Some DA’s Will Become Judges Unopposed

At least three deputy district attorneys will run virtually unopposed for Los Angeles Superior Court judicial seats after last Friday’s filing deadline. It was uncertain who among those seeking seats might face competition, reports the MetNews, which added that one candidate clearly created some options.
According to MetNews, Deputy District Attorney Helen Kim eventually returned papers to seek the same judgeship being sought by fellow Deputy District Attorney Alison Matsumoto Estrada. The report noted that Kim’s campaign consultant, Fred Huebscher, “declined to comment for publication on the reason for targeting Estrada, after filing declarations for seven other seats. Kim paid a filing fee of $1,812.29 for each of the eight contests.”
The three district attorneys escaping serious challenges were Ann Park, Serena Murillo, and Chris Frisco, and the MetNews full story is here.

Judicial Election Intimidation On Display in San Diego

Imagine living with a justice system where powerful judges intimidate would-be challengers, threatening careers and clients if anyone dares run against a seated judge. Well, there are those who say (quietly, very quietly of course) that California has just that system, and they point to a San Diego race as the latest example.
It’s unusual for mainstream media outlets to give more than passing coverage to superior court judicial races, but The San Diego Times Union recently broke the story: “A candidate challenging a longtime Superior Court judge in the June primary election says she is being pressured to drop out by a legal organization she belongs to and by some judges.”


The newspaper, perhaps oddly sidestepping the larger story of judicial electoral intimidation, still reports that federal prosecutor Carla Keehn “… is one of five people who have filed to run against judges on the local bench — an unusually high number of challenges to incumbent jurists. Typically judges are re-elected without opposition, as few lawyers will take on a sitting judge for fear of judicial enmity.”


To make matters even more interesting, Keehn is openly gay and some of the pressure comes from a group she belongs to, with the leadership writing here that “… openly challenging a sitting judge can be seen by some as undermining the support and relationship we have worked so hard to build.” Keehn said she understood it to be pressure to drop out, but will not do so. Read the report here.

CCM Publisher Warns Of ‘Perjury Pawns’

Writing in the Huffington Post, CCM Publisher Sara Warner notes that a recent bankruptcy case is rocking the world of civil asbestos litigation, one of the leading case-issues in California and nationwide. A federal judge’s order lists problems with the specific case, including “disappearing” of evidence and testimony that seems to contradict other sworn statements involving dozens of bankruptcy trusts. But, she notes, what about the victims?
Read the HuffPo piece here