* Steven S. Weisman; Pioneered State's "Rent-a-Judge System"

Steven S. Weisman, 79, former judge who helped create California's "rent-a-judge" system. Born in Minneapolis and educated at USC, Mr. Weisman served in the Army during World War II, earning the rank of captain. He was named to the Los Angeles Municipal Court bench in 1958 and elevated to Los Angeles County Superior Court in 1959. When he retired in 1977, he pioneered the use of a little-known state law that enabled civil litigants to hire former judges to hear their cases privately. The system, which permitted those who could afford the judge's fee to litigate disputes much faster than in the slow regular courts, became known as the "rent-a-judge" system. Highly respected and experienced, Mr. Weisman became one of its most sought-after practitioners. During his two decades on the bench, Mr. Weisman taught law at Southwestern University and at Beverly Law School, which later became the Whittier College School of Law. On Saturday in Beverly Hills of a heart attack.

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