Surrounded by family and a newborn daughter, lawyer Ruben De La Torre was sworn in Thursday as a commissioner for the Ventura County Superior Court.
De La Torre, a 33-year-old Oxnard resident, will start the new assignment Monday. He will preside over traffic cases at the Ventura Hall of Justice.
“I think the public will be wonderfully well served,” said Associate Justice Steven Z. Perren of the Court of Appeal, who administered the oath of office.
It was Perren who swore in De La Torre as a lawyer when he passed the bar eight years ago to became a deputy public defender.
De La Torre was chosen in November from among 39 applicants who sought the commissioner seat vacated by Judge Kent Kellegrew when he was appointed to the Superior Court by Gov. Gray Davis in October.
Ventura County has four court commissioners who are selected by judges to preside over limited types of cases, such as traffic and misdemeanor matters.
Described as an efficient and compassionate lawyer, De La Torre is among the youngest attorneys to ever serve as a commissioner.
“He deserves it,” said his wife, Vilma, cradling the couple’s 8-week-old daughter, Maya, after a small courthouse ceremony Thursday. “He works hard, and he’s a very humane person.”
De La Torre earned his undergraduate degree from Cal State Northridge and a law degree from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.