Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, February 4, 2002


Page 1


Christian, Simpson Report ‘Well Qualified’ Bar Ratings


By ROBERT GREENE, Staff Writer


More judicial candidates received their tentative Los Angeles County Bar Association evaluations Friday, with H. Don Christian reporting a “well qualified” rating and each of his opponents for the Office No. 53 seat—Robert Harrison, Richard A. Espinoza and Lauren Weis—saying they were rated “qualified.”

Judge C. Robert Simpson also scored “well qualified,” according to a report from his political consultancy firm, Cerrell Associates Inc. Simpson’s challenger in the Office No. 90 race, Kenneth E. Wright, did not return calls regarding his evaluation.

In the race for Office No. 2, Donald Renetzky reported through his political consultant that he was rated “qualified.” His two opponents, Joseph Deering and Hank Goldberg, said earlier last week that they were rated “well qualified.”

In the Office No. 39 contest, Craig Renetzky scored “qualified.” One of his opponents, Richard E. Naranjo, said he has not yet been notified and the other, Larry Layton, could not be reached.

In the four other Los Angeles Superior Court races, there were no new reports from the candidates Friday of their county bar evaluations. Judge Floyd Baxter previously said he had received a “well qualified” evaluation and his challenger, Ross Stucker, has not returned METNEWS calls.

The county bar’s Judicial Elections Evaluations Committee interviews and evaluates each judicial candidate, scoring them as “well qualified,” “qualified” or “not qualified” to serve as a Superior Court judge.

Candidates who receive less than “well qualified” may appeal. The panel is to announce all final ratings publicly by mid-February.

The election is slated for March 5 with a runoff, if needed, in November.

In Office No. 53, Harrison, an attorney who sits on the Los Angeles Police Department’s officer discipline panel, said he would not be appealing for the highest score.

“They said that to get rated ‘well qualified’ you had to have extensive trial experience,” Harrison explained. “I have trial experience, but not extensive trial experience.”

Espinoza, a former Superior Court commissioner, said he also would not appeal.

But Weis, a veteran deputy district attorney, said she would appeal and was hopeful of a final “well qualified” rating.

If she does not get it, Christian would be the only candidate in that race to score the top mark.

Political consultant Fred Huebscher, who represents Baxter, Weis, both Renetzkys, Office No. 67 candidate David Gelfound and Office No. 100 contestant Richard F. Walmark, said he did not yet know whether Craig Renetzky and/or Donald Renetzky would appeal.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company