Carlos Merano (2011)


Carlos Merano (2011)


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Carlos Moreno, the recently retired California Supreme Court justice known for his thoughtful opinions and centrist appeal, will address graduating students at Santa Clara University School of Law’s 2011 commencement ceremony on May 21. The commencement is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the University’s Mission Gardens.

Moreno, 62, is currently of counsel with the Los Angeles firm of Irell & Manella. He is well known for his leadership of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, which led to improvements in the state foster-care system, and for many landmark state decisions on issues ranging from gun control to same-sex marriage to class actions.

“We are extremely pleased that Justice Moreno has accepted our invitation,” said Donald J. Polden, dean of Santa Clara University’s School of Law. “As an exceptional lawyer and a judge at almost every level of the judiciary, he has shown that respect for the law and compassion for those most in need can co-exist. Those are the values we hope our graduates take with them into their careers as well.”

Formerly, Moreno was a federal judge presiding over intellectual property, trademark and criminal cases. Prior to that post, he served as state court trial judge in Los Angeles and as a city prosecutor and commercial-law attorney in private practice.

Moreno was widely admired as a moderate judge, having been nominated twice by Republican governors and twice by Democrats. On the California Supreme Court, he was the only Hispanic justice and the only Democrat. In 2002 he wrote the majority opinion which upheld the right of cities and counties to ban gun shows on county properties, and in 2009 he wrote for the majority for a case that preserved the right of consumers to bring class actions against corporations.

“I’m pleased to speak to the graduates of Santa Clara Law School,” said Moreno. “They have received a strong grounding in diversity and social justice, values that have been extremely important to me throughout my legal career.”

Moreno received an undergraduate degree in political science from Yale and a law degree from Stanford Law School. A strong believer in the value of ethnic diversity on the bench, he is a longtime member and former president of the Mexican-American Bar Association.

He currently serves as a director of the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center and the Western Justice Center Foundation.

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Carlos Merano (2011)