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Paul Arthur Turner


1947 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Paul Arthur Turner Obituary
October 12, 1947 - May 18, 2017 Presiding Justice Paul Turner died peacefully at home surrounded by family after a courageous 6-year battle with liver cancer. Turner was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and moved to Lancaster, California, shortly thereafter. He graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1965 where he was a dedicated member of the debate team and played the trombone and sousaphone in the school band. He received his bachelor's degree magna cum laude in political science from then California State College at Long Beach in June 1969. He graduated from the School of Law at the University of California at Los Angeles in December 1972 after completing active duty training in the U.S. Army. He served in the California Army National Guard as an infantry platoon leader and completed his service as a 2nd lieutenant. He began his legal career in 1973, in private practice, litigating criminal and civil cases in state and federal courts. At the age of 35, he was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by Governor Deukmejian and three years later was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court. In that court, he was a pioneer of the night court and other programs that increased efficiency and resolved backlogged cases. In 1989, he was appointed and confirmed to Division Five of the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District and assumed the role of Presiding Justice in 1991. He had sat by assignment as a justice pro tempore on the California Supreme Court. He was a celebrated speaker to legal, law enforcement and community organizations throughout the State. Turner was a former contributing editor to the California Practice Guide Civil Procedure Before Trial, and of a computer software program entitled, "California Law and Motion." He had served as a consultant on multiple legal texts and was the coauthor of the book California Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial Statutes of Limitations. The California Judges Association had awarded him the Bernard Jefferson Award For Distinguished Service in Judicial Education. He received the Person of the Year Award from the Metropolitan News Enterprise and the Roger J. Traynor Appellate Justice of the Year Award from the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles. He had also been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by California State University at Long Beach. He had received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. In November of last year he was awarded the Outstanding Citizen Award by the Culver City Police Officers Association. He was an avid reader, cross country skier and devoted UCLA Bruins fan. Although his own father was a USC alumnus, he spent the majority of his life professing superiority over the Trojan spirit. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Elizabeth Turner of Culver City, CA; two children, Kathryn Turner (Marty Meyer) of Mt. Baldy, CA, and Patricia Turner (Nicole Donahue) of Vashon, WA; his beloved 5 grandchildren, Brianna, Linus, Maple, Archie and Sky; his mother Virginia Ruth Turner of Los Angeles, CA, his brother Charles Turner (Kathy Turner) of Pahrump, NV, and his sister Carole Romig of Savannah, GA. His family thanks the medical staff at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center including Dr. Richard Finn, Dr. Steve Raman, Dr. Robert Oye, Dr. Sammy Saab, and Dr. Ron Busatil for their support and care over the past years. A memorial service will be held at Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Rancho Palos Verdes on Wednesday, May 31st at 11am. A graveside burial service will be held at the family cemetery in Kentucky. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to: UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 25 to May 28, 2017
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