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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Los Angeles County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Donna Groman

Candidate for
Superior Court Judge; County of Los Angeles; Office 69

This information is provided by the candidate

The daughter of a police officer and a teacher, Donna Groman was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in a blue-collar housing project. Groman attended NY public elementary and secondary schools, receiving her B.A. in economics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1976 and her J.D. from American University in 1979.

Groman moved to Los Angeles, took the bar exam and was admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. From 1980-1990, Groman was a sole practitioner specializing in juvenile, child custody, and appellate matters. She worked as a panel attorney in the Juvenile Court system in both the delinquency and dependency divisions.

In 1990, the non-profit Dependency Court Legal Services was formed to provide quality legal services for children, and Groman jumped at the opportunity to serve. With 10 years of practice under her belt, Donna was hired as a supervising attorney for the Law Offices of Jo Kaplan. In 1991, in her on-going efforts to pursue justice for her clients, she was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

In 1994, Donna and another dependency court attorney, Mitchell Beckloff, formed Groman & Beckloff, specializing in dependency law. As Groman developed her expertise in the law she felt that she could be a benefit to the court by becoming a bench officer. She believed that the system needed experienced bench officers who knew the law and were committed to consistent service to the dependency court.

Groman was appointed as a Superior Court referee in September, 1997 and elevated quickly to the position of Commissioner in April, 1999. During that time, Groman presided over juvenile dependency, juvenile delinquency, misdemeanor jury trials, small claims and traffic matters. In January, 2003, Groman took the grueling assignment of the arraignment master calendar, a high volume assignment which has her hearing up to 120 cases each day.

Active in her judicial arena and in the local community, Groman is a member of the California Judges' Association, California Court Commissioner's Association, National Association of Women Judges, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Women Lawyer's Association of Los Angeles, and The Lesbian and Gay Lawyers of Los Angeles.

Groman is an educator and lecturer for CJER (Center for Judicial Education and Research), and participates in trainings for the Juvenile Court Bar, foster family agencies and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. She judges Mock Trial competitions and is a judicial speaker at local public elementary and secondary schools.

Groman has been a tutor at Milliken Learning Center and Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center. She participates in Los Angeles Aids Walk and completed the California Aids Ride 2. An active member of Temple Beth Chayim Chadashim, Groman has served on the Board of Directors and on the Rabbinic search committee. Donna served 12 years in the United States Naval Reserve, achieving the rank of Lieutenant. She was honorably discharged in 2000.

As a practicing attorney, Groman performed pro-bono legal work for the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles - Jail Project, the Felicia Mahood Senior Citizens' Center, the Los Angeles County Guardianship/Conservator Project, Public Counsel's Children's Rights Project, and several Los Angeles County Bar Association projects, including AIDS Legal Services Project, Barristers Northridge Earthquake Assistance Project and Immigration Legal Assistance Project.

Donna and her domestic partner of 11 years, Cecilia Quigley, are legal guardians of Donna's 14 year old nephew, Daniel. Donna's hobbies include cardiovascular and weight training, cycling, scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, reading and gardening.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: August 8, 2004 20:25
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