July 28, 1922 – March 10, 2016
The Honorable Harold I. Cherness, retired Superior Court judge, died peacefully in Santa Monica early in the morning of March 10, 2016, at the age of 93. Judge Cherness was born July 28, 1922 in Brooklyn, the eldest of four children. A keen student with a quick and curious mind, Hal pursued a college degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, until his formal education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the US Army, mostly in the Pacific theater. Upon his honorable discharge from the military, Hal Cherness returned to UCLA, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1946, and shortly thereafter entered law school at the University of Southern California, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree. After 25 years in private practice, much of it as a criminal defense attorney, Hal was appointed to the Municipal Court for the Culver Judicial District in 1975 and later to the Superior Court of California. After 38 years of distinguished service on the bench, Judge Cherness finally retired in 2013 at age 90.Hal was devoted to his wife, Gertrude Cherness, whom he married in 1945 and with whom he had two children, Janel and Darryl. Two years after Trudy’s death, Hal met and married Carolyn Falstein, with whom he shared 15 wonderful years. Judge Cherness was a longtime member and past president of the Culver City Democratic Club. He is a past president of the Lawyers Club of Los Angeles County and of the local chapter of B’nai Brith. Hal and Carolyn are members of Temple Akiba in Culver City.Harold Cherness will be remembered as a passionate believer in the law, a fierce defender of civil rights, a committed champion of the under-priviledged, and a loving father, husband, and friend of many. He is survived by his daughter, Janel, and son-in-law Marshall Bloom; son Darryl, daughter-in-law Amy Cherness, and granddaughter Isabell; and four step-children and seven grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Sunday, March 13, at 4 PM at Hillside Memorial Park.