Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Harrison, Marpet Elected L.A. Superior Court Commissioners
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Mid-Wilshire civil attorney Robert Harrison and Superior Court Referee Stephen Marpet have been elected commissioners of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Marpet, 64, and Harrison, 48, were elected in balloting by the court’s judges that ended last week. Disclosure of the results was delayed because one of the candidates could not be immediately notified and because of last week’s court holiday, an official said.
Harrison is a partner in the firm of Harrison & Harrison with his brother, Michael Harrison, a former Calabasas City Council member. He told the MetNews yesterday he was “really thrilled and excited” to be joining the court after 22 years in private practice.
He sought the commissioner’s post after losing a bid for election to the Superior Court in 2002. He finished third in a field of four—then-Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis won without a runoff—polling more than 100,000 votes, a showing that he said encouraged him to seek appointment as a judge or commissioner.
Board of Rights
In addition to his private practice, focused on civil litigation and corporate, tax, employment, and estate planning advice, Harrison has served as one of the civilian panelists on the Los Angeles Police Department Board of Rights.
One civilian is selected from a list of about 50 such panelists for each board panel, which also includes two command-level LAPD officers. Harrison has been one of the civilian members since the program started in 1994, hearing about 10 cases per year, he said.
Harrison has also worked as an adjunct professor in the UCLA Attorney Assistant Program and in a Los Angeles County Bar Association pro bono program that provides legal assistance for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS, and with the Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers Volunteers in Parole program.
He is a past winner of the County Bar’s Benjamin Aranda award for pro bono service.
Harrison said he is “looking forward to trying to make the system more understandable and more accessible to the public.”
He is a graduate of UCLA and of Loyola Law School, where he served as president of the Lesbian and Gay Law Union. Harrison said he expects to be sworn in within the next couple of weeks, and does not know where he will be assigned.
Marpet has already been sworn in as a commissioner and remains in a dependency courtroom at the Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park.
“I’m very, very, happy here,” he said, adding that he expects to remain at that facility long-term because he has been tapped to participate in a developing pilot project designed to help parents of dependent children overcome substance abuse problems so that they can reunify their families.
Marpet has been a referee since 1997, hearing both delinquency and dependency cases. He initially served on an as-needed basis, but closed out his private practice in general civil litigation more than two years ago and has been sitting full-time in dependency court.
He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Hastings College of the Law and was admitted to the State Bar in 1967.
There are three remaining commissioner vacancies on the court, resulting from the recent retirements of H. Ronald Hauptman, Paul Enright, and Richard Hughes. Ballots for those seats were due to be sent out yesterday, a court official said.
Candidates are 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 2006, Metropolitan News Company