Friday, May 26, 2006
Haight Brown Partner Lori Behar Tops New Commissioner List
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Lori R. Behar, a senior partner at Haight, Brown, & Bonesteel, is the top-ranked candidate on the new list of nominees for Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner, the MetNews has learned.
“It’s an unbelievable honor,” Behar said. Serving on the court was something she “wanted to do for a long time,” she said, but the timing had not been right until the most recent commissioner application period, which ended in December.
Behar has served as a judge pro tem, mediator, arbitrator and settlement officer. She was the first female partner at Haight, Brown—she started with the firm as a law clerk in the 1970s—and was the first woman to serve as president of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.
She said she has no preference as to what type of assignment she gets, noting that since her specialty is legal malpractice defense, she has been exposed to a wide range of practice areas.
Election Next Month
An election to fill at least one commissioner vacancy will be held beginning June 21, a court spokesperson said. Behar said she was already preparing to join the court. “I’ll be there tomorrow if they tell me,” she said.
Behar is a graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School, and has served on the boards of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation, Dispute Resolution Services, and the Litigation Section of the County Bar.
There are a total of 38 candidates on the commissioner list. Judges are not required to elect the highest-ranked candidates, but in practice, the ranked order has been followed in every election for the past several years.
After Behar, the candidates are Eastside attorney Benjamin Campos; Deputy Alternate Public Defender Henry Hall; Deputy Public Defender John Lawson II; Deputy Federal Public Defender Michael Garcia; Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Munisoglu; Superior Court Referee Patricia Nieto; Referee Dennis Carroll; Morrison & Foerster partner B. Scott Silverman; Deputy Alternate Public Defender Sharon L. Miller; Westside attorney Alan Rubin of Rubin & Adelson; Referee Jacqueline Lewis; Superior Court probate clearing attorney Robert S. Wada; Referee Steven Berman; Long Beach attorney Michael Pearce of Wise Pearce Yocis & Smith; and Sonneschein, Nath & Rosenthal partner Lloyd Loomis.
Also Deputy Alternate Public Defender Jon R. Takasugi; Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Matthew C. St. George; Deputy Public Defender Kenneth H. Taylor; William V. McTaggart Jr., a professional mediator and former partner at Parker, Milliken, Clark, O’Hara & Samuelian; Stephen M. Lowry of the downtown Los Angeles firm of Russo & Lowry; Los Angeles attorney Michael Shultz; Deputy Public Defender Nancy Pogue; Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Inspector General Nicole Bershon; Children’s Law Center attorney Emma Castro; Deputy Public Defender Marguerite Downing; Deputy District Attorney Judith L. Meyer; Deputy District Attorney Eloise Phillips, Michael R. Diliberto, president of Advantage Arbitration and Mediation Services, LLC; Deputy District Attorney Arunas A. Sodonis; Los Angeles attorney Faith Mitchell; Referee Shep Zebberman; Lancaster attorney William A. Clark; Richard L. Bissetti, an associate at Century City’s Magana, Cathcart & McCarthy; Downey criminal defense lawyer Michael LaPan; Hawthorne Deputy City Attorney Robert Kim; Deputy Public Defender Lisa Brackelmanns; and Deputy District Attorney Renee Korn.
The previous commissioner list was used from December 2003 until this month, and contained 35 candidates, of whom 31 were elected commissioners and one dropped off the list after being elected a judge. Of the three who were not chosen, one, Lewis, is on the new list, those who were not are Los Angeles attorney Adrienne Krikorian and Deputy District Attorney William Woods.
Woods did not reapply, a court source said.
Berman and Brackelmanns were on the list that was used from 2001 to 2003.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company