Judge Michael Pastor has been assigned to handle all proceedings in the Conrad Murray matter.
Over the years Judge Pastor has handled a significant number of very serious and complicated felony matters, including charges of multiple murder, sex offenses, and fraud.
He is one of only 10 judges on the entire L.A. Superior Court who is designated to handle "Complex Criminal Litigation/Long-Cause" criminal matters.
He recently completed a court trial involving charges of stalking and burglary; the alleged victim Shawn Johnson, who won both the Gold Medal in gymnastics for the U.S.A. in the Beijing Olympics and the competition in the television program "Dancing With The Stars." This case was handled as a court trial without a jury for both the guilt and sanity phases of that matter.
In addition, Judge Pastor heard the case with defendant-actor Jason Priestley accused of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury to his passenger.
Judge Pastor was assigned to handle a case involving a photographer charged with perjury, attempted grand theft, and forgery; the alleged victim, actress Cameron Diaz.
Judge Michael E. Pastor was born in New York City and grew up in Buffalo, where he attended high school. He graduated from Cornell University in 1971 and worked in New York City for a year before beginning law school.
Judge Pastor attended U.S.C. Law School and graduated in 1975. He then handled criminal defense matters before and after passing the California Bar in 1975. In 1976, Judge Pastor was hired by the Los Angeles City Attorney as a deputy and served as a prosecutor at the Metro, CCB, and Van Nuys branches of that office. In addition to his duties as a criminal litigator, he wrote manuals used by prosecutors. He developed the Chronic Offender Prosecution Emphasis (COPE) unit of the office and worked with the newly-formed “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” (MADD) to devote resources toward the prosecution of alleged recidivist DUI offenders. Judge Pastor was selected as Assistant Supervisor and then as Supervisor of the Van Nuys branch and as Acting Head of Branch Operations.
Judge Pastor was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in January 1983 and managed misdemeanor trials, the master calendar, and preliminary hearings at the Metro Branch; and in the following year, he was appointed the Supervising Judge of that branch. In 1985, he was assigned to the Criminal Courts Building, where he handled misdemeanor trails, E.D.P. matters, and preliminary hearings. He became the first judge in Los Angeles County to handle “Night Court” preliminary hearings.
In 2000, Judge Pastor was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court as a result of court consolidation. From 2000 to 2001, he served as the Assistant Supervising Judge of the Criminal Courts-Central Division. In 2001, Judge Pastor was assigned to handle felony jury trials in the Foltz Criminal Justice Center and remained in that assignment until 2004, when he was chosen for his present assignment in a felony “complex criminal litigation” courtroom on the 9th floor of the CJC. In that capacity, he has presided over a significant number of complicated and noteworthy criminal proceedings.
Throughout his legal career, Judge Pastor has lectured on and taught a variety of topics relating to criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence.
In 2007, the Los Angeles County Bar Association-Criminal Justice Section honored Judge Pastor as “Judge of the Year.”
In 2010, the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association honored Judge Pastor with its “Judicial Excellence Award.”