Thursday, February 13, 2020
Candidate Claims Rival Improperly Identifies Himself as ‘Judge Pro Tem’; Facebook Graphic Has Depicted Him as ‘Chair, Police Commission,’ Though He’s No Longer a Member of It
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Two Los Angeles Superior Court candidates traded brickbats yesterday, which started with civil rights attorney Caree Harper pointing to criminal defense lawyer David D. Diamond’s violation of a court stricture against use of the words “Pro Tem Judge” in campaign advertising.
Harper provided a screenshot from Diamond’s Facebook campaign page, appearing below. She pointed to a rule set forth in a Dec. 30, 2019 memo from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stuart M. Rice, who supervises the court’s Temporary Judge Committee, telling participants in the program who are running for judicial office, in part:
“You may never use the term ‘Judge Pro Tem,’ (or something similar) in any manner whatsoever, be it in a ballot designation, campaign literature (including slate mailers, etc.) or on a campaign website.”
Harper produced an email from Rice, sent to her Tuesday, saying:
“Caree, I have looked into this issue and can advise you that Mr. Diamond is not currently certified as a temporary judge in the LASC. Our policy is as set forth in the memo you attached but the Temporary Judge Committee has no jurisdiction over his actions due to his lapsed status. Good luck.”
She then queried if the matter would be reported to the Commission on Judicial Performance (which would only have jurisdiction over Diamond if he were elected) and Rice responded:
“I provided you with his status, the Temporary Judge Committee will not involve itself further.”
Diamond Claims Compliance
Diamond was asked for a response, and also for a comment on how he can justify representing himself as “Chair, Police Commission” when he is no longer a member of Burbank’s advisory body.
“I think Ms. Harper is getting a bit desperate at this point. People on the campaign trail have commented about her temperament and mental instability. I was not permitted to use the phrase Judge Pro Tem and once we received the memo regarding the language, my social media team edited the listed as follows: Volunteer, Temporary Judge.”
He supplied a social media ad that says “Candidate for Judge (Los Angeles), Adjunct Professor, Attorney, Volunteer Temporary Judge,” a campaign business card that does not mention serving as a pro tem, and a “palm card” that reads:
“David has been a law professor, a Judge Pro Tem, court appointed counsel and a trial lawyer during the span of his 20 years as an attorney. He also served as the Chair of the Burbank Police Commission and is a State Bar Certified Legal Specialist.”
Hints at Doctoring
With respect to the Facebook graphic—which was no longer in the page yesterday—he said:
“As for the photo below. Please look at the font and color of “Seat 162.” Doesn’t it look like the one I used in 2018 with Seat 118. Did Harper edit it to state 162? Looks like it.”
Diamond was advised that the graphic was emailed to the METNEWS on Monday by a third party and it was verified that it appeared at the time on the Facebook page.
He advised that he asked his “social media team about a month ago” to remove the graphic, explaining:
“It was an advertisement, not a posting, which takes some time to implement. I just looked and it is currently changed.”
Diamond did not directly address the claim on the Facebook page that he is “Chair, Police Commission.” He remarked:
“My palm card says former Chair and my campaign business card says former Chair. I also do not think it is improper to campaign on the body of my work over the last 20 years. I make it very clear that I am not currently a member of the police commission.”
He acknowledged that the classroom photograph was not taken at Woodbury, where he teaches undergraduate students, saying:
“I believe that it is a stock photograph. I wanted to use visual aids with the descriptions for social media. I did not feel it appropriate to take a photo of my students.:
“The Honorable Judge Stuart Rice’s memorandum is clear. David Diamond clearly at it again and this follows him being deemed to have misrepresented his bio to the public in his prior unsuccessful race for judge. He is a wannabe cop. I was an actual cop injured in the line of duty and one of the most decorated officers after receiving a life saving medal for diving into a canal to rescue a submerged driver and performing CPR until the victim could be airlifted to safety. I am a recipient of a Congressional award for dedicating 50 percent of my time in one year to pro bono services. While I don’t walk on water—I’m willing to dive into water or danger to save or represent my fellow man (or woman or client.)”
In 2018, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge disallowed inclusion of the words “Police Commissioner” in Diamond’s ballot designation because the activity involved relatively little time on his part.
Harper went on to say:
“Mr. Diamond will repeat gossip as though it’s gospel, that makes him dangerous and unstable….”
There is a third candidate in the race for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 162: Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Scott Andrew Yang.
Copyright 2020, Metropolitan News Company