The Hon. Bernard Schwartz is a judge for the Riverside County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Gray Davis in 2003. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Ronald L. Taylor (Ret.).
Judge Schwartz received his B.A. from the University of Alberta in 1981. He then moved to the United States to attend the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he earned his J.D. in 1986.
Schwartz worked for two years as a deputy public defender with the Riverside County Public Defender's Office before entering into private practice in 1990. As a solo practitioner, Schwartz practiced as a criminal defense lawyer for twelve years.
He was then selected by the Riverside County Superior Court judges to serve as a court commissioner in 2002. He held that position until his appointment to the bench the next year.
While on the bench, Judge Schwartz has presided over a criminal trials calendar assignment.
In 2006, Judge Schwartz was censured by the Commission on Judicial Performance for statements the judge made to Pismo Beach police during his DUI arrest in 2005. After it was determined that his blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit, the officers initiated the arrest. It was at that time that Judge Schwartz made several statements indicating that he felt that he deserved preferential treatment due to his position as a judge. Ultimately, Judge Schwartz pleaded no contest to the charges. He spent two days in jail, was fined, and placed on three years probation. A censure is the commission's highest form of punishment, short of removal from the bench.
Judge Schwartz was born and raised in Canada.