(September 20, 1942 - June 4, 2019)
Sheldon Harry Lytton ("Shel") was family to us all. Born in Evanston, Illinois, Shel graduated from Northwestern University, and received his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where he was both Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Law Review.
Shel was an attorney at O'Melveny & Myers and then a partner and head of the Administrative Law Department (California) of Finley Kumble Wagner Heine Underberg & Manley. He had more than thirty years' experience as a litigator in state and federal courts, as well as before more than score of federal, state and local public and administrative agencies including the United States Department of State, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Air Resources Board, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Metropolitan Transportation Association ("MTA"), the Los Angeles Department of Public Works and the Los Angeles Airport Commission. In the mid-1980's, Shel served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Musifilm, a motion picture production company affiliated with Universal Studios.
In addition to private practice, Shel served in a number of positions in California State and local public service, including the following: (i) Commissioner - Los Angeles Convention Center Authority Commission (appointed by Mayor of Los Angeles to the commission responsible for operation of the Los Angeles Convention Center, 2002 - 2006; President - Los Angeles Convention Center Authority Commission (2004-2005); (ii) Counsel - Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department (legal affairs committee); He also served as an Orange County (reserve) deputy sheriff (2001-present); (iii) Director, Los Angeles Police Protective League Foundation (2002-2007); (iv) Co-General Counsel, National Latino Peace Officers Association (2003 - 2005); (v) Executive Director and Commissioner - California Commission on Citizen Participation in Government (appointed by Governor as Executive Director of California State Commission to identify and recommend appointment of individuals to state boards, agencies, commissions and other sub-cabinet offices, 1980-82); (vi) Chief of Staff - Lt. Governor, State of California (appointed by Lt. Governor as operational head of Lt. Governor's office and staff; also served as Lt. Governor's designate - State Lands Commission, 1979-80); (vii) Special Assistant Attorney General - Department of Justice, State of California (principal aide to Attorney General of California, 1977-79). Shel was also an environmentalist, serving as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner in the City of Calabasas.
Shel was also a participant in Republican and non-partisan political activities in California, including serving as deputy campaign manager or senior advisor to two gubernatorial campaigns, three campaigns for California Lt. Governor, and as general counsel (California) for a Presidential campaign. He also served on the legal committee (California) of Reagan for President. From 1980 to 1996, Shel was a member and arbitrator on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Arbitration Committee with regard to attorney-client fee disputes.
In 2013, Shel started a new adventure, opening Avensole Winery, a 22-acre winery-estate located in Temecula Valley, California. Avensole continues to produce some of Temecula's finest grapes which are crafted into award-winning wines.
Over the decades, Shel mentored countless young people and his positive impact on their personal lives and professional careers is his lasting legacy. He was a devoted family man, a warrior for justice, and a loving mentor who served as an icon and inspiration to all who knew him and touched hundreds, if not thousands of people.
He is missed tremendously by his family here at WILLIAMS WOLLITZ HAKAKIAN PC.
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