Thursday, February 28, 2008
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 123
There is no doubt as to whether Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Kathleen Blanchard has the capacity to fill the role of a judge of the Superior Court. She does.
Those who know the caliber of her work laud her highly. It’s not merely a matter of statistics—a 97 percent conviction rate—but it’s also a matter of her dedication, her intelligence, and her ability to work harmoniously with others.
Blanchard, who graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1990 and obtained her law degree from UCLA three years later, has had a variety of assignments since joining the DA’s Office in 1998. She has been attached to the Hard Core Gang unit since 2003—a place where only top prosecutors are put.
For three years before joining her present office, she was a deputy attorney general.
Based on her attributes, she is an ideal candidate for the Superior Court.
Even if she had but an eighth of the talents she possesses, Blanchard would tower over her two rivals.
One of them is Allan A. Nadir. He ran unsuccessfully for an open seat 20 years ago, his post then being that of a deputy Los Angeles city attorney. The County Bar rated him “not qualified,” commenting that he “lacks professional experience and judicial temperament necessary to be a Judge of the Superior Court.”
This newspaper, in endorsing his opponent, opined that Nadir was “lacking maturity, knowledge of law, and a sense of fairness.”
Has Nadir, after two decades, gained the experience, matured, and honed his skills to the point that he is now worthy of a judgeship?
Still a deputy Los Angeles city attorney, his reputation remains flat. One knowledgeable source labels him a “non-entity.”
Twenty years ago, critics scored Nadir for a propensity for making offensive ethnic wisecracks. From what we understand, that hasn’t changed.
On May 8, 2002, one Yvonne M. Johnson sued Nadir for malicious prosecution. In the underlying action, Nadir had pursued an action for a non-existent tort. An unpublished 2003 Court of Appeal decision, affirming the denial of Nadir’s anti-SLAPP motion, notes that “Nadir never cited any relevant decisional law, treatise, or law review article to support creation of this tort” of his own invention. Johnson’s action was ultimately settled.
The candidate’s conduct in filing an action for a tort he conjured up, while making no showing of why such a new tort (“wrongful interference with associational relationship”) should be recognized, does not reflect well on him.
Nadir is not at the nadir of the legal profession, but is perhaps as close to it as Blanchard is to the zenith. While Blanchard is viewed as a “rising star” in her office, Nadir is seen as stagnant in his.
Blanchard’s other opponent is Richard A. Nixon, a North Hills attorney. He ran for an open seat two years ago but hid in a corner, unwilling to talk with newspapers or with the Los Angeles County Bar Assn.’s evaluation panel, and even refused to provide biographical materials to the League of Women Voters.
Nixon’s e-mail address in 2006 was “email@example.com”—capitalizing on the similarity of his name to that of the 37th president of the United States, Richard M. Nixon. That address is no longer functional.
The extent to which Nixon is functional as a lawyer is in doubt. He practices out of his home.
Two years ago, he was rated “not qualified” by LACBA—and it strikes us as improbable that he will do better this time.
Nixon did speak with the MetNews on Tuesday, railing against the “hatchet job” he asserted was done on him by this newspaper two years ago. All he would say about his current candidacy is that he is “the best running” and, that having been proclaimed, declared he had nothing more to say and hung up on the caller.
We disagree with his assessment. He is not “the best running”; he is one of the weakest contenders this newspaper has encountered in the 30 years it has been making endorsements in judicial races.
The decision for voters should be as simple as the number of the office: 1-2-3. There’s a choice of a seasoned prosecutor with all the right qualities, on one hand, and two candidates devoid of credentials, on the other.
With no doubt in our minds as to which aspirant is “the best running” in this race, we endorse Kathleen Blanchard.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company