Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Page 1


Candidate for Superior Court Commissioner Position Bows Out


By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer


Los Angeles Police Department Inspector General Nicole Bershon, has asked to have her name withdrawn from an internal election to fill a superior court commissioner vacancy, a spokesperson confirmed yesterday.

Ballots were sent out on Thursday with the name of dependency attorney Emma Castro as the lead candidate to succeed Commissioner Murray Gross, who retired March 31, the spokesperson said. Ballots are due next Wednesday.

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.

Bershon, who did not return a call seeking comment, was first in line, followed by Castro and 10 other candidates.

Non-Profit Affiliation

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.

Bershon was appointed by the Board of Police Commissioners to serve as the inspector general last May according to the agency’s website. She had served as an assistant inspector general since 2002, heading the Complaint Intake and Review Section, as well as the Special Projects Unit.

She graduated from Princeton University before going to law school at UCLA, where she co-founded the UCLA Women’s Law Journal and served as its co-editor in chief during her third year.

Upon graduation and admission to the State Bar in 1992, she joined the bankruptcy firm of Stutman, Treister & Glatt, and then moved on to Irell & Manella where she worked on civil litigation and white collar criminal defense matters.

Public Service

Bershon eventually left private practice to join the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office where she worked in the criminal and police divisions before joining the Office of the Inspector General.

She is also a past president of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and serves on the organization’s board of governors.

Neither Castro nor Bershon returned calls seeking comment.

The remaining candidates on the list 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.


 Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company