Friday, April 18, 2008
Superior Court Judges Elect Alan Rubin Commissioner
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
The judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court have elected criminal defense attorney Alan Ira Rubin to be the court’s newest commissioner, court officials said yesterday.
A court spokesperson told the METNEWS that Rubin was elected to fill the position vacated by Commissioner Ronald Slick’s retirement. Rubin said he plans to be sworn in this Friday and begin shutting down his private practice.
He anticipated that he will be ready to serve by the “first or second week of May.”
Rubin, 58, had not yet received official notice of his election when contacted, but said he was very happy with the news, and very excited to join the bench. He laughed as he said “Commissioner Rubin” had a “nice ring to it.”
The Brooklyn-born attorney attended Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in political science and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1972. Rubin then attended the University of Michigan Law School, graduating cum laude in 1975.
Following graduation, Rubin worked for the United States Department of Justice, and then joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1982. He worked briefly for Lillick, McHose and Charles, which later merged into another firm, and established his own practice in 1987.
Rubin said he felt a “little sadness” at shutting down Adelsen & Rubin, but that he was “looking forward to a new challenge.” He said he thinks he has “a lot” to offer the court, owing to his 33 years of practicing law and “wide breadth of experience.”
He said he decided to apply for a commissioner position as opposed to a judgeship because “it’s very difficult for attorneys in private practice to become judges.” Rubin did not foreclose the possibility of running for judgeship later on, but said he wanted to see how he likes being a commissioner first.
Once he takes the bench, he said, the first thing he will do is “take a deep breath, and relax.” He said his goal as a judicial officer is to make sure the parties before him “have a sense they were treated fairly,” and to know that they were “listened to, heard, and considered.”
Presiding over a courtroom, not matter what his assignment, he said is not just another day in the office for him, and he is very cognizant that for the litigants, the matter before him “could be the most important thing in their life.”
“For some people, this may be their only experience with the legal system and it may affect their whole perception of the system…. Over the years I’ve been before some great judges, and the good judges keep control of the courtroom but [also] keep in mind how important [the proceedings] are to the parties involved.”
Rubin was the highest-ranked candidate on the list of nominees, so he said he was “very hopeful” he would be the next commissioner elected. 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. Rubin said he had been on the list for almost two years, and that the list “moved very slowly.”
Following Rubin’s election, 25 candidates remain on that list in the following ranked order:
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.
The court is expected to convert two commissioner vacancies into judgeships this year.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company