Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Scott Silverman Elected as Commissioner
By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer
The judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court have elected B. Scott Silverman of the law firm of Morrison & Foerster to be the court’s newest commissioner, officials said yesterday.
A court spokesperson told the MetNews that Silverman was elected to fill the position vacated by Commissioner Ann Dobbs last month, and that he will take the oath of office Nov. 30.
Silverman attended orientation for his new position on Monday, but said that he does not yet know his specific assignment.
Born and raised in Fresno, Silverman attended college at Stanford University where he graduated in 1971. He later attended UC Hastings College of the Law, graduating in 1975 and gaining admission to the State Bar of California that year.
Silverman served as a law clerk to Justice Raymond L. Sullivan of the California Supreme Court until 1977, when he went to work at Morrison & Foerster. He became a partner in 1981 and went on to become the senior employment lawyer in firm’s its Los Angeles office.
A self-described “avid golfer” who reads a lot, Silverman remarked that he was thrilled by the opportunity to play a role that represented both the law and the people.
His main goal, he said, was to “be as effective as I can be to try to get it right.”
Silverman has lectured and written for attorneys and personnel administrators on many employment law subjects.
He was consulting editor for the book Wrongful Employment Termination Practice, published by the California Continuing Education of the Bar in 1987, and co-authored the chapter entitled “Theories of Liability.” He also co-authored the 1990 Supplement, and authored the chapter on privacy law for the 1997 Second Edition.
Silverman is also the author of a chapter on retaliation, whistleblowing and other statutory limits on discharge in the West Group’s Employment Law Deskbook for Human Resource Professionals.
Silverman has handled a variety of pro bono matters involving individuals during his practice, the most significant of which, he said, was an employment discrimination lawsuit he won on behalf of a Riverside Police Department officer who alleged that the department subjected him to a campaign of racial discrimination and harassment. In 2005, a jury compensated the officer for lost wages and medical expenses totaling more than $140,000, and awarded him $1.5 million for emotional distress.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California awarded Silverman its Racial Justice Award for his role in the case.
Silverman was the highest-ranked candidate on the list of nominees. Under local rules, vacant superior court commissioner positions are filled by a vote of the judges from a list of candidates nominated by a court panel, with the timing of the election determined by the presiding superior court judge.
Following Silverman’s election, 27 candidates remain on that list in the following ranked order:
Deputy Alternate Public Defender Sharon L. Miller; Westside attorney Alan Rubin of Rubin & Adelson; Referee Jacqueline Lewis; Superior Court probate clearing attorney Robert S. Wada; Referee Steven Berman; Long Beach attorney Michael Pearce of Wise Pearce Yocis & Smith; and Sonneschein, Nath & Rosenthal partner Lloyd Loomis.
Also Deputy Alternate Public Defender Jon R. Takasugi; Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Matthew C. St. George; Deputy Public Defender Kenneth H. Taylor; William V. McTaggart Jr., a professional mediator and former partner at Parker, Milliken, Clark, O’Hara & Samuelian; Stephen M. Lowry of the downtown Los Angeles firm of Russo & Lowry; Los Angeles attorney Michael Shultz; Deputy Public Defender Nancy Pogue; Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Inspector General Nicole Bershon; Children’s Law Center attorney Emma Castro; Deputy District Attorney Eloise Phillips; Michael R. Diliberto, president of Advantage Arbitration and Mediation Services, LLC; Deputy District Attorney Arunas A. Sodonis; Los Angeles attorney Faith Mitchell; Referee Shep Zebberman; Lancaster attorney William A. Clark; Richard L. Bissetti, an associate at Century City’s Magana, Cathcart & McCarthy; Downey criminal defense lawyer Michael LaPan; Hawthorne Deputy City Attorney Robert Kim; Deputy Public Defender Lisa Brackelmanns; and Deputy District Attorney Renee Korn.
It was unclear yesterday what effect Silverman’s election would have on the process of converting vacant subordinate judicial officer positions to judgeships under AB 159. The Judicial Council recently identified seven such positions, including two in the Los Angeles Superior Court, as the first positions to be converted once the statute takes effect Jan. 1.
AB 159 provides for the conversion of up to 162 subordinate judicial officer positions, including commissioner posts, into judgeships that would be filled by the governor. The law requires the council to develop uniform allocation standards to identify positions for conversion according to judicial need, and to convert up to 16 vacant positions per fiscal year starting in 2007-08.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company