Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Deputy A.G.’s Bid to Boost ‘Qualified’ Rating Fails
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Deputy Attorney General Gus Gomez has failed in an effort to raise the rating he received from a County Bar panel evaluating judicial candidates from “qualified” to “well qualified.”
Gomez is the first candidate in this year’s judicial election cycle to reveal a final rating after an appeal process. Ratings less than “well qualified” are based on a tentative subcommittee evaluation and are subject to review by the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s full Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee.
Gomez told the MetNews Monday that the committee declined to raise his rating after an appeal hearing. Gomez is one of six candidates vying to succeed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Hubbell, who is not seeking reelection.
One of his opponents, Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Gootman, has been rated “well qualified.” Another, Deputy District Attorney Lori Jones, is appealing a “qualified” rating.
The ratings of the other candidates in the race—Deputy District Attorney Edward Nison, Acton attorney Larry H. Layton, and Deputy Public Defender C. Edward Mack—are not yet known.
Gomez, who has also been a Glendale city councilman since 1999, currently handles licensing cases after having joined the Attorney General’s Office as a criminal appellate lawyer 10 years ago. A Stanford Law School graduate, he began his career as a transactional lawyer with a Century City firm, then moved to the Beverly Hills office of Brown & Wood, a New York-based firm which has since merged with Sidley and Austin to become Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, where he specialized in municipal finance.
Two years ago the committee completed its work and released its final evaluations on Feb. 13, a day after conducting the last of its meetings to reevaluate candidates who appealed ratings less than “well qualified.” While the panel does not make its meeting schedule public, one candidate has reported that his appeal is scheduled to be heard Feb. 10.
The committee defines its ratings categories as:
“To be ‘Well-Qualified,’ the candidate must possess professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of superior fitness to perform the judicial function with a high degree of skill and effectiveness.
“To be ‘Qualified,’ the candidate must possess professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function satisfactorily.
“To be ‘Not-Qualified,’ the candidate must lack one or more of the qualities of professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function satisfactorily.”
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company