Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, June 5, 2006


Page 6



Summary of Recommendations in Judicial Races


Alan H. Friedenthal
            Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 8

As a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner, and before that as a referee, Friedenthal has demonstrated aptitude for the role of a bench officer. He’s deserving of a judgeship. His rivals, Deputy Attorney General Bob Henry and Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Deborah Sanchez, also strike us as having the wherewithal to be judges, but it’s Friedenthal who has the experience and the spark.

Daviann L. Mitchell
            Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 18

In a field of six candidates, Mitchell, a deputy district attorney, is the clear choice. She is conscientious and skilled. Although Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Richard Loomis is also able, his lackadaisical campaign creates doubt as to his commitment to tasks he undertakes. None of the other candidates in the race has the qualifications for the job.

Judith L. Meyer
            Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 28

Two worthy contenders are in this race. While we endorse Meyer, a deputy district attorney, we express the hope that Deputy Attorney General S. Paul Bruguera, through appointment or through election in two years, does ascend to the Superior Court bench. Meyer was our choice for an open seat two years ago, and we continue to regard her as intelligent, industrious, and fair-minded. A third candidate for this office, realtor/attorney Douglas Weitzman, simply does not have what it takes to be a judge.

Susan Lopez-Giss
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 95

Lopez-Giss, an assistant Los Angeles city attorney, has credentials far superior to those of her sole opponent, Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Richard Kraft. Her experience is broader, her responsibilities in the office are more substantial, her temperament is more stable. Some aspects of Kraft’s campaign are troubling. For example, Lopez-Giss in 1978 set up her office’s first domestic violence unit—as attested to by then-City Attorney (now Los Angeles Superior Court Judge) Burt Pines—yet, Kraft claims on his campaign website that he “Started 1st Domestic Violence Prosecution Team for City.” Obdurately, he’s refused to remove the assertion from the website even after learning of Lopez-Giss’s prior establishment of such a unit.

Hayden Zacky
            Los Angeles Superior Court Office 102

Zacky, a deputy district attorney, is young, but is ready for judicial service. He has two opponents, neither of whom possesses the qualities one would wish in judicial officers. Attorney George C. Montgomery is sly and duplicitous. He has listed himself on the ballot as a “Trial Lawyer/Teacher.” Montgomery is not a “trial lawyer,” as that term is commonly understood, and claims to be a “teacher” based on advice he sometimes gives to young lawyers. Deputy Public Defender C. Edward Mack represents that he has “[f]ive years of civil experience” in addition to “[f]ifteen years of criminal experience as a Los Angeles County Public Defender.” In those five years of “civil experience,” he includes time spent as a court clerk. He was admitted to practice only a year-and-a-half prior to joining the Public Defender’s Office.

Dzintra Janavs
            Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 120

Janavs is the incumbent. She is a brilliant, seasoned, and dedicated jurist. She is opposed by a woman who does not practice law for a living. Lynn Diane Olson, the “Bagel Lady” of Manhattan Beach, runs a bakery and sandwich shop. It appears that Olson, who is wholly unfit for judicial service, supposes there is enough bigotry among voters that she will be elected on the basis of the foreign-sounding moniker of the incumbent. We fervently hope she is wrong.

Daniel J. Lowenthal
            Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 122

Lowenthal serves as deputy district attorney. He is bright and eager to provide public service. He will be a credit to the bench. His opponent is Robert Davenport, a member of the State Bar who is on inactive status. As best as we can tell, he is unemployed, notwithstanding his law license and two master’s degrees. His education has been largely subsidized by taxpayers, yet he is not a contributing member of society. Billed on the ballot as “Disabled Veteran/Attorney,” he is receiving disability benefits based on a foot fungus incurred while in the Navy. In seeking benefits, he contended his condition impedes his functioning in the field of law. The MetNews has been making endorsements in judicial races for the past 26 years. In that time, we never encountered a candidate whose unfitness for public office exceeded Davenport’s.

 David W. Stuart
            Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 144

There are three impressive candidates in this seven-way race. Among the three are Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Janis Levart Barquist and family law attorney Maria Rivas Hamar. While we have no doubt as to the fitness of those contenders for a judgeship, our endorsement goes to Stuart, a deputy district attorney. His intellect and dedication to justice are high, and we believe he would prove a credit to the judiciary.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company