Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, December 7, 2006


Page 1


Governor Appoints Four to Los Angeles Superior Court


By TINA BAY, Staff Writer


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday named Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Bobbi Tillmon, along with Deputy District Attorneys Daviann L. Mitchell, David W. Stuart and Hayden A. Zacky to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The appointments allow the four, elected last month, to immediately assume the positions they were otherwise elected to serve beginning Jan. 8.

Stuart, who beat Deputy City Attorney Janis Levart Barquist for the seat vacated by Judge Paula Mabrey in April, told the MetNews he tentatively plans to be sworn in during the last week of December.

“I’m currently in the midst of post-election fund raising to retire campaign debt, so it’s more appropriate to take the bench after fundraising is completed,” he said.

Stuart reported raising $88,643.92 and spending $127,465.11, leaving the campaign with a deficit of nearly $39,000, most of it owed to slate mail vendors.

The Westlake Village resident said Superior Court Judge Kathryne Ann Stoltz, who sits in Van Nuys, would be swearing him in.

A prosecutor since 1995, Stuart was previously an associate with the law firm of Manning, Marder & Wolfe. The 41-year-old lawyer holds a juris doctor degree from Loyola Law School and a B.S. from California State University, Northridge.

Zacky, 42, said he would be sworn in Monday afternoon in Van Nuys, either by Judge Robert J. Perry or Judge Michael A. Latin of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

He was anxious to start his new job, he said, adding:

“The fact that it’s a month in advance will give me a little bit of a head start.”

Zacky outpolled attorney George C. Montgomery to succeed Judge Marion Johnson, who retired Oct. 17. He has been a prosecutor since 1994 and was most recently assigned to the hardcore gang division.

For two years before joining the District Attorney’s Office, he handled civil cases, primarily insurance defense work, for the Encino law firm of Staitman, Snyder & Tannenbaum. He earned his law degree from Southwestern University Law School after graduating from UC San Diego.

Mitchell, 44, defeated Workers’ Compensation Judge John C. Gutierrez last month for the seat left open after Judge Michael E. Knight retired in February. Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office in 1994, Mitchell practiced civil law for two years as an associate with the Law Office of Davis & Davis in Los Angeles, and clerked for the chief justice of Nevada.

A resident of Canyon Country, she served as a police officer in Sacramento—-retiring due to a foot injury—before earning her law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.

Mitchell previously said that her pursuit of a judgeship was motivated by her belief in integrity.

Tillmon ran unopposed and was elected to fill the vacancy left by Judge Morris Jones, who retired Nov. 13.

A commissioner at the Santa Monica courthouse since 1995, she is currently assigned to family law, her specialty while in private practice from 1979 to 1994. The 53-year-old jurist earned her undergraduate and law degrees from USC.

Deputy City Attorney Deborah L. Sanchez, who was also elected to a judgeship last month, said she did not apply for an early appointment because she is still in the process of transitioning out of her current job. Tying up loose ends after 18 years of being a supervisor was taking a lot longer than expected, she said.

She tentatively plans to be sworn in at the Alhambra courthouse by Superior Court Judge Mildred Escobedo on Jan. 8.

Sanchez beat veteran Deputy Attorney General Bob Henry in the November election for the seat previously held by Judge Charles Rubin, who retired April 30.

Deputy City Attorney Daniel J. Lowenthal, elected in June, said he did not seek an early start, and plans to be sworn in Jan. 8 together with Assistant City Attorney Susan Lopez-Giss at City Hall.

Lopez-Giss, who beat Deputy City Attorney Richard Kraft in June for the office held by Judge Larry S. Knupp, could not apply for an early appointment because Knupp has not yet vacated his seat.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Harvey Giss, Lopez-Giss’ husband, will administer the oath of office, Lowenthal said.

While “super excited” about serving, Lowenthal said, he was not in a rush.

“I just turned 39 and expect to serve the next 20 years…I’d rather spend the holidays with my family,” he explained.

Lowenthal defeated attorney Robert Davenport for the office previously held by Judge Barbara Burke, who took disability retirement Oct. 24.

A call to non-practicing attorney and businesswoman Lynn Diane Olson, who defeated incumbent Judge Dzintra I. Janavs in June’s election, was not returned. Olson is not believed to have applied for an early appointment.

Following Olson’s victory, the governor reappointed Janavs in October to fill the vacancy created when Judge Stephen C. Suzukawa was elevated to Div. Four of this district’s Court of Appeal.

The governor yesterday also named Orange Deputy District Attorney Sheila F. Hanson to the Orange Superior Court; San Bernardino Deputy District Attorney

Steve Malone to the San Bernardino Superior Court; San Diego Deputy District Attorney Kathleen M. Lewis to the San Diego Superior Court; and Pleasanton attorney Stephen M. Pulido to the Alameda Superior Court.

Hanson, of Santa Ana, was elected last month to fill the vacancy created by Judge Robert Gallivan’s retirement. As a prosecutor, the 42-year-old attorney has specialized in felony, sexual assault, gang and juvenile cases.

She joined the District Attorney’s Office in 1989 after earning her both her law and undergraduate degrees from Western State University in Fullerton.

Malone, also elected last month, steps into the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Douglas Fettel. Hailing from Highland, Malone has been with the District Attorney’s Office since 1994. He previously spent five years in private practice litigating construction, family law, employment and personal injury cases.

The attorney, 48, graduated from UC Santa Barbara and earned his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law.

Lewis, 40, was named to the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William Howatt. She holds a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and graduated from the University of Illinois.

Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office 1992, she practiced with the firm of Dolan, Taylor & Peterson.

Pulido, 53, was appointed to succeed Judge James Richman, who was elevated to the First District Court of Appeal in February. A family law specialist, he was with the small family law firm of Browner, Pulido & Sheehan for 20 years before moving to private practice in 1998.

An alumnus of UC Berkeley, Pulido earned his law degree from Hastings College of the Law.

Pulido and Hanson are Democrats; Lewis and Malone are Republicans.

The compensation for each of the judicial positions is $158,201 annually.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company