Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Page 1


Superior Court Candidate Richard Loomis Reports ‘Well Qualified’ Rating by County Bar Panel


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Richard Loomis has received a “well qualified” rating from the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s evaluating panel, the candidate told the MetNews yesterday.

Loomis, one of six candidates for the seat vacated by retired Judge Michael Knight, is the first candidate to report a well qualified rating in that contest.

That rating used to be the highest possible, with lower-rated candidates said to be “qualified” or “unqualified.” This year, a rating of “exceptionally well qualified” has been added, a major change in the rating system, which goes back to the 1970s.

All ratings below the highest possible are tentative and appealable under the panel’s rules. But a candidate who appeals does risk the possibility of a lesser rating, and none of the candidates who have reported receiving well qualified ratings in the current election cycle have said they intend to appeal.

One of Loomis’ opponents, Workers’ Compensation Judge John Gutierrez, was rated qualified and will not appear, campaign consultant Hal Dash of Cerrell Associates, Inc. said. Dash said there was little point to an appeal since Gutierrez received the same rating in his two prior bids for election to the court, in 2002 and 2004.

He narrowly lost runoff elections in both of those years.

Consultant Evelyn Jerome said she would not discuss the rating of her candidate, Deputy District Attorney Daviann L. Mitchell, before today. It was learned, however, that Mitchell was tentatively rated qualified.

Ratings for the other candidates in that race, San Fernando Valley lawyers Stephen Feldman and Richard A. Nixon and Pasadena attorney David Crawford III, could not be immediately ascertained.

Also yesterday, Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Daniel Lowenthal, a candidate for the seat being vacated by Judge Barbara Burke, confirmed that he was rated qualified and said he did not intend to appeal.

He was told the rating was based on his relative inexperience, Lowenthal, a State Bar member since 1994, said.

He commented:

“I speculate that because the overwhelming majority of the invidious discrimination cases I handled between 1997-2006 were disposed of by way of demurrer or summary judgment or were settled, the perception exists that I lack significant trial experience. I am disappointed, but I respect the committee’s time, work and decision-making process....”


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company