Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 144
There are three impressive candidates in this race: Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David W. Stuart, Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Janis Levart Barquist, and private practitioner Maria Rivas Hamar. All have keen thinking abilities and the capacity to express themselves with clarity.
Our choice is Stuart. Six years ago when he ran, we did not endorse him, commenting:
“Deputy District Attorney David Stuart is bright and eager to serve but, at 34 and with less than six years of practice, is a bit too green for Superior Court service at this stage of his career. He is, however, a young man with considerable potential who might prove to be an asset to the judiciary in the future.”
Six years have passed. Stuart has gained in maturity. It’s time.
We agree with District Attorney Steve Cooley that Stuart “has the intelligence, experience and dedication to be a significant asset to the Superior Court.”
Stuart graduated with honors from Loyola Law School, being named to the Order of the Coif, has penned articles for bar journals, has handled more than 75 jury trials, and serves as a judge pro tem in Ventura.
His endorsement list contains numerous judges, while Barquist’s list is heavy with names of Democratic clubs. His focus has been more on the legal community, while hers has been more on partisan politics. (She was even a sponsor of a partisan fundraiser after becoming a judicial candidate, until she realized that such violated a State Bar rule which incorporates a judicial canon.)
Hamar, though able, has somewhat less experience than Stuart or Barquist.
Also in the race are Deputy District Attorney Edward J. Nison, who possesses many of the qualities one would wish to see in a judge; attorney Stephen H. Beecher, an experienced litigator; attorney Randolph Hammock, a member of the bar in 15 states who boasts that he’s the best qualified among all the candidates in all the races this year (an assessment we don’t share); and Larry H. Layton, dean of the Larry H. Layton School of Law, making his eighth run for the bench (counting a write-in campaign).
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company