Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, January 7, 2002


Page 1


Commissioner Runoff Election Slated Between Gordon, Kawahara


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Ballots will go out to all Los Angeles Superior Court judges today in a runoff election for a Superior Court commissioner position, court officials said Friday.

The runoff between Deputy District Attorney Scott M. Gordon and Los Angeles attorney Robert Kawahara is necessary because no candidate received a majority of the vote. Gordon and Kawahara, in that order, went into the balloting with the highest ratings of candidates evaluated by the court’s examining committee.

Gordon, a former police officer, was admitted in 1985 and is currently assigned to the central trials unit of the District Attorney’s Office. He also teaches evidence, criminal procedure, and trial advocacy at Southwestern University  School of Law.

Kawahara, a former president of the Japanese American Bar Association of Southern California, has been a lawyer since 1980. After practicing with his brother Glenn for two years, he started a sole practice in the downtown area.

He focuses on civil work, including personal injury and business litigation and family law.

There are likely to be a number of  additional commissioners elected in the coming months. Two positions were recently vacated when Manly Caloff retired and Gilbert Lopez was appointed a judge, while Commissioner Michael Price is set to retire two weeks from today.

Under local rules, the timing of the elections is at the discretion of the presiding judge.

The loser of the contest between Gordon and Kawahara will move to the top of the rankings list. The rankings are not binding on the judges, but are usually followed.

The next-highest ranked candidates will be Women Lawyers of Los Angeles president and criminal defense lawyer Melissa Widdiefield, Deputy District Attorney Diana Summerhayes, Superior Court research attorney William Dodson, State Bar Court Hearing Judge Stanford Reichert, Superior Court Referee Jane Godfrey, Santa Monica lawyer Michael Levanas, Deputy  Federal Public Defender Richard Novak, and Sherman Oaks practitioner Michael Convey.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company