Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, January 10, 2005


Page 1


Anthony Trendacosta Elected, Sworn As Superior Court Commissioner


By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts


Anthony Trendacosta Friday became the Los Angeles Superior Court’s newest commissioner.

Trendacosta, a court referee since 1998, was sworn in Friday afternoon by Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Michael Nash. The new commissioner was notified of his election earlier in the day.

Trendacosta, 54, defeated retired Commissioner John Murphy in a runoff for the seat vacated by newly elected Judge Donna Groman.

Balloting for the latest commissioner vacancy, caused by the Dec. 7 death of Roberta Kyman, is scheduled to begin today, with ballots due back Feb. 9 for counting the next day.

Trendacosta is a graduate of California State University-Northridge and the University of LaVerne College of Law. He was admitted to practice in 1975, spending 11 years at the litigation firm of Rose, Klein & Marias.

He then worked for three years as a contract attorney for Los Angeles County in juvenile dependency court before taking the position of general counsel of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board. He joined the Superior Court as an as-needed referee in September 1998 and has worked in juvenile court full-time since July 1999.

He will remain at the Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park for the foreseeable future, an assignment that makes him “very happy,” he told the MetNews.

Trendacosta explained that he enjoyed working in dependency court for the county but as a contract position, “the job sort of dead-ended,” leading him to apply for the Santa Monica position. Working for the rent board on “cutting edge” litigation appealed to him, and his nine-year tenure was the longest of any general counsel, he commented.

His interest drifted back to juvenile court when he saw an ad soliciting applications to serve as as-needed referee about the time that the state Ellis Act “eviscerated” rent control, Trendacosta explained.

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.

Murphy lost three previous runoff elections for commissioner posts.

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 new election, in ranked order, are 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 2005, Metropolitan News Company