Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Page 1


David Bianchi, Longtime Antelope Valley Attorney, Named Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Lancaster attorney David Bianchi has been elected a commissioner of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Bianchi, who has practiced law in the Antelope Valley for 25 years and is a former Lancaster deputy city attorney, was chosen by the court’s judges in balloting that ended last week. He said yesterday he expects to be sworn in June 13.

He has not officially received an assignment, he explains, but could be sent to the second family law department for the Antelope Valley, which is soon to be reopened.

It will be ‘real hard” to leave Michelizzi, Schwabacher, Ward & Bianchi, the oldest law firm in the Antelope Valley, he said. But it is no secret that he had been looking for another challenge.

Bianchi ran for judge in the old Antelope Judicial District in 2000, after flirting with a run earlier. He lost the contest, but was subsequently appointed to a part-time referee’s position that was eventually eliminated for budget reasons.

An Antelope Valley assignment would allow him to remain in the community where he has served as exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge, president of the Kiwanis Club, board member of the Salvation Army, and a youth soccer coach and referee. He also served in 1988 as president of the Antelope Valley Bar Assn.

Born and reared in Amsterdam, N.Y, Bianchi graduated from Florida State University—he had a golf scholarship—in 1972. He worked as a sales representative for Campbell’s Soup Company in upstate New York for a couple of years entering what was then San Fernando Valley College of Law.

He earned his degree there in 1979 and was admitted to the State Bar that same year.

He has also taught business law at the community college level and is a certified family law specialist, although he has also done estate planning and probate.

As commissioner, he succeeds Sanjay T. Kumar, who was appointed a judge last month. Bianchi was the highest-ranked candidate on the list of nominees, the rankings being assigned by a judicial panel.

The rankings are not binding on the judges, but have been consistently followed for the past several years. Bianchi, who said in the past—and reaffirmed yesterday—that he will not seek judicial election or appointment because he considers the process too political, said the commissioner selection process works well because candidates are instructed not to contact judges or to ask others to contact judges on their behalf.

Three more commissioner vacancies are scheduled. Commissioner Guillermina Byrne, whose last day on the bench was May 13, officially retires June 6; Commissioner Stanford Reichert is to be sworn in as a San Bernardino Superior Court judge next week; and Commissioner Patricia G. Schwartz will not sit after next Tuesday and is retiring July 18.

The candidates for those seats, in ranked order, are 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; Los Angeles attorney and as-needed Referee Alan H. Friedenthal; Los Angeles attorney David J. Cowan; Long Beach attorney Tamila Ipema; retired Municipal Court Commissioner John 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 2005, Metropolitan News Company