Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Judge Nelson Gets Highest Rating From Bar Evaluations Panel
LACBA Committee Finds Pasadena Attorney Anthony de los Reyes ‘Well Qualified’
By Sherri M. Okamoto, Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Judicial Election Evaluations Committee has rated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren E. Nelson “exceptionally well qualified” for election to a six-year term on the court, the judge said yesterday.
Nelson and Pasadena attorney Anthony “Tony” de los Reyes became the first candidates in the June 8 primary to disclose their ratings from the committee. De los Reyes, one of three candidates seeking the seat being vacated by Judge William R. Weisman, told the MetNews his rating was “well qualified” and he was “just thrilled” with it.
“To get that kind of a rating from a discriminating panel of your peers, who conduct a very thorough evaluation…and then get this feedback, is just extremely gratifying,” de los Reyes remarked.
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His opponents, Deputy District Attorney Valerie F. Salkin and San Pedro attorney R. Stephen Bolinger, said they had not yet been notified of their ratings.
Nelson said in a press release she was “pleased to receive the Bar Association’s highest rating,” calling it “a high honor to be so well regarded by one’s peers in the legal community.”
Los Angeles attorney Jim G. Baklayan, who is challenging Nelson, did not return phone calls inquiring into his rating.
The LACBA committee rates candidates prior to each biennial election and assigns ratings of “exceptionally well qualified,” “well qualified,” “qualified,” and “not qualified.” Ratings below the maximum are considered tentative and subject to appeal.
According to the committee’s website, an “exceptionally well qualified” candidate “must possess qualities and attributes considered to be of remarkable or extraordinary superiority so that, without real doubt, the candidate is deemed fit to perform the judicial function with distinction.”
To be rated “well qualified,” the candidate “must possess professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of superior fitness to perform the judicial function with a high degree of skill and effectiveness.”
Those who are “qualified” are considered to “possess professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function satisfactorily,” while those who are “not qualified” must “lack one or more of the qualities of professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function satisfactorily.”
The evaluations are based on a candidate questionnaire detailing professional experience, and the committee asks candidates to provide 75 references who can be contacted for their opinions.
There are 21 candidates in six judicial races on the June 8 primary ballot. Three incumbent judges are being challenged and 15 candidates are competing for three open seats.
Gretchen Nelson, chair of the committee, said that the group is still in the process of reviewing candidates and anticipated that the finalized list of ratings would be released in early May.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company