Friday, March 3, 2006
Commissioner Tillmon to Seek Superior Court Seat
Judge Morris Jones to Leave Office, Endorses Santa Monica Jurist to Succeed Him
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Morris B. Jones said yesterday he will not run for re-election, and endorsed Superior Court Commissioner Bobbi Tillmon has his successor.
“I’ve known Bobbi Tillmon for more than 20 years,” Jones said in a statement. . “She will be an asset to everyone in Los Angeles who uses the legal system. She’ll do an excellent job.”
Jones had previously told the MetNews that he was undecided whether to run for another term or step down and find more time for his hobbies, which include golf, swimming, and music. Jones played the flute in military bands as a soldier in the 1950s and has played in local jazz clubs.
Jones, who turns 70 in August, was a deputy marshal, deputy sheriff, and district attorney investigator before entering private law practice in 1982. He graduated from University of West Los Angeles School of Law in 1978.
He was appointed to the Compton Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1990 and elevated to the Superior Court by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1993. He also sat by assignment for several months on the Court of Appeal in 1993.
Tillmon, who has been raising money for months but had not formally declared herself a candidate, yesterday became the first person to take out papers for Jones’ seat.
Tillmon has been a commissioner since 1994, when she was ranked No. 1 out of over 180 commissioner applicants when she was elected to office by the Superior Court Judges. She has been the family law commissioner in Santa Monica for the past 11 years.
Before being appointed commissioner, Tillmon was in private practice for 16 years as a family law, criminal and civil litigator. She has been a speaker and task force member on issues of domestic violence, civil harassment and family law, including service on the state Child Support Advisory Task Force as well as the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Child Support Advisory Council.
Tillmon has been honored by the Women’s Legal Clinic as the “Volunteer of the Year,” and as the “Mentor of the Year” from the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law. Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children named Tillmon their “Community Champion of the Year” and the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Foundation gave Tillmon their annual “Community Service Award.”
Tillmon said yesterday she has been endorsed by a number of other prominent officials, including Sheriff Lee Baca, Congresswoman Diane Watson, Presiding Justice Candace Cooper and Justice Laurence Rubin of the Court of Appeal and more than six dozen active or retired Superior Court judges and other bench officers.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company