I was deeply saddened this afternoon, May 11, 2016, to hear that my friend and someone I admired from my first meeting with him in Long Beach, died today. The Honorable Kenneth A. Black, Judge of the Superior Court, ret. Ken was one of the smartest guys I have ever met, and his shoes will never ever be filled. Well, at least not on this planet.
Certainly some of you knew Ken when he was serving process back in the day and his career as a lawyer and so much more than I had. However, knowing Judge Black and having him as a friend was an experience whether it be 1 year or 25 years. Some will recall Ken as a Court Commissioner back in 1982. He was in that position until his appointment to the bench by then-Governor George Deukmejian in 1987.
The relationship I had with Ken was very special, and my sons too always got a kick from his stories. Myself and one of my sons had just testified before Judge Black several weeks ago and now I find myself writing this. If this is not a classic example of enjoying yourself as we never know when the bell will ring for us. Few could tell a story like Ken Black as he had a mind for details that was a little frightening at times. No details were ever missed or forgotten. Ken’s ability to remember names, places and details often put litigants and their lawyers flat on their asses at times. Again, judges are not supposed to be entertaining, BUT, for me, Black, Lewis, Gordon, Pellman, Goldstein were some of the best entertainment I have ever sat and listened to. Please keep this our little secret shhhhhhh!
It has been my rule to not take pictures with sitting judges for a very simple reason. Not that I am a criminal or of poor character, but I do work for clients that some find offensive and for that reason I never want to place any judicial officer in a photo op with me. I just feel it is better for all concerned that no photos surface in this day of photoshop! However, my relationships are with the person, and not the position they hold in society. When I declined a photo one time with Ken I recall Judge Black looking at me with a smirk and said to me that was a great position to take, after I explained why I declined the opportunity.
Ken became ill and was admitted to the hospital several weeks ago. I remained in contact with his family as to his condition and we were all hopeful that things would get better. However, I knew that deep down this was far more serious than anyone could have imagined. Myself and many were all hoping and praying
Ken will get through this.
Today, his wife and children lost a wonderful husband and father. For me and my sons, we lost a man that we had always respected. I sat in my car on the 405 and drove home, alone and with tears in my eyes..May God take Judge Kenneth Allan Black into his heavenly chambers and cherish his stories and advice as we did here on earth.
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By John Nazarian
Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
May 12, 2016
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