Governor Appoints Four as Municipal Court Judges


A deputy attorney general, a deputy district attorney and two private-practice lawyers were named Monday by Gov. George Deukmejian to Municipal Court judgeships in San Diego County.

They were:

* Jay M. Bloom, 44, who as a deputy attorney general had led the state’s efforts to execute Robert Alton Harris, convicted and sentenced to die for the 1978 murders of two San Diego teen-agers.

* Harry M. Elias, 40, a deputy district attorney who in 1985 founded and became chief of the district attorney’s child abuse section.


* David J. Danielsen, 38, who specialized in civil litigation with a heavy emphasis on professional malpractice as a partner in the law firm of Ault, Deuprey, Jones, Danielsen & Gorman.

* Harvey H. Hiber, 56, who specialized in commercial law and business litigation as a partner in the law firm of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack.

The four got word of the appointments Monday morning.

“I was at work in blue jeans and tennis shoes,” Danielsen said, “and I had to go home and change” for the quickly-arranged swearing-in at 11 a.m.


Bloom, Danielsen and Hiber were named to the Municipal Court of the San Diego Judicial District, and Elias will work in Vista as one of 11 judges serving the North County Municipal Judicial District.

Bloom, of San Diego, replaces Municipal Judge Allan Preckel, who was elevated to the San Diego County Superior Court.

Bloom has been an attorney with the state Department of Justice since 1972, most recently in the forefront in the state’s efforts to execute Harris, whose sentencing appeals have led to a series of on-again, off-again dates with the gas chamber.

Bloom got his law degree from UCLA in 1971.

Elias, of San Diego, replaces Vista Municipal Court Judge S. Patricia Rosenbaum, who was transferred to the Los Angeles County Municipal Court. Elias joined the district attorney’s office in 1976--and served 3 1/2 years in Vista before specializing in child abuse prosecutions in San Diego.

He earned his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1975 and was a partner in two private law firms before becoming a prosecutor.

Danielsen, of La Jolla, replaces San Diego Municipal Court Judge Melinda J. Lasater, who was promoted to Superior Court. Danielsen got his law degree from USD in 1977 and was an associate with the law firm of Holt, Rhoades & Hollywood before becoming a partner with Ault, Deuprey, Jones, Danielsen & Gorman in 1979.

Hiber, of Coronado, had been with Higgs, Fletcher & Mack since 1965, after earning his law degree from USD in 1962.


As is the protocol for such appointments, each of the four had made application to the governor’s office for the posts and then was screened by a committee of attorneys, who then rated applicants for consideration by Deukmejian.

“Then, you just sit and wait,” said Hiber, who said he had never met the governor.

“It’s always a surprise when you’re honored this way,” Danielsen said. “I’ve always been interested in a career in the judiciary, and I let the governor’s office know a little over a year ago. Then, you just hope and wait, and the appointment comes out of the blue.”

The salary for a Municipal Court judge is $86,157 a year.