This page is dedicated to honoring the memory and preserving the legacy of Kern County lawyers that have passed away in recent years. If you would like to suggest an addition to this page, please contact the Kern County Bar Association. To view more information about a particular attorney listed here, please click on their name to be directed to the article written in their memory.
Gunnar Walter Bodneck
Gunnar Bodneck imigrated to Canade in the early 1950's after being born in Latvia. He attended law school in San Francisco and practiced law in California from 1970 until his death May 28, 2013 with the last 20 years in being in Tehachapi. He is remembered as a dynamic man, being funny and full of energy.
William H. Cantrell, IV
William Cantrell joined Borton Petrini in1978 and spent many years as their managing partner in the firm's offices in San Luis Obispo, Fresno, Newport Beach and Bakersfield until his retirement in 2007. An avid fisherman and golfer, he passed away May 31, 2013.
Walter Scott Binns
After earning a degree in Agribusiness, Scott worked as a produce salesman for ten years and then entered law school, graduating from Santa Clara University in 2005. Scott Binns had an infectious enthusiasm and welcoming smile and was a joyful parent of his 11 month old daughter, Josette at his passing in September 2013.
After being diagnosed with ALS in 1999, Michael Gagner served as an inspiration to many. He and his wife, Stacy Inman, became advocates for those afflicted with ALS doing much to bring call attention to the needs of those living with the diagnosis. Michael died November 12, 2013.
After serving as a Deputy District Attorney in San Bernardino County from, Dan Tobias was in the Ridgecrest City Attorney. He served as a judge of the East Kern Municipal Court and after retirement he worked in the assigned judges program. An avid reader with a keen interest in history, Dan Tobias passed away December 1, 2013.
Michael B. Ryan
Michael Ryan was a fabulous and effective trial lawyer whose effectiveness surfaced in his genuinely sincere blue collar appeal to jurors. He was a passionate Irishman who knew how and when to inflect his voice to make a point and exaggerate the phrase of a poem or story, just enough, to tug at the heart of jurors. Michael Ryan passed away February 20, 2014.
Jack B. Hislop passed away peacefully on November 8, 2011. Jack was a past president of the Kern County Bar Association and a recipient of the Bench and Bar award who was greatly admired and highly respected within the legal community.
Michael R. Gardina
Michael Gardina, a well-known Kern County defense attorney, passed away on March 25, 2011, after a short battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.
George Wright Quick passed away on March 20, 2011 at the age of 66. He is survived by his wife of almost 40 years, their son and daughter, and five grandchildren. He will be deeply missed.
Jim Lanier, a U.S. Navy veteran who pursued his law degree at night and on weekends while supporting a growing family in the 1960s, passed away on November 25, 2010. He was 75 years old.
Ken Holland, a partner at Klein, DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb and Kimball, LLP, lost a short but courageous battle with cancer on September 16, 2010. Ken was a graduate of UCLA and received his J.D. from Notre Dame.
Joe Noriega, father of local attorney Rob Noriega and recipient of the Bench & Bar Award in 1995, was well-liked and well-respected in the Kern County legal community. After retiring from the bench, he focused his practice mainly on personal injury law. He lost his life to cancer on August 3, 2010.
Bruce Bunker passed away surrounded by his family on June 24, 2009 at the age of 84. A past president of the KCBA, Bruce's 55-year long practice didn't end after he "officially" retired in 2006; rather, he continued coming into the office daily for years.
Bob Self passed away at the age of 77 on June 11, 2009. Bob was a recipient of the Bench & Bar Award, successfully argued three cases before the California Supreme Court, and practiced business law and civil litigation for over 42 years before retiring in 2002.
Stan Simrin, prominent local criminal defense attorney and recipient of both the Atticus Finch award and the Bench & Bar award, passed away on February 24, 2009, from stroke-related complications. Stan was active in his synagogue and instrumental in organizing the Kern County mock trial competitions.
Retired Judge Lewis E. King passed away on January 4, 2013 at the age of 88 years. Judge King had a long and distinguished career in the Kern County legal community, first as a Public Defender, and thereafter as a Municipal and Superior Court Judge.