Judge David Gelfound

Judge David Gelfound is the Supervising Judge of the North Valley District of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In May of 2007, he was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court.  His misdemeanor assignments included those at the Metropolitan Courthouse, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, and the Van Nuys Courthouse. In January of 2011, Judge Gelfound transferred to the San Fernando Court where he handled a felony trial calendar. 

In December of 2018, Judge Gelfound was selected to be the Supervising Judge of the North Valley District and remains in that position today. The North Valley District includes the San Fernando, Chatsworth, and Santa Clarita Courthouses. Judge Gelfound supervises 27 judicial officers who handle criminal, civil, family law, and traffic matters. A native of the San Fernando Valley, a highlight of Judge Gelfound’s career was being honored by the San Fernando Valley Bar Association as “Judge of the Year” in 2019. 

Native of San Fernando Valley, Judge Gelfound attended Taft High School where he participated in moot court competition at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. He worked his way through college and law school as a kitchen and storeroom worker at Kaiser Hospital. He graduated from UCLA in 1986 and Pepperdine Law School in 1989. Upon admission to the bar, he worked in the area of civil law, working for both plaintiff and defense firms. In 1994, he was hired as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney when he remained for the next 12 years. During his career as a Deputy District Attorney, he spent approximately 8 years in the Hardcore Gang Unit, handling primarily murder cases and other violent felonies. At the time of his appointment, he was part of the District Attorney’s Organized Crime Unit.

Judge Gelfound has benefited from a number of mentors throughout his legal career and has provided mentorship opportunities to others. He helped establish the Teen Court program at the Northridge Academy High School. The teen court program provides high school students the opportunity to interact with judges and lawyers and allows the students to decide cases involving other high school students. Judge Gelfound also participates in a mentorship program through the Pepperdine Law School in which he advises 1st year law students and also a judicial mentorship program through the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Judge Amy M. Pellman

Amy M. Pellman is the Supervising Judge for the family law division of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  She was elected Commissioner in 2005 and appointed Judge in 2008.  In addition to her responsibilities as Supervisor, she is the Co-Chair of the FAM/JUV Advisory Committee for the Judicial Council as well as the Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Judge Pellman has spent most of her time on the bench in family law assignments with a five-year hiatus at the Edelman’s Children’s Court.  At Children’s Court, she handled a specialized calendar that included dependency, ICWA, adoption and contested terminations for private adoption cases, surrogacy, and emancipation.  She continues to serve as the only Los Angeles Superior Judge for surrogacy cases.

In 2019, Judge Pellman received a number of awards for her work on behalf of children and families including Judge of the Year from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Judge of the Year from Southwestern Law school, and the Outstanding Community Service Award from Levitt and Quinn Family Law Center.  More recently in 2020, Judge Pellman received the, ‘Family Law Judge of the year” by the American Inns of Court, Southern California chapter.

Judge Pellman is a nationally recognized advocate for children’s rights and received the highly coveted Child Advocacy Law Award in 2003 from the American Bar Association, a national award that recognizes outstanding work and achievement on behalf of children.

Judge Pellman has numerous publications on issues related to children ranging from a training manual for new judges and lawyers to law review articles. Judge Pellman is also a featured speaker at numerous conferences and law schools and is currently teaching classes at University of Southern California Gould School of Law and Southwestern Law School.  In 2005, Judge Pellman was awarded the Southwestern Law School, “Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award”. 

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Pellman served as the Legal Director for The Alliance for Children’s Rights, a non-profit legal organization devoted to providing free legal services to children living in poverty.    While at The Alliance, Judge Pellman oversaw the legal services for The Alliance, directing litigation and individual legal services for children in foster care, children requiring medical assistance, and children with physical, mental and educational disabilities.  Before joining The Alliance, Judge Pellman spent seven years at Dependency Court Legal Services serving as senior trial attorney and appellate counsel representing children in foster care. 

Judge Pellman also practiced civil litigation for three years and served as a federal clerk for the Second Circuit of New York.  Judge Pellman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College and a Juris Doctorate from City University of New York Law School.  She was admitted to both the California and New York Bars and has served on numerous state and local judicial committees.  

Judge Richard S. Kemalyan

Judge Richard S. Kemalyan presides over felony trials in the Superior Court of Los Angeles since 2012. In 2006, Judge Kemalyan was appointed to the bench by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and sworn in by Justice Paul Turner, a family friend. He has served on various Court committees including the Trial Jurors Committee, the Criminal Psychologist / Psychiatrist Committee, the Criminal Experts Committee, and the Court Security Committee for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Prior to being appointed, Judge Kemalyan worked at Chase Rotchford as a law clerk, associate, limited partner, and general partner for 20 years.   He worked in the infancy of asbestos litigation in Los Angeles, as well as the Las Vegas MGM and Hilton Hotel fire litigation.  While managing 3000-5000 asbestos related cases with another partner, he took to trial one of the first ten asbestos cases tried in Los Angeles County.  As those cases wound to a conclusion in the office, Judge Kemalyan began a 20-25 year journey representing municipalities and police departments for civil rights violations filed in the state and federal courts.  His work was principally in defending the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in civil cases alleging civil rights violations.  The cases ranged from false arrests, excessive force, wrongful death shootings, deaths in custody, unlawful and out of policy vehicular pursuits and a host of other related matters. 

Judge Kemalyan left Chase Rotchford in 1996 and formed his own firm, Kemalyan & Richland, but continued to have a contract with the County and principally handled Sheriff’s Department cases as well as some work for the District Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office. In 2000, he rejoined some of his former partners at Dwyer, Daly Brotzen & Bruno and continued to work for municipalities and police officers in defending civil rights cases, as well as some employment law.

Judge Kemalyan tried a myriad of civil rights cases in federal and state courts.  In 20-25 years, he lost one jury trial for the Sheriff’s Department when a jury verdict was under the demand but closer to the settlement offer.  He was honored as the Sheriff’s Department Trial Attorney of the Year on two separate occasions. He was also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and various other bar associations.

Judge Kemalyan attended Loyola University School of Law. He took a practical approach to law school, in his first year, he accepted employment at Harris & Aranda, a small firm near LAX.  Prior to attending law school, he graduated from UCLA in 1968, Phi Beta Kappa.

Judge Kemalyan was born and raised in Los Angeles, and grew up in North Hollywood and graduated from North Hollywood High School.  In his youth, he was involved in YMCA weekend sports leagues, Little League, and Babe Ruth League.  Saturdays were game days.  Sunday was church and family time in the park with relatives.  There was food, backgammon boards and laughter. 

Judge Kemalyan remains a member of ABOTA and the national and local chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

to top

2024 International Law Symposium: Call for Papers

The humanitarian crisis for the ethnic Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) [as a result of Azerbaijan’s complete military encirclement, months-long blockade, and, ultimately, the entire Armenian population’s forced migration out of Nagorno-Karabakh] raise oft-ignored questions about the universality and effectiveness of non-derogable international human rights norms. This Call for Papers seeks submissions of abstracts for papers exploring the relationship between human rights and unrecognized or partially recognized States (viz, countries), particularly in connection with the live issues in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Learn More