Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Civil Litigator, Prosecutor Enter Races for Open Seats
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
A civil litigator from Westlake Village and a deputy district attorney from Lancaster have entered contests for open seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Jonathan A. Malek, 36, filed his declaration of intent to run for Office No. 11, the seat left open by Judge Michelle Rosenblatt. He joins Deputy District Attorneys Debra Archuleta, Javier Perez, and Steven Schreiner as declared candidates in that race, although candidates can file in multiple seats until the deadline, which is 5 p.m. today.
Schreiner filed in that seat on Thursday, after having previously filed in Office No. 42, the seat being vacated by Judge Alan Rosenfield. Deputy District Attorney Dennis P. Vincent filed Thursday in that seat, for which fellow deputies Efrain M. Aceves and Susan Jung Townsend have also filed.
Candidates who file declarations of intent have until March 11 to finalize their candidacies by returning nominating documents, at which point the declarant would be locked into a specific race.
Malek said he was running because “I believe I can provide justice to the people of the City of Los Angeles.” He said he has been practicing for 11 years and has “a lot of experience dealing with people,” which he listed as one of the essential requirements of judicial service.
He said he is talking to campaign consultants, and acknowledged that he may be at a disadvantage to some of the others, who’ve been raising money for over a year. But he said he was looking forward to the experience of running.
“I’ve never known anybody who has run for office before,” he explained. “Maybe there will be lessons that I’ll be able to apply to other parts of life.”
Malek is an attorney at the Anaya Law Group, and was admitted to the State Bar in 2004. His practice, he explained, is “99 percent civil,” with emphasis on real estate, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, and general business litigation, with some tort work.
He is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and USC Law School.
Vincent, 57, entered law as a second career after nearly 17 years in the Air Force. A Minnesota native, he came to California while in service and went to law school at night, commuting from Edwards Air Force Base to the University of LaVerne, which was then located in Encino.
He was admitted in 1994, started a solo practice emphasizing criminal defense, then switched to the prosecution side 10 years ago. He is now a senior trial deputy, appearing before various judges in the Antelope Valley Courthouse.
Half of his cases are murders, he explained, and half are other serious felonies, including sex crimes and human trafficking cases.
He said he believes that while he may not be able to “match [his opponents] dollar for dollar” in fundraising, he can “raise a substantial amount of money” with the aid of his backers in the Antelope Valley, and that “the right ballot designation and right backing” will make up for the fundraising deficit.
Among those backers, he said, is R. Rex Parris, who heads a successful litigation firm, serves as mayor of Lancaster, and has long been recognized as influential in regional politics and able at raising money for favored candidates.
No one filed Thursday, or early Friday, in the third open seat, Office No. 84, now held by Judge Kathleen Diesman. Perez and Deputy District Attorney Philip Marshall have filed in that seat.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company