Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Page 1


Six New Superior Court Judges to Begin Assignments Friday


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Recently sworn-in Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Susan Lopez-Giss, Dan Lowenthal, Lynn Dianne Olson, Deborah Sanchez, Alan B. Honeycutt and Michael Villalobos are set to wrap up orientation on Thursday before assuming their initial assignments Friday.

Sanchez, who has been assigned to a domestic violence calendar in West Covina, told the MetNews that the six new bench officers are going into their new jobs with a “unified” desire to “do well.”

Lopez-Giss, who will be sitting in the family law department in Pomona, echoed her colleague’s sentiment:

“The six new judges all come from different backgrounds, but the one uniform thing everyone has in common is an intense desire to serve.”

Lopez-Giss said she felt “lucky” her request for a family law assignment was granted.

“It’s a very important area because you see people at the most emotional time of their life, and you want to be able to be there for them,” she explained.  “It’s something that will affect the rest of their life.”

The judge, who spent the last 16 years representing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and was a prosecutor for 14 years before that, noted that she faces a “big learning curve” and looks forward to learning from members of the family law bar.

Sanchez said her extensive experience in misdemeanors helps her feel “very comfortable” with her first assignment, but that she has a lot to learn about being a judge.

Lowenthal told the MetNews he will initially sit in Downey for several months, hearing traffic and unlawful detainer cases, and then move either to Bellflower or Norwalk.

“I have a recognition about how little I know but I’ve had a long time to mentally process and reflect on the transition so I feel prepared,” the judge said, adding he was “grateful” that his assignment is only 20 minutes from his residence because he has never worked close to home.

Olson has been assigned to El Monte—not Pomona as previously reported—and will hear traffic and small claims cases.

Lopez-Giss, Lowenthal, Olson, and  Sanchez were elected to open seats in either the June or November elections. Four other judges elected last year received appointments from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and started work early.

Honeycutt, who was appointed by the governor Dec. 21, will be going to the Bellflower courthouse and will handle small claims, traffic and unlawful detainer cases.  Villalobos, also appointed Dec. 21, will go to West Covina as a general misdemeanor trial judge.


Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company