Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 63
OS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE Malcolm Mackey has drawn an election challenge.
Mackey was elected to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1978, served as presiding judge of that court in 1985—instituting reforms to stave overpayments to appointed counsel in criminal matters—and was elected to the Superior Court in 1988.
In endorsing him in 1988, this newspaper said that “his juridical abilities have been proven,” and that “Mackey’s judicial experience is meaningful, we believe, because it entails years of highly conscientious and productive service.”
Mackey has continued to provide such service.
He is highly regarded for the breadth of his legal knowledge, his skill in running a courtroom, his knack at settling cases, and his pragmatism.
Keenly conscientious, he strives to apply the law to the facts without favoritism.
OW COMES ONE ANTHONY BRANDON LEWIS, an obscure Woodland Hills employment attorney who wants voters to replace an experienced and able jurist with him.
While he is tight-lipped at this point as to his attributes and the reasons for his challenge—he won’t even supply his photograph or biography—it stands to reason that if he had attained remarkably in the field of law, it would be independently ascertainable.
We find no such attainment.
According to the Lawyers.bio website:
“Anthony Brandon Lewis is an attorney at The Lewis Law Firm in Los Angeles, California. Anthony Brandon Lewis has 18 years of experience as a lawyer since graduating from Northwestern Univ SOL with a JD–Juris Doctor in 1998. This attorney also has a M.P.A. from Florida State University.”
He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2005 and was licensed earlier in Florida and Illinois.
More than 1,400 emails were sent to members of the bar seeking comments on Lewis; only two replies came from persons who know him. One termed him an “an excellent lawyer”; the other remarked:
“Anthony ‘Tony’ Lewis was opposing counsel in a case of mine last summer. I found him to be the most unprofessional, rude, and volatile attorney I have encountered to date. My impression is that he is uniquely unqualified to serve on the bench.”
He is not a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Nor is he a member of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.
Among benefits of LACBA membership is access to a service on its website that enables the user to search the Los Angeles Superior Court civil register by the name of a party, judicial officer, or attorney. For the period from Jan. 1, 1997 to the present, there is no indication of Lewis ever having acted as an attorney in a case in that court.
A search of Westlaw reveals no representation by him in any appellate court in the state.
And yet, Anthony Brandon Lewis is asking the electorate to put him on the bench.
HEN LEWIS FILED HIS DECLARATION of intent to run for Mackey’s office, comments were sought by this newspaper from Lewis—who said he would make no statements until he returns his nominating papers—from Mackey (who pledged a spirited campaign) and from some prominent members of the legal community, all of whom expressed support for Mackey.
Given the lack of deficiency in Mackey’s performance on the bench, a common assumption was that the challenge was based on the judge’s age: 88.
Lewis protested in an email:
“…I have seen your article posted on February 6, 2018, where you uncritically republish statements from supporters of Judge Mackey. The article contains a number of inaccuracies and false implications. For example, I am in my nineteenth year of actively practicing law, the past ten of which have been almost entirely devoted to the protection of civil rights, especially in the employment context. Also, my campaign is neither baseless nor based on Judge Mackey’s age. My campaign will debut with full information about me and why I am running shortly.”
Speculation as to the basis for the challenge would not have occurred had Lewis done what any responsible challenger would have done: set forth at the outset just what it is that underlies the election assault.
We are confident that Lewis will not succeed in conjuring up reasons why voters should reject the continued services of a respected veteran judge and award the judgeship to a lawyer bereft of judicial experience and with no proven aptitude for the job he seeks.
At 88, Mackey has accumulated insights and wisdom; he retains the mental and physical energy to do the job. At 47, Lewis does not offer voters even a small fraction of what Mackey does.
STATE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, who was quite confused about judicial elections, mounted a challenge this year to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kristin Escalante who was appointed last December and took office in January.
Obviously, he had no basis for faulting her performance. After going through orientation and observation, she had been on the bench for only four days.
To his credit, he withdrew from the race after encountering negative reaction to his attempt to snatch from Escalante the judgeship recently bestowed on her. He explained: “[I]t became apparent to me that I was causing more grief than I expected.”
Lewis is not going to win. But, if he persists in his efforts, he will cause grief. He will cause Mackey to spend money he had his wife have saved; he will cause judges and lawyers to give funds to Mackey’s campaign.
The lawyer will thus incur widespread enmity, and thus lessen his effectiveness for clients.
If he has any sense, he will do what the ALJ did: drop his campaign effort.
Sadly, we do not discern Lewis as being possessed of much sense.
We wholeheartedly endorse Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey for reelection.
Copyright 2018, Metropolitan News Company