Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, February 1, 2002


Page 1


Goldberg, Deering Report ‘Well Qualified’ Ratings From Los Angeles County Bar Association Panel


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court candidates Hank Goldberg and Joseph Deering yesterday said they received ratings of “well qualified” from the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s evaluations panel.

The third candidate in the March 5 race for Superior Court Office No. 2, Donald Renetzky, said from his office that he had not yet checked his mail at home and did not know whether his rating had come in.

Renetzky’s political consultant, Fred Huebscher, said late yesterday that his client had not yet gotten any notice in the mail from the panel.

All three candidates were interviewed by the county bar’s Judicial Elections Evaluations Committee on Monday—meaning the panel is acting fairly quickly in order to return evaluations in advance of the March 5 election.

The race is one of seven for Superior Court judge seats, with a total of 21 candidates. Five of the races are for open seats, while two are challenges to incumbent judges.

Judge Floyd Baxter, who is facing one challenger in his re-election effort, said he was informed Wednesday of his “well qualified” rating. Baxter’s opponent, Ross Stucker, has not returned calls for comment.

Baxter said he was interviewed Jan. 16. But a majority of candidates said their interviews came in the last several days, with a few still to meet with one of the three groups that make up the association’s evaluations panel.

Other candidates reached by the MetNews said they had not yet heard from the panel.

The county bar panel rates each candidate as “well qualified,” “qualified” or “not qualified.” Candidates who do not get the top rating may appeal. Final ratings are expected to be made public by the middle of next month.

Bar association ratings traditionally form a crucial part of judicial campaigns by informing voters what members of the legal community think of each candidate’s ability and preparedness to serve as a judge.

Goldberg, a Los Angeles deputy district attorney who is best known for his role on the O.J. Simpson prosecutorial team, called his evaluation a boost to his campaign.

“It’s obviously nice to have that affirmation from your colleagues,” he told the MetNews. “It’s nice to get, but I think we’ll wait and see what kind of rating [Renetzky] gets before deciding how much difference it will make.”

Deering, a lawyer in private practice with the ballot designation “eldercare attorney,” also said he was pleased with the evaluation.

“It’s very important because it’s nice to see that fellow attorneys think you’re well qualified,” Deering said.

As for Goldberg’s rating, Deering said, “I’m happy for him.”

Renetzky is a worker’s compensation judge.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company