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L.A. County judge killed while crossing the street in Pico-Robertson

A Los Angeles County judge who also was a recognized expert in communications law was killed Monday when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing a West L.A. street, police said.

The judge, identified as Daniel L. Brenner by a court spokeswoman, was walking across Beverwil Drive near Pico Boulevard about 6 p.m. when a driver heading north struck him, said Los Angeles police Officer Tony Im.

The driver remained at the scene and is not under a criminal investigation, Im said. Brenner was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 64.

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Brenner was not using the crosswalk, LAPD Sgt. Benjamin Zucker said.

"He was a brilliant judge and lawyer and a beloved friend to many," said Judge Carolyn Kuhl, the presiding judge of the L.A. County Superior Court. "His death is a terrible loss for his family and the court."

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Brenner to the bench in 2012, and the jurist had most recently heard civil matters in the Chatsworth Courthouse, according to court spokeswoman Mary Hearn.

At the time of his appointment, Brenner had been a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan Lovells LLP after spending about 17 years as the vice president of the regulatory department at the National Cable and Telecommunications Assn., an industry group.

Brenner had previously served as a top advisor to the chair of the Federal Communications Commission.

“Dan’s insightful knowledge of telecommunications law made him a formidable force in public policy during his years leading the legal department at NCTA,” said Michael Powell, president and CEO of the cable and telecom group.

“A prominent and distinguished member of the federal communications bar, Dan was a key staffer and advisor to two FCC chairmen during a time of immense change,” he added.

Many praised Brenner for his sharp legal mind as well as his comedic talent.

For several years, Brenner performed stand-up comedy in clubs across the country and even taught a comedy course at UCLA Extension. He told The Times in 1991 that lawyers and comedians faced similar tasks: using language to be persuasive.

Brenner had earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, and he graduated from Stanford Law School. Following law school, he was a clerk for U.S. District Court Judge William Byrne Jr.

During his career, Brenner wrote two legal textbooks and served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington College of Law at American University and Cardozo Law School. He previously served as a faculty member at UCLA's law school and was a lecturer at USC's Gould School of Law, according to his USC biography.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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UPDATE

9:13 a.m.: This story was updated with a comment from the LAPD.

8:43 p.m.: This story was updated with comments from Judge Carolyn Kuhl.

7:12 p.m.: This story was updated with additional details.

This story was originally published at 6:15 p.m.

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