Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, December 15, 2011


Page 1


Judge Vander Lans Says She is Not Seeking Re-election


By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Judith Vander Lans said yesterday that she is not planning to seek re-election next year.

She responded to a MetNews inquiry regarding her intentions through her clerk, and did not respond to a request for further comment.

A public information officer for the court yesterday said Vander Lans submitted retirement papers. If she does not retire prior to the nominating period, which begins Feb. 13, the contest for her seat will be on the June primary ballot. 

If the judge does retire before that, there will be no election for the seat in 2012 and the governor can fill it by appointment.

At least five local attorneys have expressed an interest in running for an open seat.

Deputy City Attorney Matthew Schonbrun and Deputy District Attorneys Eric Harmon and Sean Coen have each launched judicial campaigns and said they will only pursue an open seat on the bench. Deputy District Attorney Andrea Thompson and San Fernando Valley practitioner Lawrence Kaldor are also gearing up to run for the court.

Over 150 judges are up for reelection next year, but of those who could be reached yesterday, only Vander Lans said she will not run. Judge Anita Dymant, who is 62 years old and will complete 20 years of service in January, implied that she will not seek reelection but declined to discuss the matter further.

Vander Lans began her judicial career with an appointment to the Los Angeles Municipal Court bench in 1996 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Wilson elevated her to the Superior Court two years later.

She also spent 11 years in private practice, working as an associate, then partner, with Madden, Jones & Cole, and as an associate with Keesal, Young & Logan. Vander Lans also spent three years as a legal secretary with Keesal Young before graduating from Southwestern Law School and joining the State Bar in 1985.


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