Judges Rule Lawyers

They maintain lead over their friendly rivals to win second annual softball game between county judges and trial lawyers.

By Michael Miller

Updated: Saturday, September 20, 2008 11:58 PM PDT

NEWPORT BEACH — No fights broke out during Saturday’s softball game at Grant Howald Park, but if anyone had been injured with a beanball, it would have been easy to find a lawyer.

Saturday marked the second annual “Bench & Bar Softball Game” between the Orange County court judges and the Orange County Trial Lawyers Assn. at the park in Corona del Mar, as the lawyers tried to avenge their narrow 19-16 defeat the year before.

They didn’t succeed, as the judges drubbed them, 18-11, but both sides called it a friendly rivalry. “Are we crushed? No,” said lawyer Melinda Bell, who runs a private practice in Irvine and kept official score. “We had a good time.” The competition started last year when lawyer Alan Brown and Judge Dave McEachen jokingly challenged one another to a softball game.

It would be inaccurate, though, to say no one on either team was athletic; Judge Karen Robinson, the former mayor of Costa Mesa, ran track when she was a student at UCLA.

Saturday, Robinson used her speed to hustle out two infield singles and make an over-the-shoulder catch in right field.
Vincent Howard, a lawyer who runs a private practice in Anaheim, socked the game’s only home run — an inside-the-park wallop — but the judges held onto their early lead.

Robert Jameson, a retired judge, served as umpire. After the final out, the teams posed together for a photo on the diamond and had lunch provided by the Newport Rib Co.

Even though the judges won by an even bigger margin than last year, McEachen said he was impressed by the opposition.
“They’re about 15 years younger than we are, but they have some pretty good athletes,” he said. “They’re nice about it, though.”

Special Thanks to Lisa Cosenza – Daily Pilot