Friday, September 2, 2016
Judge Rejects Candidate’s ‘Domestic Violence Attorney’ Designation
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Deputy District Attorney
An immigration attorney seeking a judgeship on the Nov. 8 general election ballot cannot be designated as a “Domestic Violence Attorney,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel ruled yesterday.
Strobel also struck, as “improper,” Alicia Molina’s alternative designations of “Victims Rights Attorney” and “Crime Victims Attorney,” allowing her to be listed as “Attorney at Law.”
Molina’s opponent, Deputy District Attorney Efrain M. Aceves, sought a writ of mandate on the grounds that the proposed designations did not describe Molina’s principal occupation, vocation, or profession, and that use of any of them on the ballot would mislead voters into thinking she is a prosecutor.
Molina and Aceves emerged from a tight race on the June 7 primary ballot to claim the two runoff spots. Molina received 33 percent of the vote, Aceves 30 percent, Superior Court Commissioner Cynthia Zuzga 27 percent, and sole practitioner Michael Ribons 10 percent.
In the ballot designation worksheet she submitted to election officials, Molina explained the designation this way:
“I have represented many clients who are victims of Domestic Violence and have helped them obtain legal status and benefits under the Violence Against Women’s Act, U-Visas, as well as assisted them in getting restraining orders against their abusers.”
Aceves and his attorney, Brentford Ferreira, argued the Molina has never litigated a criminal case and has spent nearly all of her career working in the immigration legal system. They cited the signage at her Huntington Park law office, describing her as providing “Immigration Legal Services,” with no mention of any other area of practice.
Ferreira told the MetNews yesterday that he does not believe there is sufficient time for Molina to seek relief in the Court of Appeal. He also predicted that, given the relative strength of his ballot designation over his opponent’s new one, Aceves has “got it made” when it comes to getting elected.
Neither Molina nor her attorney, Donald Bartell, could be reached for comment yesterday.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company