Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Courts strike down misleading ballot titles

Deputy District Attorneys Amy Carter, Alison Matsumoto Estrada and Andrew Cooper, candidates for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge in Office Nos 22, 76 and 157 respectively, all succeeded in preventing their opponents from using misleading ballot titles in the June 3, 2014 primary election.

Office No. 22
DDA Amy Carter successfully challenged opponent Pamela Matsumoto's attempt to mislead voters by using the ballot title 'Administrative Law Judge.' It is understood that Matsumoto will now appear on the ballot as 'Litigation Attorney.'

The ruling was handed down by retired Judge Robert O’Brien, sitting on assignment in Department 86 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Carter was represented by Bradley W. Hertz, Esq., of The Sutton Law Firm.

Office No. 76
DDA Alison Matsumoto Estrada successfully challenged opponent DDA Helen Kim's attempt to mislead voters by using the ballot title 'Violent Crimes Prosecutor.' It is understood that Kim will now appear on the ballot as 'Criminal Prosecutor' to more accurately reflect her part-time filing deputy assignment.

The ruling, handed down by Judge James Chalfant in Department 85 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, must come as a bitter blow to Kim and her campaign consultant, Fred Huebscher.  It will also likely give editorial boards pause for concern regarding Kim's candidacy, the taint of a failed attempt to mislead is hard to extinguish.

Notwithstanding today's ruling, a check on Kim's campaign website this evening shows that she nevertheless continues to maintain that "In my current position as a violent crimes prosecutor, the substantial majority of the cases I prosecute are violent and serious felonies such as murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, arson, kidnapping, carjacking robbery, burglary, criminal threats and felonies with great bodily injuries." Evidence presented at today's hearing included a declaration from DDA Rob Dver, a full-time filing deputy, who maintained that less than 5% of the cases he files are violent felonies as defined by Penal Code Section 667.5(c).

Kim has reported $554,500.00 in campaign contributions from a handful of donors; something else that might give pause for concern, and likely to be viewed as an attempt to purchase a Judgeship. Kim's contributions can be examined on the Secretary of State's website using this link. For some unknown reason, Kim's contributions appear under the category "Late and $5000+ Contributions Received."

Matsumoto Estrada was represented by Stuart L. Leviton of Reed & Davidson, LLP.

Office No. 157
DDA Andrew Cooper successfully challenged opponent Arnold Mednick's attempt to mislead voters by using the ballot title 'Administrative Law Judge.' It is understood that Mednick will now appear on the ballot as 'Retired Court Referee.'

Although there is little legal justification for the use of the work 'retired' where, as here, Mednick was briefly employed by the Dept. of Social Security following his retirement as a Superior Court Referee. It is understood that Cooper will not issue any further challenge to this ballot title. It is also understood that Mednick was less than pleased with this ballot title, fearing that 'retired' conveyed the suggestion that he was old.

In his excellent Wednesday, March 19, 2014 'Perspectives' Column, Roger M. Grace, Editor and Co-Publisher of the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise, had opined that the appropriate ballot title for Mednick would be a blank line under his name.

The ruling was handed down by retired Judge Robert O’Brien, sitting on assignment in Department 86 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Cooper's campaign continues to gain strength, he recently gained the endorsement of State Bar President Luis Rodriguez and the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Cooper was represented by Bradley W. Hertz, Esq., of The Sutton Law Firm.

Office No. 61
A forth challenge to a bogus ballot title remains to be decided; that of DDA Dayan Mathai's challenge to opponent B. Otis Felder's use of 'Los Angeles Prosecutor,' to describe his volunteer externship at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. That will be decided Tuesday March 25, 2014 by Judge Luis Lavin in Department 82 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.



Anonymous said...

I am disgusted at the gutter journalism displayed here. Attacking Helen Kim for having the resources and the lifestyle you people cannot even dream of, just shows how petty and jealous you are. She can afford to work a 3 day week, and don't any of you say you wouldn't like to do the same and spend more time with family and friends. Also, there is nothing strange about the amount of money Helen has raised. Her husband, John Ang, is an investment banker and dropping $200k to support his wife is chump change. Hell, they live in a mansion in Encino that costs more than you will earn in your entire sorry life. Her parents put in a matching $200k and the rest comes from friends, no Area 51 conspiracies here. I would not be surprised if Helen doubles down now and buys up every slate in town and some full page ads in the papers. She doesn't need any stinking endorsements from the press, she can buy them the same way you buy a 32oz Slurpee at a 7-11. You will eat your words, Helen Kim will be an excellent judge and bring some balance to the bench. Go get a life.

Anonymous said...

"Gutter journalism" 8:08am? You gotta be kidding. Nothing Berger writes comes anywhere close to being journalism. This is flat out character assassination, just like Berger has done with Steve Ipsen and Carmen Trutanich. He used innuendo to besmirch their reputations, and he's doing the same with Kim. It is not a crime to be wealthy in the United States, unlike England where Berger and his aristocrat buddies scorn those who work hard and achieve greatness. This blog is a disgrace and an embarrassment. It should be shut down. It is the best example of why we need a fairness doctrine to silence elitism and biased opinion.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that Amy, Alison and Andrew prevailed. Their opponents were deliberately trying to mislead voters, and we have the right to expect only the very highest ethical standards from people who want to be judges. I am also very shocked about the comments above. It is one thing trying to buy an election, but completely another thing when you lie about who you are. IMHO Helen Kim is not fit to be a judge. I would like to know when she last saw the inside of a courtroom? And don't say yesterday in front of Judge Chalfont. It sounds very much like she has not actually tried a case in decades. Perhaps you should file a PRA request with the DA's Office?