justice Bob For defendant and respondent:
Puglia and Associa1c Justices Coleman Peter K. Southwonh and Syh 1a A.
Blea>e and Keith Sparks served togcth Cates. auomey general'' office.
er on the 3rd Dbtnct Coun of Appeal Sacramento
They were the b..1 legal minds on the MacDonald v. State of Cahfomia.
appcllate couns of California. with the C069646 claims of reraliauon
pO>\lblc addition of Justice Howurd For plaintiff and appellant: Adam
Wiener of the 4th D"trtcl. Blair Corren. Stockton
"Puglia was a conservative: Spark\ For defendant and respondent State
\\as a moderate: and Blcasc was a liber of Cahfom1a: Scou H. Wyckoff and
al. Bui they :ilm(.h.,t ""er dinted on 'I.lark J T3mhlyn. auomc) fCncral'<
one another. Sin1> addi."<i. "The la" office. Sacramento
bound them together." For defendant and respondent
Blease was born in San Francisco California State Assembly: Timothy G
and attended college at UC Berkeley. Yeung. Renne Sloan Hoh7m:m Saka i

20142 c Daily Journal Corporation


I
JUSTICE COLEMAN A. BLEASE CALIFORNIA APPELLATE COURTS THIRD DISTRICT
,

BIOGRAPHY
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT PERSONAL lllSTORY

Coun: Californi a Appellate Coun;, Binhplace: San Francisco. CA


Title: Justice Sex: M
Dates: 1979 to Present Spouse: Barbara Hoyt
Status: Appointed Political Affihat1on; Democrat
Appointed by: GO\'Cmor Jerry
Brown
D ate: M ay 14. 1979

EDUCATION

Law School: UC Berkeley. Boah


Hall School of Law
Location: Ber\(.eley. CA
Date: 1955
Degree: LL.B.

College: UC Berkeley
Location: Berkeley. CA
Date: 1952
Degree: B. A.

PRACTICE HISTORY

Bleasc. Vanderlaan & Roth<ch1ld


Partner
Location: Sacramento. CA
From: 1967 to 1979

American Ci' ii Libcn1c<> Union

S acramento Lobbyist
Location: Sacramento. CA
From: 1960 to 1975

Friends Committee on Legi<lauon


S acramento Lobby1;1
Location: Sacramento. CA
From: 1956 to 1959

BARS AND RELATED


PROFESSIONAL ACTl\'ITIES

1979-present: California Judge<


Association
1955-present: Admmed to California
Bar

OTHER ORGANIZATIO

Friends Committee on Lcgi;,lation


ACLU of Southern Cahfomia
Social Workers Union
Local 535
AFL-CIO

Daily Journal Corporation 2014-2