Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Page 1


Judge Rosemary Shumsky Will Not Run for Re-Election

State Lawyer Files Challenge to Judge Chesley McKay


By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rosemary H. Shumsky will not run for re-election, the judge said yesterday.

“I’ve loved it,” the jurist said of her 23 years on the Los Angeles Municipal Court and the unified Superior Court. But she has decided to leave the bench no later than the end of her current term, which expires in January 2005, she said.

She added that she has no firm plans for retirement.

Her decision means there will be at least four open seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court in the March 2 primary. Judges Marcus Tucker, Richard Hubbell, and James Wright had previously indicated they would not run, while Judge Nancy Brown has said she is undecided whether to seek another term.

The deadline for incumbents, or their challengers, to file declarations of intention to run is Nov. 5.

First Filing Day

Yesterday was the first day to file declarations, and Deputy District Attorney Judith L. Meyer was the first to file after the window opened at 8 a.m. at the office of Registrar/Recorder/County Clerk Conny McCormack. Meyer is seeking Wright’s seat.

Also filing yesterday were about 30 incumbent judges—there are 140 seats up for election this year—and one challenger. Another 90 incumbents took out papers to seek re-election.

Stella Owens-Murrell, an attorney for the state Department of Industrial Relations, filed to oppose Judge Chesley N. McKay Jr., who has been in poor health for more than a year.

“He’s been off the bench more than he’s been on,” she said of the incumbent. “We need a fit judicial officer in that seat, and I’m that fit judicial-officer-to-be.”

Owens-Murrell, an attorney for more than 20 years, is a member of the Legal Unit in the Office of the Director of the DIR. Her duties include sitting as a hearing officer in disputes over alleged failures to pay prevailing wages on public works projects, and representing the department in a variety of employment-related disputes, including workers’ compensation cases involving uninsured employers.

She told the MetNews she has put together a campaign team under the management of labor activist and campaign veteran Darren Parker.

Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Gootman had previously taken out papers to run for the seat, saying he believed McKay would not run. But Hal Dash, president of Cerrell Associates, Inc., said his firm had been retained to file McKay’s paperwork and would be doing so today.

Gootman could not be reached yesterday for comment on his plans.

Elected in 1980

Shumsky, 64, was elected to the old Municipal Court in 1980, after having spent three years as a part-time juvenile court referee. She defeated then-Commissioner John Gunn, who later became a judge and is now retired, in a runoff after surviving an eight-candidate primary. 

She ran unsuccessfully for the Superior Court in 1984, then became a Superior Court judge through unification in 2000. She sits in West Los Angeles.

A graduate of Indiana University and Southwestern School of Law, she spent 10 years as a technologist in the field of hematology, becoming supervisor of the Hemotopathology Laboratory at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where she later became an instructor.

She began practicing law in 1972. She was a deputy public defender for four years before entering private practice.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company