Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, February 5, 2002


Page 1


Bacigalupo, Lubell, Walmark Report ‘Well Qualified’ Ratings


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Two candidates in the race for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 67, State Bar Court Judge Paul Bacigalupo and Superior Court Commissioner Steven Lubell, said yesterday they received “well qualified” ratings from the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

One of their opponents, Deputy District Attorney David Gelfound, reported a “qualified” rating while the fourth candidate, trial attorney David Crawford III, said he has not yet heard back from the association.

Richard Walmark, one of three candidates running for the Office No. 100 open seat, reported being rated “well qualified.” His opponents are attorney Thomas Warden and Workers’ Compensation Judge John Gutierrez, who said they had not heard from the committee.

In the three-way race for Office No. 39, prosecutor Richard E. Naranjo said he received a “qualified” rating and planned to appeal, while law school dean and professor Larry H. Layton said he, too, was rated qualified but would not appeal.

The third candidate, prosecutor Craig Renetzky, said previously through his political consultant that he was rated qualified and is appealing.

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.

Several candidates said they have not yet heard back from the committee and one—Kenneth Wright—has not responded to several inquiries from the MetNews.

Wright is challenging Judge C. Richard Simpson, who was rated well qualified.

Political consultant Fred Huebscher, who is representing candidates in six of the seven judicial races, said a high rating can be useful to a candidate, to a limited extent.

“I think [the ratings] may mean something to newspaper editorial boards,” Huebscher said, although he added that he would encourage well qualified and qualified candidates to put their ratings on their political mail.

In the Office No. 39 race, Naranjo said he was advised by the county bar committee that he lacked the “breadth and depth of experience” to score the highest rating. The 10-year deputy district attorney said he believed he could get the panel to change its mind.

Layton said he was told he lacked sufficient breadth and depth in complex matters. He told the MetNews yesterday that he has tried murder cases and intellectual property matters, although he acknowledged that his last murder trial was in 1987.

Explaining his decision not to appeal he said:

“I don’t know that it’s worth the hassle, to be honest.”


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company