Friday, June 10, 2016

OC appellate specialist William Kopeny dies at 65

Today's DJ reports that OC appellate lawyer William Kopeny, a certified specialist in both appellate and criminal law, has died at age 65. (OC Criminal Defense Lawyer was known for his kindness and wit: Kopeny built a reputation as a brilliant, kind criminal defense specialist; the print version headline is 'Once-in-a-generation' defense lawyer leaves large legacy.)
"He was as tough an adversary as I ever faced," said 4th District Court of Appeal Justice William W. Bedsworth, who was head of writs and appeals at the Orange County district attorney's office when Kopeny was at the public defender's office. "The guy was brilliant. More than that, he was such a fine man." ... He spoke last week at an Orange County Bar Association luncheon for retiring 4th District Court of Appeal Justice William F. Rylaarsdam and was in great spirits, Bedsworth said. "I'm taking consolation in the fact that dying in your sleep is a great way to go," Bedsworth said. "It's a terrible loss. He was a prince."

A memorial service is scheduled Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Parkway in Laguna Hills.
See also here.
Kopeny is the second member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers to die in as many weeks. To honor both Kopeny and Quin Denvir, take a look back at People v. Samuel (1981) 29 Cal.3d 489, where together they won a Supreme Court victory reversing an LWOP sentence for first degree murder.