Monday, February 3, 2014
Defense Lawyer Stein to Run for Superior Court Judge
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Andrew M. Stein, a longtime criminal defense and civil rights plaintiffs’ lawyer, said Friday he intends to run for Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
He said he made the decision to run for an open seat—there will be at least 11—after eliciting a substantial positive response from “friends, relatives, and colleagues,” including a number of judges, whom he queried by email as to whether he should run.
ANDREW M. STEIN
Noting that all of the non-incumbents who had filed declarations of intent as of Thursday were deputy district attorneys, Stein said:
“I love a lot of D.A.s and I have great respect for a lot of D.A.s. But I looked at who was running and they don’t have nearly the experience I have.”
Stein, a Bellflower sole practitioner, has been a member of the State Bar since 1978. The Rochester, N.Y. native is a graduate of the State University of New York-Buffalo and the University of San Diego School of Law.
He said he expects to hire a campaign consultant next week, and is undaunted by the fact that private practitioners rarely win such judicial contests in the county and that a successful campaign is likely to cost $350,000 or more.
He added that he anticipates a number of endorsements from lawyers, including prosecutors, and from at least 50 judges.
Stein said he has not targeted a specific seat, and is waiting to see which incumbent judges do not file by today. Judges Ronald Sohigian, Richard Fruin Jr., and Rex Heeseman, all of whom are over 70, are among seven incumbents who had not filed declarations of intent as of Thursday.
Sohigian would not take a reporter’s phone call, a staff member said. Fruin did not return a call, and Heeseman answered his own phone Friday but would not speak to a reporter.
Stein said he would not run against an incumbent judge. He also said he would not run against Deputy District Attorney Dayan Mathai, whom he considers to be “the most qualified of all the D.A.s who are running,” as well a friend.
He also expressed high personal regard for Deputy District Attorneys Chris Frisco and Amy Carter, both of whom are running for open seats.
Stein is a former president of the Criminal Courts Bar Association and served for several years on the board of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. He has lectured for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol, and served on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee.
State Bar records showed that Stein twice received public discipline—public reproval in 1985 and probation, with no actual suspension, in 1993.
He said Friday that the first case involved failure to file an appellate brief in a timely manner.
“I was young,” he explained, noting that the misconduct occurred in 1980, two years after he became a lawyer. “I took on a case that I wasn’t really competent to handle.”
The later case, he noted, was filed in 1986 and dragged on for seven years. It concerned a failure to finalize a client’s dissolution of marriage within a reasonable time, he said, adding that he “shouldn’t have even been doing a divorce,” which was outside his area of expertise, but was assigned the matter by the firm he was then working for.
“I’ve never had any financial misdeeds,” he said. “I can probably get 100 judges to attest to my level of skill in the last 25 years.”
Copyright 2014, Metropolitan News Company