Thursday, March 31, 2016
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 11
HERE ARE TWO WORTHY candidates for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 11. They are Deputy District Attorneys Steven Schreiner and Paul Kim.
While we believe that Kim would make an excellent judge—he is respectful, fair-minded, and industrious—we perceive that Schreiner has an edge over him in light of his 29 years of service as a prosecutor, handling 219 felony prosecutions before juries, including 81 murder trials.
Older does not necessarily mean wiser—but in this instance, we do detect that the 59-year-old Schreiner has developed greater wisdom and insights than his 44-year-old rival.
We are aware of Schreiner’s one black mark. On July 23, 2013, in the 10 minutes he was allotted to reargue to a deadlocked jury following a six-week trial, he got so wrapped up in the task of urging those unwilling to convict to pay heed to what the evidence showed that he employed unsuitable language. We are convinced that this was a once-in-a-lifetime slip-up, and that his temperament on the bench will be appropriate.
We stress that we do not wish to demean Kim. He’s ready for the bench. He’s just not as equipped, in our view, as Schreiner.
ONATHAN MALEK, on the other hand, is not ready, in our view. He is 36 years old and has been in private practice for 11 years.
He has some basic qualities a judge should have. He is refreshingly forthright. Asked how many jury trials he has handled, he says “one.” While that reflects his lack of experience, his adding, “as second chair” reflects his integrity.
He is succinct. Too, Malek has an open mind to use of new tecnology to update court procedures.
It is predictable that some day he will be ready for a judgeship. At present, however, his level of experience and breadth of knowledge are lacking.
EBRA R. ARCHULETA, a deputy district attorney, is not apt ever to be ready for a judgeship, in light of her nature. She is domineering, abrasive, crafty, and in admiration of extraordinary attributes she sees in herself—attributes others do not detect. Archuleta says she will be shocked if she is not rated “exceptionally well qualified” by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. We would be shocked if she received that rating.
Implying that she already has the rating she covets, there are emblazoned on her website the words, “Exceptionally Well Qualified.” That’s dishonest.
So is her ballot designation of “Violent Crimes Prosecutor.” Archuleta is in the White Collar Crimes Division. There is one case involving a wife-beating which she still has from her previous assignment. There was a hung jury in December, 2014, and a retrial has been pending for 15 months. Schreiner is seeking a writ to disallow the ballot designation, and the writ plainly ought to be granted.
Schreiner and Kim each chose the designation “Gang Murder Prosecutor.” Each contests the other’s entitlement to so describe himself, and Kim has filed a writ petition. While Archuleta’s ballot designation is an outright misrepresentation, Schreiner and Kim each has an arguable position.
In light of his knowledge, his work ethic, and his maturity, we endorse Steven Schreiner for Office No. 11.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company