Friday, March 17, 2006
Daniel J. Lowenthal
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 122
The contest for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 122 pits a seasoned attorney against an inactive member of the State Bar who earns his living as an author of books on genealogy.
This is an easy one to call.
Deputy City Attorney Daniel J. Lowenthal was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1994. He worked for a short time for a private firm, joining the public law office in which he currently serves the following year. Lowenthal has handled both civil and criminal work for that office, including civil appeals.
He has, at this early stage in the campaign, amassed an impressive list of endorsers. Gaining support of Democratic politicians (and some from the GOP) does not really stand as a testament to his abilities in light of the position of his father, Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. Even if it were not for the prospect that his father was a magnet for these endorsements, we would dismiss the support of politicos as having little, if any, bearing on the issue of Lowenthal’s fitness for judicial office. The endorsements that are meaningful, in our view, are those Lowenthal has garnered from numerous local judges and lawyers, including Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Paul Turner and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley, who supervises the criminal courts.
Lowenthal is articulate, intelligent, and diligent. He’s candid—even confessing the flaw of being too meticulous. He has judicial temperament.
We believe that he we would be an excellent addition to the bench.
Lowenthal’s opponent is Robert Davenport, who was admitted to practice in California on June 14, 1988. He assumed inactive status on Jan. 1, 1989, and has maintained that status ever since. Davenport meets the state constitutional requirement of membership for 10 years in the State Bar—but having been an inactive member, having never practiced law in this state, he is “qualified” in the constitutional sense, and in that sense only.
While Lowenthal was performing as an attorney, Davenport was authoring such books as “The Rich and Famous Baby Name Book,” “The Celebrity Birthday Book,” and “Pets’ Names of the Rich and Famous.”
Aside from Davenport’s lack of credentials for the post he seeks, there’s a question as to the level of his integrity. He has never been a judge—yet he has sought to convey the impression to the electorate that he has been by using the word “judge” in his ballot designation.
The first designation he chose was “Retired Judge Advocate”; with that rejected by the Registrar-Recorder’s Office, he has proposed the description “U.S. Judge Advocate,” which is being reviewed.
Elections Code Sec. 13107(a)(3) restricts the designation to “[n]o more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.” Checking with the naval Judge Advocate General’s office in Washington, we have found that Davenport was not listed in a directory of JAG Corps reservists which goes back to 2003.
Lowenthal is highly qualified for a judgeship; Davenport’s candidacy can be viewed as nothing other than a farce.
We endorse Lowenthal.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company