SMITH: Judge walked out, lawyer kept talking
By: Chris Smith – The Press Democrat
Who would think that a business-suits banquet for a retired judge and a criminal defense attorney could be so touching and so much fun?
The occasion was Friday’s celebration of ex-office mates Gayle Guynup and L. Stephen Turer as the recipients of the Sonoma County Bar Association’s 2011 “Careers of Distinction” honors.
When Guynup rented space in Turer’s Mendocino Avenue offices in 1979 she was 28 and a former Humboldt County farm girl who’d overcome being “profoundly shy” by becoming the first female allowed into Folsom Prison to teach inmates about the law.
She’d banished the shyness when she wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown in 1982 to tell him why he should appoint her to a vacancy on the Municipal Court bench. He did, and Guynup became not only the county’s first female judge but, at 31, its youngest ever.
On display Friday was the letter of congrats she received back then from fellow lawyer, former Assemblyman and greenhorn Congressman Doug Bosco. Both knew he’d pulled for county Public Defender Marteen Miller to get the judgeship.
But they got over that. They’ve been a fine team since they married in 1988.
Guynup recalled that when their kids, Cassie and John, were small she told them bedtime stories derived from her court cases. John protested at age 4, “Oh, no, not murder again tonight!”
Becoming a judge caused Guynup to vacate the offices owned by Turer, a displaced New Yorker once so serious about ditching his law plans and opening a pastrami-and-brisket deli that he picked out a Railroad Square storefront.
He let go of the deli dream — he’d have called it Lamont’s, after his given name — upon discovering that by working 18 hours most days and making sure he knew more about a case than anyone else in court, he could trust himself to take even those cases in which his client’s life rested in his hands.
Attorney Pat Emery told the banquet about the day the ex-office mates met in court and Guynup made her ruling, against Turer, then become flummoxed that he wouldn’t stop pressing his point.
Unable to quiet the notoriously persistent lawyer, the history-making judge stood up, walked into her chambers, removed her robe and drove home.
Emery posed that were it not for Friday evening’s festivities, Turer might have continued with his argument to that very moment.
RADIO STARS: SSU archeologist Michael Newland and Doug Roberts, SRJC’s VP of business services, were just on KQED’S Sunday Edition.
Newland offered a reverent perspective on the mystery of cremated bones he found at Joshua Tree National Park. And Roberts got to play Sunday Puzzle with Will Shortz after correctly answering this challenge:
“Think of a familiar two-word rhyming phrase that starts with the letter F, like “fat cat.” Change the F to a G and you’ll get another familiar two-word rhyming phrase.” Take your time.
It is “fender bender.” Change the F to a G and it becomes “gender bender.”
Source: The Press DemocratTags: Careers of Distinction, Sonoma County Bar Association, The Press Democrat