SJCL adds to their Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame member Michael Marderosian (Class of 1977) leading the Induction Ceremony (Photo Destiny De La Cruz, Clovis Roundup)

October 27, 2023 – On Thursday evening, the San Joaquin College of Law held their induction ceremony for their 2023 Hall of Fame.

Musical performances included 2 Guys Playin’ the Blues and Chester Neville & Pieter Moerdyk.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres were served before the Dean, Janice Pearson, welcomed everyone in attendance.

In the mid-2000’s, Pearson was asked to serve on a number of monitoring teams of other schools. 

While she was walking down the hall of one of them, she noticed the hallway wall was covered in photos of graduates along with their stories. Seeing this ‘hall of fame’ made her think, “Why aren’t we doing this? Our grads have done all these things.”

After coming back and speaking with the SJCL alumni association about her idea and getting them on board, the first hall of fame induction ceremony was held in 2007.

The selection committee consists of some of the faculty, members of the alumni board, and some previous winners each year.

“It’s always terribly difficult to make selections because we get so many nominations,” said Dean Janice Pearson. “There’s so many graduates who have had significant accomplishments.”

The induction ceremony was led by SJCL 2008 Hall of Fame Member Michael Marderosian, Class of 1977.

“[The honorees] are being recognized tonight and honored for their work and service within the American system of justice,” said Marderosian. 

“My message to the honorees tonight is that with this honor and recognition comes your responsibility to inspire others to join us in this effort to preserve our system of justice.”

“By using this honor to encourage, mentor, and help new generations of lawyers and judges to understand and uphold our legal standards,” continued Marderosian.

The 2023 SJCL Hall of Fame inductees included Randy Ataide (Class of 1986), Honorable Efren N. Iglesia (Class of 1976), and Linda McKinsey Rousse (Class of 1983).

Randy Ataide served in the U.S. Navy for a four year contract before continuing his education. 

Gradually he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fresno State, Masters degree from the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Juris Doctor from San Joaquin College of Law, attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Management Program, and completed the Harvard Business School Owner-President Management Program

Ataide has had an extensive career including: working with a variety of agricultural companies, investing and partnering in startups and ventures, serving on advisory and executive boards, serving as an associate dean at a university, serving as Executive Editor for published reports and research projects, and more.

The Honorable Efren N. Iglesia is a retired judge of the Monterey County Superior Court. He spent 31 years as a lawyer before serving as a judge for 13 years.

Iglesia dropped out of college during the Marcos regime in the Philippines and immigrated to the U.S. in 1971. He completed his undergraduate degrees at Reedley College and Fresno Pacific University before starting at SJCL.

When he was appointed to the Monterey County bench in 2007, he became the first Filipino immigrant and Filipino-American to be appointed as a judge for the Monterey County superior court.

Supervising attorneys in the land use division for planning, zoning, and environmental law is just one of the many facets of his career journey.

The Honorable Judge Iglesia is currently a member of the California Judges Association, the Alliance of California Judges, and the American Bar Association.

Linda McKinsey Rousse is the Managing Attorney for the Fifth District Court of Appeal. She has been at the Court of Appeal for 40 years, ever since graduation from SJCL.

She was selected to become managing attorney for the State Court of Appeal in 2011, which is the highest position that can be attained there.

McKinsey Rousse was a member of the Chief Justice’s Appellate Case flow Workgroup to reform the statewide appeals process to prevent undue delay, and was a major participant in organizing the visit for oral argument by the California Supreme Court in 2010.

She is a member of: the statewide team evaluating the Document Management System, the management committee that implemented electronic reporter’s transcripts and electronic filing of all documents by the parties, and a member of the committee that coordinated the dedications of the current court building of the Fifth District Court of Appeal. 

After the Hall of Fame inductions, the event ended with an opportunity for fellow alumni to reconnect. Congratulations to the new SJCL Hall of Fame members.

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.