Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Page 1


Los Angeles Superior Court Races Are Taking Shape

So Far, It’s Berger vs. Rina, Montalban vs. Slaten; Almada vs. Parsekian


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Three Los Angeles Superior Court contests have developed, with the Dec. 6 deadline for filing nominating papers looming.

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys David Berger and Nick C. Rina has each filed papers for Office No. 80; their colleague Adan Montalban has filed for Office No. 145, as has private practitioner Troy Slaten; another deputy DA, Alejandro Almada, is pitted against attorney/mediator Tom Parsekian in the race for Office No. 150.

Others who have taken out papers for Office 80 are criminal defense attorney David D. Diamond, immigration attorney Robert F. Jacobs, and Administrative Law Judge Klint James McKay. Diamond and Jacobs have also pulled papers for other seats.

Possible competitors to Montalban and Slaten are private practitioner Timothy D. Reuben, Deputy District Attorney Scott Andrew Yang, and Diamond. Reuban and Yang have also taken out nominating papers for multiple seats.

Three others have taken out nominating petitions for Office No. 150: Onica Cole, Reuben, and Yang.

Other Candidates

Nominating papers have been filed by seven other candidates, none of whom has an opponent, as of press time yesterday. One—Deputy District Attorney Shannon Kathleen Cooley—cannot be opposed because she was the only person to file a declaration of intent for Office No. 17.

Alone in their races, so far, are Deputy District Attorneys Steve Morgan (Office No. 72), Emily Cole (Office No. 76), Sherry L. Powell (Office No. 97), Kenneth M. Fuller (Office No. 129), and Michelle Kelley (Office No. 131), and attorney Caree Annette Harper (Office No. 162).

There are 12 open seats this year, including the one won by Cooley.

Ballot Challenge ‘Unlikely’

Slaten’s chosen ballot designation as “Attorney/Legal Commentator” might face a challenge. Montalban said yesterday he has not made a decision but views a writ proceeding as “unlikely.” 

Under Election Code §13107(a)(3), Slaten is limited to “[n]o more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.”

Last year, criminal defense lawyer David D. Diamond was barred by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge from using the words “Police Commissioner” because his service on the Burbank Police Commission, an advisory body that meets once a month, was not a “principal” undertaking.

On-Air Commentary

Slaten sets forth on his campaign website:

“Has appeared in hundreds of TV appearances providing expert on-air legal commentary and analysis covering all sorts of legal topics on major media outlets including CNN, HLN, CBS News and Fox News.”

 In response to an inquiry yesterday, he said:

“[I]n the last year (off the top of my head), I have appeared on Nancy Grace (about a dozen times), twice on Dr. Drew, three on HLN, three on FoxNews (digital), three on KABC AM790 (twice as a guest host, most recently on 11/17/19).

“I have been a dues paying member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA now SAG-AFTRA) since 1981.

“Each appearance is, at minimum, 5 hours for preparation, travel, waiting / standby time, and the actual appearance.

“I am usually paid but occasionally I will do a telephone interview for no fee.”


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