Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, August 25, 2008


Page 1


Wada and Berman Elected Superior Court Commissioners




Los Angeles Superior Court probate clearing attorney Robert S. Wada and Referee Steven Berman have been elected as the court’s newest commissioners, officials said Friday.

The pair were notified of their election Thursday, and Berman, a juvenile court referee at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Courthouse in Monterey Park, took the oath that afternoon. Wada is a probate clearing attorney at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse; no date for his taking office has  been set.

Berman has been a referee since 2001 and was in private practice for 30 years before that. Early in his career, he was a Torrance deputy city attorney and assistant city prosecutor. 

He graduated from USC law school and UCLA. His name was previously sent by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation for evaluation as a possible appointee to a judgeship on the Superior Court.

A probate attorney since 1997, Wada was in private practice before joining the court. He graduated from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton and was an adjunct professor at Western State University of Law in Irvine.  He is also a UCLA graduate.

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 judge. Wada and Berman were the highest-ranked candidates on the list.

Following their election, 22 candidates remain on that list in the following ranked order:

Long Beach attorney Michael Pearce of Wise Pearce Yocis & Smith; Sonneschein, Nath & Rosenthal partner Lloyd Loomis; 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; and Los Angeles attorney Michael Shultz.

Also, 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.


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