Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, May 20, 2011


Page 3


Judges Elect Emma Castro as Superior Court Commissioner


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Dependency attorney Emma Castro has been elected by the judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court as a commissioner, officials said yesterday.

Castro did not return a call seeking comment, and court officials said it had not yet been determined when Castro will take the bench or which courthouse she will be assigned to.

She was the lead candidate to succeed Commissioner Murray Gross, who retired March 31 of last year, after Los Angeles Police Department Inspector General Nicole Bershon asked to have her name withdrawn from the ballots. Bershon was assistant inspector general when she applied for the commissioner position, but was promoted after predecessor Andre Birotte Jr. was named U.S. attorney.

Under local rules, vacant commissioner positions are filled by a vote of the judges from a list of candidates nominated by a court panel. Although the ranking order is not binding, all commissioners chosen in recent years have been selected in ranked order.

Castro, who operates the Law Offices of Emma Castro, is affiliated with Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, a non-profit organization which provides representation to parents whose children are involved in juvenile dependency proceedings.

She attended law school at UCLA after completing her undergraduate education at UC Santa Barbara, and joined the State Bar in 1978.

Following the election of Castro, the remaining candidates, in ranked order, are: 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; and Deputy Public Defender Lisa Brackelmanns.


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