Race for the Gavel (Part 2 of 3)

For today’s featured Superior Court Judicial Candidates I’ll present those running for Offices No. 102 and 122. I’ll also try and explain what’s at stake here and why you should care.

Two of the three candidates at Office 102 responded to my request to explain why they deserve your vote. C. Edward Mack is a Vietnam Vet with “20 years County Service” and has previously clerked for LA Municipal Court Judges. Los Angeles born Hayden Zacky has worked with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for eleven years where he describes himself a Criminal Gang Prosecutor.

Both candidates for Office No. 122 replied. Daniel J. Lowenthal graduated from Cornell Law School in 1993 and has been “both a criminal prosecutor and an employment litigator.” His only opponent, Robert Davenport, has been a licensed attorney for over 26 years and stresses he is the only veteran and Protestant Catholic in the race for Office 122.

Their full responses, and reasons why you should care about the judicial election, are after the jump.

As for why you should pay attention to these multiple judicical elections on June 6th, Office 18 candidate Stephen Feldman writes:

Every single matter that can be heard in a court is virtually decided by Superior Court Judges. There are certain exceptions such as Court Commissioners who are elected by the Superior Court Judges and can only act with the stipulation of the litigants and Judge Pro Tems, who are attorneys with special training who are empowered to hear certain matters such as small claims, traffic, etc. That means that probate, family law, civil trials, criminal trials, juvenile matters, mental health issues, and every other conceivable matter that can be heard or tried are handled by Superior Court Judges. In essence, people don’t realize it, but Superior Court Judges effect their lives on a daily basis perhaps more than any other elected official.

Of course, since the race for judicial positions is a quiet one, the question that begs answering is how does one decide who to vote for? The most comprehensive site I’ve found that allows all the candidates to post their information is at Smart Voter. Randolph Hammock also suggests that voters check out “the ratings of each candidate given by the Los Angeles County Bar Association” (Hammock also adds that he “was the ONLY “private sector” candidate in ANY of the contested judicial elections to be rated “Well Qualified” or better.) Whether you’re looking for someone who appears to judge by the letter of the law versus those who claim to be more tolerant of some crimes or aggressive towards others is up to you.

On Monday I’ll wrap up with my final replies, and also delve into a little more background on the Superior Court system.

Following are the full responses of the candidates for Offices 102 and 120 mentioned above:

C. Edward Mack, Attorney/Counselor
Judicial Candidate Office 102

I have declared my candidacy for judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Office #102. The primary election is June 6, 2006.
My qualifications include: 

  • 20 years County Service;
  • Civil and Criminal Experience;
  • Tried Over 100 Jury Trials;
  • Clerked for LA Municipal Court Judges;
  • Vietnam Era War Veteran, U.S. Air Force. 
  • I am running for Superior Court Judge to provide justice to all litigants, no matter what background, race, sex, sexual preference, national origin, social status, religion, creed, disability or political affiliation, while safe-guarding every right secured by the Federal and State Constitutions. 

    My personal qualities and experience that best equip me to serve as judge include my experience handling high volumes of cases daily. I will run my courtroom with expediency and dignity, exemplifying efficiency, while interpreting the law, weighing equities and making the tough calls that judicial officers are called to make every day. I will listen to both sides, be courteous, thoroughly prepared and utilize resources with judicial economy in mind. I will show concern for the courtroom staff, and be considerate of the parties, lawyers and jurors and respect their time. I will fight to establish a mental health diversion programand/or mental health court to get the mentally ill homeless the treatment they need and out of the criminal justice system and establish a juvenile court “Early Prevention/Parental Intervention” program to stop gang violence and gang killings. 

    My election will make a difference because I won’t yield to political pressures. I will stay in touch with the public’s concerns and use my discretion wisely.

    Hayden Zacky, Criminal Gang Prosecutor
    Judicial Candidate Office 102

    Judges have a tremendous impact on the daily lives of the people who live in the community. Whether in a criminal, civil, probate, or family law setting, it is the judge’s role to ensure that everyone is treated with fairness and respect. A judge must also make sure thateveryone’s Constitutional rights are protected, and that people’s voices are heard. I don’t necessarily think that people are disinterested in judicial races, it is just that the public is not informed. It is very expensive to run a judicial campaign that is county wide, in which 4,000,000 people can vote. It is important to try to educate the public as much as possible. Everyone should vote on June 6th and exercise that right that so many take for granted. That is why I urge the public to view my website at www.zacky4judge.com, and to read the mail they get, so they can make an informed decision.

    A judge must be honest, ethical, fair and treat all parties with respect. The role of a judge is to be a neutral arbiter and to apply the law with fairness. The rights of plaintiffs, defendants, and victims must be heard, so that all who leave the courtroom will be satisfied that justice has been served.

    Daniel J. Lowenthal, Criminal Prosecutor
    Judicial Candidate Office 122

    My opponent in this race, Robert Davenport, has never practiced law in California courts (except for representing himself), has been declared a vexatious litigant (somebody who has brought multiple frivilous lawsuits), was discharged from the military for multiple allegations of lying, has been declared “not qualified” for a judgehsip by the panel of lawyers which evaluates candidates, has no known endorsements, and asks for votes on his League of Women Voters website because he deems it important to increase the percentage of Protestants and Catholics on the bench.

    I don’t think ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion are relevant whatsoever.

    I graduated from Cornell Law School in 1993, and have worked as both a criminal prosecutor and an employment litigator. I am a liberal Democrat, but have been endorsed by over 100 diverse elected officials–from progressives such as Antonio Villaraigosa to conservatives such as Mike Antonovich.

    www.lowenthalforjudge.com

    Robert Davenport, Disabled Veteran/Attorney
    Judicial Candidate Office 122

    I am the only veteran in my judicial race.

    In addition, I’m the only Protestant or Catholic in my race.

    As you might know, for all eight judicial offices, the LA Times, as you can see on my website, endorsed Jewish candidates.

    I’m also for putting the cross back on the LA County seal.

    That’s about it for my candidacy.

    Here’s my smartvoter website:

    http://www.smartvoter.org/2006/06/06/ca/la/vote/davenport_r/

    Here’s a poll that’s being taken on the election:

    http://snappoll.com/poll/93832.php

    7 Replies to “Race for the Gavel (Part 2 of 3)”

    1. Did Stephen Feldman really write back that judges “virtually decide” things and “effect” people’s lives?

      Not to be too picky or anything, but this guy is running to be a judge! Shouldn’t he know the difference between “effect” and “affect?”

    2. I had never thought spelling would be a prerequisite of my vote. Regardless, from my perspective Feldman took the time to stick his neck out and answer some questions which deserves enough credit for me to overlook a couple spelling errors… especially one as common as the ‘ol affect vs effect.

    3. By sheer coincidence, I received a mailing today from the Los Angeles County Bar Association that lists Feldman as “Not Qualified.”

      It’s also available, as you mentioned in your post, here: http://www.lacba.org/

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