Friday, August 14, 2009
Pasadena Attorney to Run for Judge
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
Pasadena personal injury attorney Anthony de los Reyes of Thon & Beck said yesterday he will run for an open seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court next year.
De los Reyes said he began fundraising efforts for his campaign last week.
Although he has been vetted by the JNE Commission, a statutorily-established State Bar agency tasked with evaluating all judicial appointment candidates under consideration by the governor, de los Reyes said he decided to take his chances with an election because “you don’t see many people from outside the public sector getting appointments.”
He remarked that civil attorneys, and especially trial lawyers, have been “severely underserved in the last several years” in terms of appointments and judicial elections.
But de los Reyes predicted “if I can get the word out about the breadth of experience that I have in an area that’s underrepresented,” he could emerge victorious from the polls, adding that he was “anticipating some pretty significant endorsements” after Labor Day.
“I’d like to bring my public service and my legal service together,” he said of his decision to run, emphasizing his trial experience and record of public service as his qualifications for judicial office.
“I’m very familiar with the courtroom and what goes on in the courtroom,” he said, and then he chuckled: “I’ve been around, a lot.”
Over the course of his 40-year career, he said, he has litigated cases in state and federal courts located in California, Washington, Wisconsin, Idaho and Ohio. Seven of these involved wrongful death claims arising out of the Korean Airlines 747 crash in Agana, Guam, according to his firm’s website, which also credits him with 40 settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million.
While he said his current practice is primarily as a plaintiffs’ attorney, he added that he has also done defense work and represented “major corporations and insurance companies as well as all segments of the population from the wealthiest among us to the absolute poorest.”
He also claimed good relations with other attorneys, noting that he was told he had received a “100 percent approval rating” from the JNE questionnaires sent out to colleagues and former opponents. “I didn’t receive a single negative comment,” he said.
De los Reyes also touted his community involvement, beginning with his appointment to four different commissions by three different mayors.
He has served on the Board of Civil Service Commissioners for Los Angeles since 2007 and previously served as board president from 1984 to 1985 and 1989 to 1990.
The attorney has served as president of the Cultural Affairs Commission since 2002 and vice-president of Los Angeles Sister Cities Inc. since 2004 as well.
De los Reyes spent two years as a member of the Board of Police Commissioners from 1991 until 1993, and then in 1994 became a hearing officer for Los Angeles Police Department disciplinary proceedings.
This experience with the police commission, he said, is the closest he has come to working in the arena of criminal law, but de los Reyes maintained that “we have plenty of people with criminal experience on the bench.”
The attorney has also spent over 30 years as a lecturer for the Continuing Education of the Bar on topics in civil litigation and personal injury.
His affiliations include membership in the Los Angeles County Bar Association, American Association for Justice (formerly known as the American Trial Lawyers Association), Mexican-American Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys’ Association of California, Consumer Attorneys’ Association of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills Bar Association, San Gabriel Valley Bar Association and San Fernando Valley Bar Association.
A former judge pro tempore for the Los Angeles Municipal Court and settlement officer for the Superior Court, de los Reyes has also served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration since 1971.
He attended USC from 1958 until 1960, then Los Angeles Pierce College from 1960 to 1964. De los Reyes earned his law degree from Whittier Law School in 1968 and was admitted to the State Bar in 1969.
The attorney said he has retained political consultant Jill Barad for the upcoming race and has already launched his campaign website, reyesforjudge.com.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company