Summer 2014 • Issue 52, page 1

An Interview with Honorble Raymond M Cadei

By McFarland, Beverly*

The Honorable Raymond M. Cadei, Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, has served as a judge in the Law and Motion Department for the past one and one half years, replacing Judge Shelleyanne W. L. Chang, well known to the California Receivers Forum, who moved to the Civil Trial Division.

Walking into Judge Cadei’s chambers feels like entering the office of a chief executive officer of a corporation with beautiful landscape pictures adorning the walls and pictures of family to compliment the scenery. Missing are the usual “Me Accolades” anywhere as this man does not need them to let you know he is very smart, savvy, eloquent, and special. He has approximately 25 years of civil litigation experience in the Sacramento community which includes 17 years with the former prestigious Sacramento firm of Diepenbrock, Wulff, Plant & Hannegan. In 1999, he helped start another popular Sacramento law firm, Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP, after the breakup of DWPH.

Among accomplishments on his path as an attorney, his personal attributes are best described by three of his many former partners and current friends. Steve Felderstein of Felderstein, Fitzgerald, Willoughby and Pascuzzi says, “Ray is a very nice guy, even tempered, great judicial presence carried forth with intensity and doggedness as a litigator.” Another former partner and friend, Tom Willoughby, also of FFW&P, best described him as a “Gentleman Litigator, tenacious and smart.” Judge Cadei also might enjoy hearing that when I asked another peer to comment, Mary Martinelli of Downey Brand, she added, “And he is cute!”

Judge Cadei has been a very valuable asset to the judicial system the past 12 years, putting to use his very diverse experience in the private sector which includes complex business, commercial, and insurance coverage litigation as well as medical malpractice defense and disputes involving intellectual property and real estate. In a landmark case in l996 against Goldman, Sachs & Co., Cadei represented the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development alleging the firm failed to fully disclose its role in an ill-fated hospital transaction. The State achieved a settlement of $62 million dollars through mediation and Cadei’s accomplished litigation efforts.

Appointed by Gray Davis in May of 2002, and invested to the bench on June 28, 2002, Judge Cadei was assigned to general and criminal trials. He navigated the complex administrative writs and mandates unique to Sacramento’s role as the center of State Government and its political issues. He also served as the Supervising Judge of the Grand Jury from 2004-2012, in the Complex Case Management Department for five years, and at the Carol Miller Justice Center hearing small claims, traffic, and unlawful detainer cases. His reputation as a top flight litigator followed him as a judge. As a litigator, he was most comfortable reviewing thousands of pages of documents, scrutinizing ballot measures on the political morass of ballot initiatives.

He mentioned to me that at 27 years old he knew that he always wanted to be a lawyer. Growing up in the small farm community of Gilroy, California until he was 18, Ray Cadei and his sister were the first family members to go to college. His mother worked in a cannery and his father as a welder. He obviously received his strong work ethics from a hardworking and dedicated family.

As a young man he enjoyed surfing and skateboarding. He built his own skateboards, which he said was an easy task. Since he is just a little older now, he enjoys sailing on Monterey Bay, bike riding, and has aspirations for future trips to Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Spain. He is married and has two grown daughters; one works for the State Department and the other one is a political reporter for

Judge Cadei obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1970, at the time when the school was considered to be an avant-guard home for hippies and when students did not receive letter grades. When time allowed, he enjoyed bodysurfing, boogie-boarding, and mountain bike trips during those years. He then moved on to receive a master’s degree in public administration from UCLA in 1971, and a law degree from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1977.

I asked Judge Cadei a few of his likes and dislikes in the courtroom, and he clearly said that, “I do not enjoy people that like the sound of their own voice.” He issues tentative rulings before hearings, reads all the papers submitted, and said, “I do not want to hear the same thing in the papers only with more enthusiasm.” He says to counsel, “Let’s get back to the important point.” He appears to be is a no nonsense judge who is completely prepared for his hearings, so receivers and lawyers take heed!

On a personal note, I asked if he missed the intrigue of being a lawyer. He said, “At some point in life it is time to step back and not be engaged in battle, but take time to do other things in pursuit of larger issues. Rather than being an advocate, or pursuing clients, results and business, it’s nice to be a judge and to be fair and reasonable as judges need to get it right.”

Finally, I asked this very gracious man what advise he would give to people, and he stated, “Everyone should take time to get away from work and enjoy themselves when they can.” From the relaxed look on his face with the work load that is posed upon superior court judges, somehow he has accomplished blending work, play and family, which is good a lesson for us all.

*Beverly McFarland is a an RN Associate Publisher, a chapter 11 trustee and receiver and CEO of The Beverly Group, Inc., an asset management company that has successfully resolved in excess of $8 billion dollars of estimated assets since 1983. Ms. McFarland is a former chair and current member of the California Receivers Forum BOD, the Turnaround Managers Association BOD and has enjoyed presenting at the Loyola Law School seminars through the years as well as many other associations on receiverships and chapter 11 bankruptcy matters.