Barry Bonds Trial Judge to Handle Sharp Park Golf Course Lawsuit

Federal Judge Susan Illston will oversee the lawsuit brought by environmental groups against San Francisco.

Federal Judge Susan Illston, who presided over the perjury trial, has been assigned to a filed by numerous environmental groups against the city and county of San Francisco over what they call . 

The groups had issued a 60-day intent to sue with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (RPD), which manages the golf course, on Nov. 18, 2010, and on March 2 filed a complaint in federal court. 

Pro-golf advocates call the lawsuit

If plaintiffs are successful in the suit, golf could be shut down on all or part of the . 

Judge Illston was nominated for the federal court position by President Bill Clinton and joined the court in 1995. 

Since then, she's handled three high priority cases: a Samsung anti-trust case in 2010, Barry Bonds's purgery trial which began in 2009 and one case pertaining to environmental issues.

In that case, known as the California Desert Case, Judge Illston ruled against a plan by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to turn 5,000 miles of California West Mojave desert into an off-road vehicle area. She found that the department did not take the environmental impacts of such a move into account during planning.

Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute, said his organization is happy that Judge Illston will preside.

"She knows her business," he said. "She's been in front of environmental cases over the years. She’s a very good draw."

Plater said a case management conference with Illston, the plaintiffs and San Francisco has been scheduled in June.

Richard Harris, co-founder of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, said his organization is also happy with Judge Illston's assignment.

"She's a good judge," he said. "She has good experience, facts are important to her and it’s a complicated case. There are people who care on both sides. That’s why you have judges."


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