Dickran M. Tevrizian, Jr. was a judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a position he has held since 1986. He is the first Armenian-American to have served as a Federal Judge in the history of the United States. Judge Tevrizian began his judicial career at age 31 when former California Governor Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1972. He was one of the youngest judges ever to be appointed to the judiciary by Governor Reagan. Six years later, California Governor Edmund Brown, Jr. elevated Judge Tevrizian to the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles. In 1982, he returned to the practice of law and stayed until his appointment as a Federal Judge by President Ronald Reagan. On August 5, 2005, Judge Tevrizian took senior status and retired from the Federal Judiciary on April 19, 2007.
Judge Tevrizian graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Finance in 1962. Three years later, he received his J.D. from the U.S.C. School of Law. From 1966 until his appointment to the Los Angeles Municipal Court, Judge Tevrizian was first an associate and later became a partner in the law firm of Kirtland and Packard. From 1982 until his appointment to the United States District Court, Tevrizian practiced law in the Southern California area as a partner in the law firm of Manatt Phelps Rothenberg & Tunney and as Of Counsel to the law firm of Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard. In 1987, he was named Trial Judge of the Year by the California Trial Lawyers Association. Judge Tevrizian was also named the 1994-1995 Trial Jurist of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In 1998, Judge Tevrizian was named Federal Court Trial Judge of the Year by the Malibu Bar Association. In 1999, Judge Tevrizian was named the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2002, Judge Tevrizian was awarded the Maynard Toll Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association for his service to the underprivileged. In 2003, he was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Orange County Federal Bar Association. In 2005, Judge Tevrizian received the Emil Gumpert Award for his efforts in promoting alternative dispute resolution. He received the 2005 Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award. From 1999 to 2007, Judge Tevrizian served as an Advisory Director to the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A) School of Public Policy. Judge Tevrizian and his wife Geraldine are residents of Pasadena, California.
Judge Tevrizian has been a lecturer for numerous Bar Associations, California Continuing Education Programs and State Bar Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Seminars. He also has served on the Board of Directors for a number of charitable organizations such as: Armenian General Benevolent Union (A.G.B.U.); Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation; Armenian Eye Care Project; Exceptional Children’s Foundation; and Southwestern University School of Law.
Upon Judge Tevrizian’s retirement from the federal judiciary, the University of Southern California named him the first holder of a Judge Robert M. Widney Chair in the faculty of the University of Southern California. In addition, Judge Tevrizian assumed the role of a private mediator/arbitrator with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS) in their Los Angeles office.
Recently, Judge Tevrizian was named to the Advisory Board of LegalZoom and as a member of the Board of Directors for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Tutor Perini Corporation.