Monday, January 25, 2016
Valley Attorney Says He Will Seek Open Judicial Seat
Taking Out Papers for Incumbent Judge’s Post Called Spur-of-Moment Decision
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Woodland Hills attorney who took out papers recently to run for the seat of a recently appointed judge said Friday he actually intends to seek an open seat.
Michael P. Ribons, 53, who runs his own practice focusing on business and real estate litigation, procured the forms to collect signatures in lieu of a filing fee on Jan. 5. But when he went to the registrar’s office to get the forms, he explained to the MetNews, he was told that he had to designate a seat on the spot, even though he can switch to another office later.
His selection of Office No. 109, held by Judge Gustavo Sztraicher, was purely random, he said. “It was just one of the numbers.”
He doesn’t know the incumbent and does not actually intend to run against him, he added.
Instead, he will wait and see which incumbent judges “decide to switch to ADR” instead of running for re-election once the period for filing declarations of intent begins next Monday.
Ribons, a graduate of California State University, Northridge and Whittier School of Law, says he is running because “I want to give back a little bit.”
The 20-year practitioner says he has “been very fortunate in my career,” much of which has involved disputes over construction defects, mechanics’ liens, and landlord-tenant relations. “I think I can do a good job” on the bench, he said, in part because he has sat for 300 days as a judge pro tem.
He said he has spoken to a campaign consultant but has not hired anyone yet. He expects to spend $50,000 or less, he said, most of it his own money.
“It’s probably a little Pollyannaish” to think that a winning campaign can be run on that amount, he acknowledged. But he has been thinking about running for several years, he said, and “if I keep putting it off, it’s never going to happen.”
One other non-incumbent, Sherman Oaks attorney Stepan Baghdassarian, has taken out signature-in-lieu forms, designating the seat now held by Judge James Kaddo. But Baghdassarian said he did not know whether he is actually going to run, and he declined to discuss his potential candidacy prior to making a decision.
Others who have announced their candidacies or filed paperwork with the Fair Political Practices Commission include Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey C. Stodel Jr, Efrain Aceves, Susan Jung Townsend, Debra Archuleta, David Berger, Steven Ipson, Taly Peretz, Steven Schreiner, Javier Perez, and Philip Marshall; Santa Monica attorney Susan Jerich of Silver, Hadden, Silver, Wexler & Levine; Superior Court Commissioner Cynthia Zuzga; Deputy Attorney General Kim Nguyen; Van Nuys attorney Naser N. Khoury, business litigator Aaron Weissman, and Sydne S. Michel, a lawyer in the Redondo Beach City Attorney’s Office.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company