Three Candidates to Appeal County Bar's Tentative Rating
By a staff writer
Three candidates who failed to secure the Los Angeles County Bar Association's highest rating for election to the bench have told the MetNews they will appeal their tentative ratings.
Two others said they would not, and one said he was undecided.
Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Patricia Titus, running for the Inglewood Municipal Court, and Los Angeles attorneys Ronald Silverton and Vicki M. Roberts, running for an open seat on the Los Angeles Municipal Court, said they would avail themselves of the opportunity to argue their cases to the full LACBA Committee on Judicial Election Evaluations.
Titus said she was tentatively rated "qualified," Roberts declined to say whether she was rated "qualified" or "not qualified," and Silverton said he'd been informed of a tentative "not qualified" rating.
Titus and Roberts declined to say what reasons the committee gave for the rating. Silverton said the committee told him he lacked the "professional ability," "professional ethics," and "temperament" to be a judge.
Under the committee's procedures, all candidates for a specific office are interviewed by the same subcommittee, which then assigns ratings of "well qualified," "qualified ," or "not qualified ." Ratings less than well qualified are tentative and can be appealed to the full committee.
Silverton, whose law license was restored in 1992 after 17 years of disbarment, said he had already scheduled his appeal for the evening of Feb. 3.
Titus is running against Superior Court Commissioner Deborah Christian, who was a commissioner of the Inglewood Municipal Court before court unification took effect Saturday. The winner of the Inglewood contest, like all municipal court contests on the March 7 ballot, will be sworn in as a Superior Court judge in January.
Roberts and Silverton are among six candidates for the seat being vacated by Judge L.C. Nunley. Other candidates in that race are Commissioners John Slawson and John Ladner and Deputy District Attorneys David Stuart and David Mintz.
Slawson and Ladner said they had received no word from the committee on their ratings. Stuart said he was rated qualified and hadn't decided whether to appeal. He said he hadn't actually seen the letter.
Mintz did not return phone calls.
Under the committee's procedures, candidates rated well-qualified do not receive a letter, since they have no need to appeal. The first official notice of those ratings occurs when the appeals have been completed and the evaluations made public, which LACBA spokesman Tim Elliot said would occur in mid-February.
Since all candidates with tentative ratings have the right to appeal, any candidate not notified would necessarily be rated well-qualified.
Other candidates who shared their tentative ratings were Deputy District Attorney Katherine Mader, running for the Los Angeles Superior Court and rated qualified, and Acton attorney Larry H. Layton, running for the Antelope Municipal Court and rated qualified. Both said they would not appeal.
Layton, in three previous runs for the Antelope Municipal Court, was labeled "not qualified."
In addition, Victor Griego, consultant to the campaign of Maria Vargas-Rodriguez, running for the Alhambra Municipal Court, said she had received a tentative rating and suggested it was qualified. Griego said he didn't know whether the candidate, who could not be reached for comment, would appeal.
Copyright Metropolitan News Company, 2000