Thursday, March 6, 2008
Marc Alain Chomel
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 72
There are two excellent candidates in the race for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 72, both of whom are deputy district attorneys. Marc Alain Chomel has the edge over Hilleri Grossman Merritt based on broader experience and superior know-how.
Chomel acknowledges that he has heard favorable reports on Merritt, but notes:
“She is essentially where I was about 10 years ago.”
That comment tells the story.
He’s been a prosecutor for 22 years—counting his three years of experience in Conroe, Texas—with seven years in a supervisory role in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Chomel, who turns 47 today, possesses a maturity and serene disposition generally associated with persons older than he.
He is skilled, dedicated, insightful, balanced, and caring.
From persons in the District Attorney’s Office, praise flows. He’s described as “very impressive,” as “very calm, even tempered, a gentleman, a good lawyer.” Also: “well respected, soft-spoken—people like him.” At the same time, no complaints are heard from those in the Public Defender’s Office.
Chomel’s fitness for service as a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court is manifest.
As to Merritt, Chomel graciously concedes: “She’s obviously very qualified, as well.”
Merritt has spent 14 years in the office handling trials. She’s affable, non-confrontational, and plain-talking.
From a political standpoint, her chances of prevailing in the contest appear to exceed Chomel’s. She has $200,000 in her coffers—$50,000 from her husband and herself and a $150,000 loan from her father—and is represented by Cerrell Associates, Inc., a professional campaign outfit with a high success rate in judicial campaigns. Chomel, on the other hand, foresees plunking no more than $10,000-$20,000 into the election campaign and wants to run a “grassroots campaign.”
A third candidate in the race is Tarzana attorney Steven A. Simons, a practitioner for 20 years. His website is at “onesmartlawyer.com.” Simons originally took out papers to run against Lauren Weis Birnstein, not realizing she’s an incumbent.
While his experience in law is broad and his manner pleasant, we do not view his suitability for judicial service to rival that of Chomel or Merritt. Nonetheless, his prospects of success in the race can hardly be dismissed; he says he is prepared to spend between $175,000-$300,000.
Based on his background and attributes, we urge a vote for Chomel on June 3.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company