Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Estrada, Knight Rated ‘Well Qualified’ by County Bar
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Deputy District Attorney
ALISON MATSUMOTO ESTRADA
Deputy District Attorney
Deputy District Attorneys Alison Matsumoto Estrada and Shannon Knight yesterday became the sixth and seventh candidates to report receiving ratings of “well qualified” from the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Judicial Elections Evaluations Committee.
Knight’s opponent in the June 3 primary, Superior Court Commissioner Debra Losnick, said Monday she had been likewise rated well qualified. Estrada is running against fellow Deputy District Attorney Helen Kim.
Kim’s campaign consultant, Fred Huebscher, said he was not authorized to disclose the ratings for any of his clients. In addition to Kim, Huebscher represents criminal defense attorney Andrew M. Stein and Deputy District Attorney Amy Carter.
Stein’s opponents are Deputy District Attorney Steven Schreiner and Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Tom Griego. Schreiner said yesterday he had been rated “qualified” and was considering an appeal.
“I thought based on my record...I would get a ‘well qualified,’” he told the MetNews. Griego, who was rated “not qualified” in a prior bid for the court, said he “will not be making a comment” on his rating.
Carter is running against civil litigator Pamala Matsumoto, who reported her rating of well qualified on Monday. Other candidates with previously reported well-qualified ratings are Deputy District Attorney Dayan Mathai, Judge James Pierce, and Referee Steven Klaif.
Only one candidate, Superior Court Commissioner Jacqueline Lewis, has reported being rated “exceptionally well qualified,” the highest rating possible under the committee’s rules. Her opponents are Mathai and former volunteer prosecutor B. Otis Felder, who has not returned phone calls.
In other races:
•Deputy District Attorney Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong said she had received her tentative rating “but would prefer not to disclose it until it’s final.” Her opponent, trial attorney Marc Gibbons, said Monday he was rated “qualified” and had not decided whether to appeal.
•Deputy City Attorney Songhai Armstead declined comment on her rating. Her opponent, Deputy District Attorney Teresa Magno, did not return a phone call.
•Former state lawmaker Charles Calderon said he had not yet received his rating. His opponent, Deputy District Attorney Carol Rose, said Monday she had not received a rating, but that she had not checked her personal email because she was busy preparing for trial.
Initial ratings of “exceptionally well qualified” and “well qualified” are final under the committee’s rules, whereas rating of “qualified” and “not qualified” are tentative and may be appealed. The appeal process includes an interview with the full committee of about 45 members, whereas the initial ratings are issued after an interview with a subcommittee about one-third that size.
A total of 24 candidates are in contested races for 11 open seats in the primary. Pierce is the only incumbent judge being challenged, and his opponent—Deputy District Attorney Carol Najera—did not participate in the evaluation process and has been rated not qualified.
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