Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Page 1


Runoff Slated for Superior Court Commissioner Post


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A Superior Court referee and a retired municipal court commissioner who has lost three previous runoff elections this year will face off in a runoff for the post of Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner.

Ballots containing the names of Referee Anthony Trendacosta and retired Commissioner John Murphy went out yesterday and are due back Jan. 7, court officials said. The winner will succeed Commissioner Donna Groman, who won the open judicial seat of retired Judge James Wright in the November election and will take office Jan. 1.

Trendacosta is a graduate of California State University-Northridge and the University of LaVerne College of Law. He was admitted to practice in 1975 and was general counsel of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board before joining the court.

He was nominated for commissioner by the court’s evaluation panel in 2001, but was not among those elected before the new list was established last year.

Murphy graduated from University of San Fernando Valley College of Law, which he attended at night while working in the clothing business. He was admitted in 1974 and was a deputy public defender prior to his appointment as a commissioner of the now-defunct Burbank Municipal Court in 1978.

He moved to the old Beverly Hills Municipal Court in 1981 and retired in 1989, but has sat on assignment periodically since 1998. He is currently assigned to Lancaster.

He previously lost runoffs to Maren Nelson, Brian Petraborg, and Harvey Silberman.

Trendacosta was ranked No. 1 on the candidate list, based on evaluations by a panel of judges. Murphy was No. 15.

As Murphy’s situation indicates, judges are not bound by the rankings. But no candidate has been elected out of ranked order since the previous list was established in 2001.

The candidates in the election, in ranked order, were Trendacosta; Anthony B. Drewry, staff counsel at Munger, Tolles & Olson; Referee Steff Padilla, Santa Monica attorney James N. Bianco, Century City attorney H. Jay Ford III, Referee Pamela A. Davis, Lancaster attorney and former Referee David Bianchi, Court of Appeal attorney Mary Lou Katz, Alliance for Children’s Rights attorney Amy M. Pellman; Los Angeles attorney Graciela Freixes; Santa Monica attorney Susan Weiss; Referee Alan H. Friedenthal; Los Angeles attorney David J. Cowan; Long Beach attorney Tamila Ipema; Murphy; former Referee Laura Hymowitz; Covina attorney Rocky Lee Crabb; and Joel Wallenstein, a former referee who now works for the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

Also Deputy County Counsel Catherine Pratt, Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Zuzga, Deputy District Attorney Lori-Ann Jones, Los Angeles attorney Robert Harrison, Referee Stephen Marpet, Deputy District Attorney Lia R. Martin, Los Angeles attorney Paul Ted Suzuki, Manhattan Beach attorney Michele Flurer, Deputy District Attorney William J. Woods, Los Angeles attorney Adrienne L. Krikorian, and Referee Jacqueline H. Lewis.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company