NELSON, Judge James F. (Retired) May 19, 1927-February 26, 2011 Judge James F. Nelson passed away after a family party in the presence of his closest relatives. Judge Nelson was educated at Stanford and UCLA and received his Law degree from Loyola University Law School of Los Angeles in 1953. He served as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County from 1954 to 1957. He was in private practice from 1957-1965, a Juvenile Court Referee from 1965 to 1966, a Commissioner and Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1967-1968, a Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1968 to 1989 and Presiding Judge in 1980. He was a retired judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1989 to 1993. He was Founder and Chairman of the first Community Dispute Resolution Center of Pasadena. Judge Nelson was a member of the Baha'i Faith since 1954 and served as Chairman of the Baha'i National Assembly of the United States for 19 years. He was also Chairman of Regional Council for the Baha'is of the Western States.
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As a judge, he was a member of the California Commission on Judicial Performance at the California Judicial College in Berkeley and a Lecturer in Law on Oil and Gas Leasing at the University of Southern California. He was a licensed private airplane pilot, a certified (NAUI) scuba diver, an avid fisherman and a computer fancier. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, who is a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, his son Frank, an immigration lawyer, and Lorna, an addiction counselor. A short graveside service will be held Thursday, March 3, 2011 at Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary at 3801 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305 at 2:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 26 in the ballroom of the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena 91101 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Western Justice Center, 55 Grand Avenue, Pasadena 91105 or if you are a Baha'i, send a donation to the National Baha'i Fund (Baha'is only).
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 8 to Mar. 3, 2011