Taylor Designates Top-Level Judges for Los Angeles Superior Court in 2021
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges David J. Cowan, Sergio C. Tapia II, Lawrence P. Riff, and Brenda J. Penny will be supervising judges of court divisions, and Judge Victor H. Greenberg will be presiding judge of the Juvenile Court, effective Jan. 4, under an order signed by Assistant Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor, the incoming presiding judge.
Cowan will oversee the Civil Division, which places him in the same high-visibility position held since 2019 by Judge Samantha P. Jessner, who was elected by a vote of her colleagues, tallied on Oct 16, as the 2021 and 2022 assistant presiding judge of the court. The assignment provides impetus to a potential bid by Cowan in 2022 to succeed Jessner in that role.
The assistant presiding judge is traditionally elected, without opposition, as presiding judge for the following two-year term.
However, Tapia is also placed in a prominent position, as supervising judge of the Criminal Division, which could likewise benefit him should he seek a court leadership post in 2022.
Riff will be in charge of the Family Law Division, and Penny will lead the Probate/Mental Health Division.
Greenberg will be a “presiding judge” under a scheme which both sets apart a juvenile court from a superior court, yet renders a juvenile court a constituent of the superior court. Judge John C. Lawson will be supervising judge of the Delinquency Court and Judge Akemi Arakaki will have the role of supervising the Dependency Court.
Judge Patti Jo McCay will continue as presiding judge of the Appellate Division—also a court within a court—a post she has held since 2005.
Assigned by Taylor as assistant supervising judges within divisions will be Michelle Williams and Elaine Lu, civil; Ann I. Jones, civil/complex; Mark Hanasono, criminal/felony; Maame Frimpong, criminal/misdemeanor; Michelle Kim, criminal/traffic; Shelley Kaufman and Amy Pellman, family law; and Robert Wada, probate.
Supervising judges of districts will be:
Judge Salvatore Sirna, East; Judge Lisa M. Chung, North; Judge Darrell S. Mavis, North Central; Judge Darrell S. Mavis, Northeast; Judge David B. Gelfound, North Valley; Judge Virginia Keeny, Northwest; Judge James Otto, South; Judge Ricardo R. Ocampo, South Central; Judge Margaret Bernal, Southeast; Judge Alan B. Honeycutt, Southwest; and Judge Bobbi Tillmon, West.
Taylor designated Judge Zaven V. Sinanian as “managing judge” of the Civil/Settlement Program and Judge James C. Chalfant as “managing judge” of the Writs and Receivers Departments.”
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