Monday, June 23, 2008
Superior Court Judges Elect Jacqueline Lewis Commissioner
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
Jacqueline Honovich Lewis has been elected the court’s newest commissioner, succeeding Commissioner Tamila Ebrahimi Ipema, who resigned to accept a position in the San Diego Superior Court in April.
Lewis was sworn in late Thursday. She was assigned to the dependency department, where she has been a referee for over 11 years.
Lewis said Friday was “nothing different,” despite being her first day serving as a commissioner. “I did the exact same job I did yesterday,” she said.
She also said she was grateful for the opportunity to remain in dependency court and continue her work here. The work in dependency court is important she said, because of how many lives it touches
“I am really enjoyed my assignment in juvenile, and I’m really passionate about it,” Lewis reflected. “I’m very fortunate.”
However, she said, she would be willing to take on other assignments in the future. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to go out and do other things…if the court needs me,” she said.
The Loyola Marymount and Boalt Hall alum said she sought to become a commissioner in part because it presented the opportunity for her to be a bench officer in other areas of law.
Additionally, she said becoming a commissioner was the “next step up from being a referee,” on her way to reaching her ultimate goal of becoming a judge. “It’s the natural progression of things,” Lewis said.
Lewis said she submitted an application for appointment to the governor about two years ago, and she was interviewed by the state bar’s Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission about 18 months ago.
As a commissioner, she said her goals were to continue to serve the court and learn to be a better bench officer. “We learn every single day to get to be better at what we do,” Lewis said.
All in all, she said, between her election, two “amazing” children and “wonderful” husband, “I feel my life is pretty complete.”
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. Lewis was the highest-ranked candidate on the list of nominees
Following Lewis’ election, 24 candidates remain on that list in the following ranked order:
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.
The court is expected to convert two commissioner vacancies into judgeships this year.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company