CITATIONS – LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The Wisdom of Judge Ed Beach
It was 1969. I was testifying as an expert in a condemnation case in the courtroom of recently elevated Judge (later Justice) Ed Beach. It seems that the county was cutting down a windbreak to make way for a new flood control channel.

Representing the Flood Control District was a young assistant county counsel, Edwin M.
Osborne (later to become Judge Osborne). The landowner was represented by Charles
McGrath (also later to become a judge).

Osborne had me on voir dire. “So you are an appraisal expert?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What makes you an expert, Mr. Nielson?”

“I studied a great deal and have read numerous books on appraisal theory.”
Osborne pounced.

“Mr. Nielson, I would like you to give me a list tomorrow morning of every book you’ve read that allows you to sit there and claim to be an expert.”

Panic crossed my mind when Ed Beach showed why he was such a wise judge. He came to my rescue right on cue. “That’s an interesting question, Mr. Osborne. Tell you what. I’d like you tomorrow to give me a list
of every book you’ve read that allows you to ask that question.”

Game, set and match. I was plucked from the abyss. That’s why Ed Beach is still one
of my favorite judges.

Lindsay Nielson


Beach will be Missed

Thanks so much for the great article about Ed Beach in the August CITATIONS. Ed was truly a giant in the legal community (and the community at large) in great part because he never thought of himself as any
sort of big deal. And whether he was sitting by special assignment on the Supreme Court, subbing as a pro-tem in traffic court, or as a pro-tem in traffic court, or working on a local community committee, he afforded respect to everyone, listened patiently, and never lost his sense of humor. He’ll be missed.

Robert Sawyer


Open to Everyone

July 4, 2012 was the day Justice Edwin F. Beach died. For many others and me the date of his passing bestirs many memories. It was at his July 4th Open To Everyone Celebration 1977 that I and my wife began to love this man.

I first became acquainted with Justice Beach when he presided over the Justice Court in Santa Paula that was held in a large recreation room at the City Hall. Folding chairs and a warm and friendly Judge were the order of the day. This man cared about the people of Santa Paula. As a young Public Defender I was impressed by his openness and radiant warmth. I immediately liked this man. This informed that he was a, gasp, Republican and, a further gasp, a Reagan appointee and therefore obviously a tough judge. He was
great and all the rulings that I witnessed were fair and delivered in a caring manner. He was a terrific judge for the people.

One day I was out on the lawn with my family of our old Victorian located on a corner. Judge Beach and his wife were walking by and we greeted each other. He then stated: “Now were having a July 4th
party at my house and you all are invited. This is the only invitation you are going to get. I hope you can make it.”

So that July 4th we attended and so did every other citizen of Santa Paula who wanted to be there. This man, this judge, was incredibly kind and warm. He possessed a true love of people. Each and every one of us felt special. It was a pleasure and a privilege to know him.

Richard Loy

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