Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, April 26, 2010


Page 3


Two Judge Candidates Report ‘Well Qualified’ Ratings From LACBA


By Sherri M. Okamoto, Staff Writer


The Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Judicial Election Evaluations Committee has rated San Pedro attorney R. Stephen Bolinger and Deputy District Attorney Alan K. Schneider “well qualified” for the Superior Court bench, the MetNews learned Friday.

Bollinger is the second candidate in the three-way race for the seat being vacated by Judge William R. Weisman to receive the committee’s second-highest rating. Pasadena attorney Anthony “Tony” de los Reyes disclosed last Tuesday that he too had been rated “well qualified.”

Bolinger said he “was hoping” for the rating he received, and that he was “very happy” with the news.  “I think I have a good reputation in the legal community, and this bears it out,” he remarked.

Schneider, in a statement released by his campaign, said he was “honored that fellow members of the legal community believe that may background makes me well qualified to serve as Judge.”

The committee asks each candidate to complete a questionnaire detailing professional experience and provide 75 references who can be contacted for their opinions about the candidate’s qualifications for office. Bolinger, whose practice mostly involves representing minors in juvenile court, said he “gave a lot of deputy  DAs as references” who must have evaluated him favorably.

“It’s nice to know that the people who oppose you hold you in high regard,” Bolinger added, calling it “a reflection of your professionalism.”

Deputy District Attorney Valerie F. Salkin, who is facing off against de los Reyes and Bolinger in the June 8 primary, told the MetNews she is meeting with the committee this week, presumably to appeal her tentative rating, which she declined to disclose.

Schneider is running against attorney Pattricia Vienna, Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Thomas Griego, and attorney William Margolin for the seat being vacated by Judge William Pounders.

None of the other candidates has reported receiving a tentative rating. 

Gretchen Nelson, chair of the committee, has said that the appeals process was scheduled to begin this week and that a finalized list of ratings should be released in early May.

There are a total of eight other candidates competing for the one remaining open seat on the bench, and three incumbent judges who are facing challengers this election cycle.

A campaign consultant for Judge Maren E. Nelson disclosed that she had received the committee’s highest rating last week, and Judge Soussan G. Bruguera told the MetNews she was rated “well qualified” for re-election. Judge Laura A. Matz has not reported receiving her evaluation yet.

The judges are the respective targets of Los Angeles attorneys Jim G. Baklayan, Douglas W. Weitzman and Marvin G. Fischler.


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