Monday, November 5, 2001
Superior Court Referee Alan Friedenthal Becomes Fourth Candidate in Race for Spann Seat
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Referee Alan Friedenthal has entered the race for election to the seat on that court now held by Judge Richard Spann.
Friedenthal becomes the fourth candidate to either file or announce for the seat. Spann, a judge for 12 years who has had recent health problems, hasn’t taken out candidacy papers and several sources said they do not expect him to run.
Friedenthal, a graduate of USC and Southwestern University School of Law, became a part-time judicial officer four years ago. Although his status is that of “as-needed” referee, he said, his duties keep him so busy he has largely withdrawn from private law practice, he told the MetNews.
“It’s hard to juggle both,” the former securities lawyer and arbitrator commented.
Friedenthal is a native of Culver City who has lived in the San Fernando Valley most of his life. After graduating from law school, he left the state for graduate study in Washington, D.C., then clerked for U.S. District Judge George Revercomb in Washington and Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Melvin Brunetti in Reno, Nev. before returning to Southern California.
As a referee, he hears juvenile dependency, domestic violence, and child support enforcement cases. The inspiration for his applying for the job, he said, was his work as a volunteer special advocate for children in dependency court while an associate at the now-defunct law firm of Shea & Gould.
He wants to be a judge, he commented, because “I love the personal interactions and the chance to help solve problems.” His campaign budget, he said, would be “enough to be competitive.”
A Democratic Party activist, Friedenthal said he would hire a Westside political consulting firm—which he declined to name—with a strong track record but not necessarily judicial-campaign experience.
Other candidates who have filed or taken out papers to run for the seat are Deputy District Attorney Richard Naranjo, Acton attorney Larry H. Layton, and Pasadena lawyer David Crawford III. The deadline for filing declarations of intent to run is this Wednesday, but if Spann doesn’t file, the deadline will automatically be extended to Nov. 13.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company