Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Page 9



Candidate David D. Diamond Is at It Again




2012 is more recent than the present time.


Is this from a plot on the Twilight Zone? A gag? A delusion?

No. It is an implicit campaign representation. Welcome back to the Wacky World of David D. Diamond—a candidate, again, for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Diamond, as you might recall, ran for a judgeship last year. He sought to be billed on the ballot as “Attorney/Police Commissioner,” but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel ruled on March 29, 2018, that he couldn’t be so described. His unpaid service on an advisory board in Burbank that met monthly for one to three hours did not qualify as a “principal” pursuit, as required by the Elections Code as a basis for a ballot designation, she held.

(Actually, the commission met about eight times a year.)

Now Diamond is seeking to run for Office No. 162 as “Attorney/Adjunct Professor.” Maybe a court will allow “Adjunct Professor”; maybe not.

I’ll return in a moment to the puzzle concerning 2012’s place in time, in Diamond’s World, and also examine his reference to a contribution from a person whose identity he says he doesn’t know while noting that the person is a lawyer.

First: a look at Diamond’s part-time employment as an educator.

His law office website declares:

“Mr. Diamond is an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern School of Law in the Trial Advocacy Honors Program. He is also an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at National University and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Woodbury University teaching Courts and the Law.”

It sets forth—in the present tense—that he “is” a teacher at Southwestern.

His LinkedIn page represents—again using the present tense—that “Mr. Diamond is an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern University School of Law for the Trial Advocacy Honors Program.”

Diamond’s campaign website says of the candidate:

“He has been both a professor of criminal justice and most recently, an associate adjunct professor of law, teaching trial advocacy at Southwestern Law School.”

The website also says that he “is currently a University Professor teaching Courts and Criminal Law.”

Taking those sentences together, it must be concluded that he “is currently a University Professor” at Southwestern, because that’s where he has taught “most recently”—and you can’t get more recent than the present time.

(Although Southwestern is a law school, not a university—as it was decades ago—it is only in recent years that there was a name-change from “Southwestern University School of Law” to “Southwestern Law School,” and a contemporary reference to Southwestern as a university would not be uncommon.)

So, can it be doubted that Diamond teaches at Southwestern?

Yes. In a statement on Nov. 27, in response to rival candidate Caree Annette Harper’s announcement that she would challenge his use of the words “Adjunct Professor” on the ballot, Diamond said:

“I am puzzled by Ms. Harper’s proposed challenge. I have slowed my practice down and focused on teaching. It is a paid position with a substantial time commitment. I should not be punished for extending myself to the community in multiple arenas.”

It seemed odd that he would neglect to mention where it is he teaches.

I checked with Southwestern. A spokesperson said he doesn’t teach there.

In an email Sunday, in response to my queries, Diamond advised:

“My teaching background has been extensive. I have taught at National University (Criminal Justice), Southwestern Law School and currently at Woodbury University wherein I am paid to teach courts and the law.”

Was Diamond’s teaching experience at National University (an undergraduate school) or Southwestern recent enough to count, so far as lending support to his ballot designation?

Elections Code §13107(b)(2)(B), applicable to practicing lawyers who are not employed by a government entity, says:

“The designations ‘Attorney’ and ‘Lawyer’ may be used in combination with one other current principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate, or the principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.”

When did Diamond teach at Southwestern? He supplied a CV showing that he was an adjunct associate professor of law there from 2007-12; taught at National University in Los Angeles from 2003-08; has been at Woodbury starting this year.

Diamond’s proposed use of the words “Adjunct Professor” must, accordingly, stand or fall on the basis of his teaching one course this calendar year at Woodbury…which would hardly seem to qualify as a “principal” pursuit, though Los Angeles Superior Court decisions on just such controversies have been mixed.

We return to Diamond’s statement that he has “most recently” taught at Southwestern, which appears to be an absurdity in light of that employment having ended in 2012, and his teaching engagement at Woodbury in an undergraduate school’s “Lower Division” being current.

Here, again, is the statement on the campaign website:

“He has been both a professor of criminal justice and most recently, an associate adjunct professor of law, teaching trial advocacy at Southwestern Law School.”

Taken in context with his website boast that he “is currently a University Professor teaching Courts and Criminal Law,” Diamond is communicating that he is presently teaching at Southwestern.

However, an alternative interpretation of the sentence in question is possible. Viewed in isolation from other statements, it could be taken to mean that Diamond’s most recent post at Southwestern was that of an adjunct professor. That is: he had been a “professor of criminal justice” at Southwestern—connoting his having once held a full professorship there—served in other positions at Southwestern, and “most recently,” though not necessarily currently, was “an associate adjunct professor of law, teaching trial advocacy” at Southwestern.

(This supposes the holding of other posts because reference is made to “most recently,” not “more recently.”)

The problem with such an interpretation is that if Diamond had been a professor at Southwestern, and held other posts there, he surely would have mentioned that in it his CV, which only recites, in connection with employment at Southwestern: “Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, April 2007-2012.”

It would seem that Diamond is up to his old tricks, seeking to flimflam. He does not teach law at Southwestern, an institution which, advancing from humble beginnings, has become a respected law school. He teaches a course at a small undergraduate institution generally regarded as a trade school.

Again, Diamond is using an approach that distinguishes him from those honorable candidates in the various races who are worthy of consideration for votes.

Another concern is raised about Diamond: sheer irresponsibility.

In a recent statement concerning Harper, he said:

“My very first anonymous donation received in this campaign was from an attorney that wished me luck and told me Ms. Harper ‘is a joke and unethical; actually she is unfit for the bench.’

“While I make no such comment on her practice, this attorney seemed well-versed with my opponent.”

For a candidate to publicize insults concerning an opponent, uttered by an unnamed source, with no factual bases provided, is blatantly injudicious.

Aside from that, there’s a nagging question.

If the contribution was made anonymously, that would mean Diamond does not know the identity of the donor. If he does not know who the person is, how can he say that the person is an attorney?

To infer the person is an attorney, and to have conclude that “this attorney seemed well-versed with my opponent,” there would have to have been some sort of communication between Diamond and his financial well-wisher, even if that communication did not entail a revealing of the supporter’s identity.

If payment to Diamond’s committee had been made by check, it must be assumed that the benefactor’s name would have appeared on that instrument, and Diamond would therefore have been able to perceive the identity of his benefactor.

If there was an untraceable wire transfer, or receipt of a money order, pre-paid credit card, or sack of cash, how would Diamond know it came from a lawyer, and one acquainted with Harper?

Complicating the matter are certain legal provisions.

If a cash payment had been made to Diamond’s committee by Attorney X, the committee could have retained it, lawfully, only if it amounted to less than $100. Government Code §84304 says, in part:

“An anonymous contribution of one hundred dollars ($100) or more shall not be kept by the intended recipient but instead shall be promptly paid to the Secretary of State for deposit in the General Fund of the state.”

Accordingly, an anonymous contribution of $100 or more will not benefit the candidate—and so there’s no point in making it (assuming there is compliance with the statute by the candidate).

If some attorney who concealed his identity from Diamond somehow stuffed a payment of less than $100 into his campaign coffers, a further question would arise: Why would anyone perceive a need for anonymity in doing so?

Contributions below $100 must be reported on a Fair Political Practices Commission Form 460, but need not be itemized—that is, the contributor’s name need not be included.

 There’s no point to making a contribution of less than $100 anonymously; it can simply be made with the proviso that the donor’s name not be included on the report.

It’s all quite strange and baffling. But this is a campaign in the Wacky World of David D. Diamond.

By the way, there is now a third candidate in the race for Office No. 162: Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Scott Andrew Yang.


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