Bud Emerson | Klish Way
|Justice Josh Groban.
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“Del Mar instilled in me a real sense of community and civic engagement and commitment, where everybody cares and gets involved, pitching in to solve problems. In a way it is a kind of test lab that in many ways is a good model for others, a small community with an incredible level of intellect, engagement, passion, and involvement—a pretty special place.”
So says newly-minted State Supreme Court Justice Josh Groban who grew up in Del Mar, attended schools at the Shores, Earl Warren, and Torrey Pines before launching a distinguished career in law practice and the Governor’s office after excelling at Stanford and Harvard Law School.
Justice Josh grew up here in a family of very accomplished people including his uncle former Council Member and Professor Lou Terrell and his aunt Judge Carol Isaacson, both of whom he praises as inspirational role models. He remembers Lou as “a very bright guy who didn’t show it off or make others feel inferior. Lou was a very upbeat and positive guy who was not afraid to speak his mind but did it in a way that others felt heard and respected. I have been thinking of him a lot since I was appointed. I know if he were alive today, he would be tickled.” He speaks of Carol as “the first judge I ever knew well who gave me an early lesson about how important it is working in the ‘trenches’ to be committed and well prepared because decisions have to be made quickly and wisely.”
His mother, Debbie, “is one of the very few people in my life who possess the ability to engage others very vigorously on issues where they are totally at odds, but do it in a way that the other person feels heard and remain friends. Hopefully that soft touch has rubbed off on me as I go forward.” Speaking of his father, psychiatrist Steve who works with veterans, Josh says “he instilled in me a sense of empathy. He frequently reminded me that many people have very difficult lives confronting hardships and challenges—they are not as lucky as I have been. He is an incredibly calm, caring, and patient man. I hope some of that has rubbed off on me.”
Justice Groban reminisced a bit about growing up in Del Mar “watching Council meetings on TV and seeing people “out of breath rushing in from home getting upset about an agenda discussion and wanting to make a point. An early lesson about civic engagement.” His own early lesson in civic involvement came early at 11 years old when he spoke to the Council about the removal of pay phones at the lifeguard tower where kids could call parents for a ride home after a long session at the beach.
All Delmarians can be proud of our community superstar, none more than his parents who guided his development and active civic involvement.
We can expect State Supreme Court Justice Groban to use his impressive education and career credentials to make wise decisions and it seems certain that a little bit of Del Mar will inform his judicial values.