Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, August 19, 2002


Page 3


Valley Attorney Michael Convey Elected Superior Court Commissioner


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Sherman Oaks attorney Michael Convey has been elected a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner by the courtís judges, an official said Friday.

Convey, who practices with Silva, Clasen & Raffalow, a defense firm for Mercury Insurance Company, defeated Superior Court Referee Guillermina Gutierrez Byrne in a runoff election after no candidate secured a majority in balloting last month.

Convey is a graduate of Arizona State University and DePaul University School of Law. He was recently honored by Los Angeles County as Volunteer of the Year, based on his service as judge pro tem in the Superior Court.

He fills the seat left vacant by the retirement of Commissioner Ernest Lopez. Byrne, who lost a runoff in June to Richard Novak, retains a high position on the ranked list of eligible candidates and could be elected next month when three new commissioners are to be chosen.

The winners of that balloting will succeed former commissioners Kelvin Filer, Thomas White, and Steven Sanora, all of whom were named judges by Gov. Gray Davis on Aug. 8.

Of the candidates on last monthís ballot, Convey had the highest ranking, as determined last August by a judicial panel, while Byrne was ranked sixth. Byrne is the wife of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Byrne and the sister of retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gabriel Gutierrez.

Rankings are not binding. But the courtís judges have elected the highest-ranked candidate or candidates in every election since the present list was adopted, and Byrne is the only candidate to make a runoff ahead of a higher-ranked candidate.

Convey became the 14th commissioner elected from the list of 35 candidates. One of the lower-ranked candidates, Luis Lavin, was subsequently appointed a judge, leaving 20 in contention for future commissioner vacancies.

The highest-ranked candidates in the election that begins today are veteran child-support enforcement lawyer Nicholas Taubert, Referee Marilyn Mackel, Deputy Public Defender Mark Zuckman, Referee Stephen Marpet, Byrne, Deputy District Attorney Roger Ito, Covina attorney and former Superior Court candidate H. Don Christian, and Long Beach attorney Stuart Rice.

There are nearly 150 Los Angeles Superior Court commissioners, more than the total number of bench officers on most other California courts.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company