Former California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin, who served 15 years on the board of Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, was honored by UC Hastings with a tribute attended by more than 150 lawyers and judges.
Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon gave the keynote speech, with introductory remarks from longtime trial lawyer James J. Brosnahan, senior counsel with Morrison & Foerster. Documentary filmmaker Abby Ginzburg premiered her brief film profile of Grodin, “In Pursuit of Justice,” at the Nov. 12 event.
Berzon singled out the impact of Grodin’s ruling as an associate justice in Pugh v. See’s Candies, Inc. which established the notion of an implied contract in employment law, and she noted his role in developing the practice in California of deciding constitutional claims on state, rather than federal, grounds. In addition to his jurisprudence, speakers and attendees highlighted Grodin’s writing, his practice as an employment lawyer and founding member of California’s Agriculture Labor Relations board, and his longtime service and skill as a professor at Hastings.
In connection with the event, Grodin and his wife, Janet, launched the Grodin Justice Fund for social justice causes. The first beneficiary will be the Workers’ Rights Clinic at UC Hastings that is run by LAS-ELC. The funds will support efforts to enhance the role of technology in providing free legal services to low-income workers.