Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, June 4, 2012


Page 11



Candidate Joe Escalante Spotlighted on Atlantic Monthly Website


Radio show host and punk rock bassist Joe Escalante, a candidate for a Los Angeles Superior Court open seat in tomorrow’s election, is spotlighted in an article posted Friday on the Atlantic Monthly’s website.

The headline is “The Punk Rocker Who Would Be Judge,” and the lead-in says:

“The Vandals’ Joe Escalante has grown up to be a conservative lawyer with political aspirations. That doesn’t mean he’s stopped making noise, though.”

The piece is written by free-lancer Vickie Chang.

Chang writes of Escalante’s “not qualified” rating by the Los Angeles County Bar Assn’s Judicial Elections Evaluations Committee, relating:

At the committee’s evaluation, Escalante says, officials called him lazy due to his lack of megafirm experience. (Committee members haven’t responded to interview requests.)

“I’ve been called many things before,” Escalante says. “But never lazy. If [JEEC] thinks what they did was drudgery, I have a lot of respect for it, but there’s a lot of drudgery with what I’ve been doing, too, waking up at 4:30 in the morning to do a radio show or riding in a van with stinky band members.

“I was too nice to [the committee]. I should’ve said, ‘You’re a jerk.’ I should’ve said”—here he shifts to guttural caveman grunts—“OHHERHHHHERHH. OH I TOO LAZY.”

Escalante is also quoted as asserting that the Registrar Recorder’s Office trammeled a constitutional right of his when it disallowed his proposed ballot designation of “Volunteer Temporary Judge.” As Escalante puts it, according to the article:

“They’re afraid someone will volunteer for one day so they can use that for their [ballot designation]. I mean, can you imagine? To abridge someone’s free speech for something like that? For what? So you can have that dumb title? It’s not that great of a title!”

(Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stuart Rice, who chairs the court’s pro tem committee, has advised the MetNews that Escalante is no longer in the program, noting that a canon of judicial ethics bars a pro tem from “lend[ing] the prestige of judicial office to advance his…personal interests.”)

The article continues:

“Escalante says he doesn’t want to take anyone to court over his ballot designation….

“ ‘I just want them to figure out the difference between right and wrong,’ Escalante says of the bureaucrats disputing his ballot designation. ‘If I could get a giant award out of them and donate it to my Church’s new catechetical building so I don’t have to teach in a room filled with sacks of pinto beans for the food program, I would. But it would probably be just an embarrassing waste of time.

The article says that Escalante expressed the view that if he gets in a run-off, “it will be a whole new game of panic for the establishment.”

Probate & Estate Planning Section of the San Fernando Valley Bar Assn. will hear attorney Alex M. Brucker of the West Los Angeles law firm of Brucker & Morra discuss, “Estate Planning and Retirement: What You and Your Client Need to Know.”

His talk will be presented at noon on June 12 at Monterey at Encino, a restaurant at 16821 Burbank Blvd. in Encino. Attendees will receive one hour of MCLE credit.

A meeting announcement says that Brucker will give “a pension update that will reflect on the latest in the retirement area, including death benefits, illiquid plan investments, Department of Labor and IRS investigations and uses of life insurance in plans for retirement and estate purposes.”

Members with reservations will be charged $35, non-members with reservations will pay $45, and an additional $10 will be collected from those without reservations.

The Business Law, Real Property and Bankruptcy Section of the San Fernando Valley Bar Assn. on June 13 will hear a talk on “Important Developments in Employment Law.”

Robin McKibbin of Woodland Hills law firm of Stone, Rosenblatt & Cha will discuss new developments in employment law and best practices to avoid common pitfalls.

The noon event will take place at the bar association’s office at 21250 Califa St., Ste. 113, in Woodland Hills.

For those with reservations, the cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. For those who pay at the door, an addition $10 fee will be assessed.

One hour of MCLE credit will be provided.


Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company