Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, August 15, 2005


Page 1


Cowan, Ipema Elected Superior Court Commissioners


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles attorney David J. Cowan and Superior Court Senior Research Attorney Tamila Ipema have been elected Superior Court commissioners, officials said Friday.

The two, who were elected in mail balloting by the judges, were expected to win because they were the top-listed candidates, based on rankings by a judicial panel.

The rankings are not binding on the voting judges, but have been consistently followed for the past several years.

Cowan, 42, said he has scheduled his swearing-in for Sept. 12. After taking a few days off, he told the MetNews, he will begin closing his solo practice, which emphasizes business and real estate litigation.

Cowan, whose office is in downtown Los Angeles, went out on his own in 1992 after two years at what is now Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick.

He spent four years before that in the Los Angeles office of Rogers & Wells. The New York-based firm later merged into the global firm Clifford Chance and no longer has a Los Angeles presence.

While he has enjoyed his practice, he said, he has wanted to pursue the challenge of a judicial career “for some time.” He was first an applicant for commissioner four years ago, but did not make the list of finalists, he explained, noting that at the time he had barely met the 10-year practice requirement.

He does not yet have an assignment, but said he would be interested in pursuing a new area of law, such as family law.

A native of London with an unmistakable British accent, Cowan came to America as a teenager. He graduated from Columbia University, where he studied literature and philosophy and edited an art and literary journal.

Cowan said he considered a career in journalism, but changed his path after working as a paralegal at a Wall Street firm whose best-known client was Marc Rich, the fugitive financier pardoned by President Bill Clinton just before leaving office.

He graduated from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and was admitted to practice in 1988.

Ipema, 48, could not be reached for comment on her election. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville’s law school and was admitted to the State Bar in 1991.

The new commissioners fill vacancies created by the recent retirements of Commissioners Patricia G. Schwartz and Robert Zakon.

A new round of commissioner voting begins today, with ballots due Sept. 1 and results expected to be announced Sept. 2, to succeed Stuart Rice and Ross Klein, who were recently appointed judges.

The candidates in that election are, in ranked order, retired Municipal Court Commissioner John Murphy; former Referee Laura Hymowitz; Covina attorney Rocky Lee Crabb; Joel Wallenstein, a former referee who now works for the State Compensation Insurance Fund; 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