Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, February 6, 2014


Page 1


Judges Bowers and Sohigian Not Seeking Reelection as Filing Closes


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bob S. Bowers Jr., 67, will not be running for reelection, a court spokesperson said yesterday.

In addition, the MetNews learned that Judge Ronald Sohigian did not file his declaration of intent by yesterday’s 5 p.m. deadline, and there was an unconfirmed report that Judge Lance Ito—probably the court’s most recognizable judge—did not file either.

The spokesperson who confirmed that Bowers will not run said she did not know when he will be leaving the bench, but said that Bowers “will be here at least until June.”

Bowers was appointed to the Compton Municipal Court in 1993 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, then elevated to the Superior Court by unification. He has been hearing death penalty and other major criminal cases on the ninth floor of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center for the past several years.

Private Practice

Prior to his appointment, he was in private practice from 1976-1986. He was an attorney with NBC in 1975.

After law school, he became an associate with a firm in Los Angeles.

He completed his undergraduate’s degree at California State University, Los Angeles, and received his law degree from UCLA in 1972.

Deputy District Attorney Joan Chrostek and Superior Court Commissioner Emma Castro have filed declarations of intent to run for Bowers’ seat.

David L. Gould, who runs a political consulting company, said he will be representing Chrostek in her judicial bid, and that she “has no intention for switching out for another seat.”

Gould explained that “commissioners, in general, do not necessarily do very well against D.A.s.”

Sohigian, 76, was appointed to the Superior Court in 1998 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian.

Spending much of his career in the writs and receivers department, he has been a controversial jurist.

Admonished by CJP

Sohigian was admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance in 2007 for following a practice, which by then been discontinued, of issuing orders to show cause requiring plaintiffs who had not appeared at status conferences to appear at an order to show cause hearing, even though they were represented by counsel and had not been ordered to personally appear. The commission said, in a 6-2 decision, Sohigian had committed “a clear abuse of judicial authority” by imposing the practice.

He once had 175 actions pending in his department related to sanctions. And he was found “not qualified” by the County Bar when challenged for reelection in 1996, as the evaluating committee found he was of poor judicial temperament.

Sohigian was in private practice in Los Angeles from 1970 to1988, after he had been an associate and partner with a Beverly Hills firm.

Sohigian received his bachelor’s degree from Yale and his law degree from Harvard.

Two New Candidates

In other news, Superior Court Referee Arnold W. Mednick and Deputy District Attorney Steven P. Schreiner filed declarations of intent. While yesterday was the deadline for incumbents and challengers to file, there is an automatic extension to next Monday in the 14 contests—if Ito’s seat is included—in which incumbents did not file.

The following candidates have filed:

Office No. 22, Deputy District Attorney Amy Carter, for the seat now held by Judge Michael Solner, who is retiring this month.

Office No. 48, Deputy District Attorney Efrain Aceves, for the seat now held by Sohigian.

Office No. 54, Deputy District Attorney Shannon L. Knight, for the seat now held by Ito.

Office No. 61, Deputy District Attorney Dayan Mathai and Superior Court Commissioner Jacqueline Lewis, for the seat now held by Judge Michael Nash.

Office No. 72, Deputy District Attorney Chris J. Frisco, for the seat now held by Judge Joseph DiLoreto.

Office No. 76, Deputy District Attorney Alison Matsumoto Estrada, for the seat now held by Judge Harvey Giss.

Office No. 82, Deputy District Attorney Ann H. Park, for the seat now held by Judge Arthur M. Lew.

Office No. 87, Schreiner, criminal defense attorney Andrew Stein, and Los Angeles Assistant City Attorney Tom Griego, for the seat now held by Judge Rex Heeseman.

Office No. 90, Deputy District Attorney Serena Murillo, for the seat now held by Judge Daniel Lopez.

Office No. 97, Deputy District Attorney Teresa Pineda Magno, for the seat now held by Judge David Milton, who is retiring this month.

Office No. 107, Castro and Chrostek for the seat now held by Bowers.

Office No. 113, Deputy District Attorney Stacy L. Okun-Wiese and Mednick, for the seat now held by Judge R. Bruce Minto, who is retiring next month.

Office No. 117, Judge James Pierce and Deputy District Attorney Carol Najera.

Office No. 138, Deputy District Attorney Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong, for the seat now held by Judge Carlos Uranga.

Office No. 157, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Cooper, for the seat now held by Judge Jessica Perrin Silvers, who is retiring this month.


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