Monday, May 3, 2010
Three Superior Court Candidates Report ‘Qualified’ Ratings
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Referee Randolph M. Hammock, Beverly Hills practitioner Mark K. Ameli and Calabasas attorney William M. Margolin on Friday reported receiving “qualified’ ratings from the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Judicial Election Evaluations Committee.
The rating is a step down for Hammock from his first attempt to pursue a spot on the bench in 2006 when he was still in private practice. He was assessed as “well-qualified,” but finished sixth in a field of seven.
Hammock did not say whether the evaluation was a change from his tentative rating, but for Ameli, it was the result of an appeal of his tentative rating, which he said, “I do not want to talk about.”
Ameli admitted that he was disappointed with the outcome of his appeal and commented that this election cycle, the committee “has been rating everyone much harder than they may have the last time around because when I compare the people who were rated in the last election against some of the people whose ratings I know this election, I just don’t see the relation there.”
Hammock, however, issued a statement Friday extending his “sincerest thanks and appreciation to the members of the JEEC for their hard work and dedication in their performance of this important civil function.” He said the group “is to be commended for such efforts—not criticized.”
Margolin also praised the group for taking “a lot of time and effort to determine the qualifications” of each candidate and said he was “thrilled” with his rating and had not challenged it.
Ameli and Hammock are among a field of eight candidates seeking the seat being vacated by Judge Emily Stevens in the June 8 primary. None of their opponents returned calls Friday.
Margolin is one of four candidates vying to succeed Judge William R. Pounders. Among his opponents, Deputy District Attorney Alan K. Schneider reported receiving a “well-qualified” rating while Redondo Beach sole practitioner Pattricia M. Vienna said she was evaluated as “not qualified.” The fourth candidate, Deputy City Attorney Thomas J. Griego did not return calls Friday.
There are a total of 15 candidates competing for three open seats this election cycle and three incumbent judges facing challengers.
Gretchen Nelson, chair of the committee, has said that the final list of ratings should be released in the coming weeks.
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