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John J. Merrick dies at 93; longtime Malibu judge, civic leader
John J. Merrick dies at 93; longtime Malibu judge, civic leader

When Beverly Hills attorney John J. Merrick was elected judge of the Malibu Judicial District in 1964, it was considered only a part-time job: The population of the area stretching from the ocean to Calabasas didn't warrant a full-time municipal judge. While continuing to maintain his law practice, Merrick heard cases on Mondays in a small courthouse in Calabasas that doubled as a dance hall at night. He spent the remaining four weekdays in the landmark 1930s-era Malibu courthouse on Pacific Coast Highway. But he could also be assigned to hear municipal court cases in such far-flung locales as Glendale, Indio, Lancaster and Ventura. "I was known as 'Have Robe, Will...

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