Judge Joel Pressman (inset) with Grossmont Union High School District offices.

Judge Joel Pressman will retire Tuesday after 15 years on the bench, the San Diego Superior Court announced Monday.

Pressman presided over courtrooms in Vista and downtown San Diego during his tenure, hearing both civil and criminal cases. He has also been involved in courthouse management.

He was appointed to be a judge in January 2002 by then-Gov. Gray Davis, following a more than 30-year career as a civil trail attorney litigating business, commercial, personal injury, real estate and class-action cases.

“Judge Pressman has had a distinguished career during his 15 years on the San Diego Superior Court,” Presiding Judge Jeffrey Barton said. “He always brought insight, intelligence and common sense to the cases he decided and as a result was a highly effective judge. His retirement is a great loss for the San Diego Superior Court judges, staff and the community we serve.”

Major cases he presided over as a judge included Alaburda v. Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in which a former student alleged the school misrepresented statistics on its graduates finding employment, and Alpine School District v. Grossmont Union High School District, in which residents tried to bring a high school to their East County foothill community.

“It has been my privilege and honor to serve with the most outstanding bench in California,” Pressman said. “Our court community consists of dedicated and hardworking professionals who strive to serve the public day in and day out. I was proud to serve with them. Their friendship and support is special and I will always cherish it.”

Pressman plans to travel with his wife and serve as a mediator or abitrator.

—City News Service