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LA County Judicial Runoff Elections
November 2006

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The quality and integrity of bench officers in Los Angeles County is not only important to our profession, but also to the public at large and to the very fabric of society. The act of voting is the most sacred and fundamental element of a democracy. We urge everyone to vote this coming November 7th, and exercise that most treasured of democratic freedoms.

The Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee ("the Committee") of the Los Angeles County Bar Association ("LACBA") performs an important civic duty by informing the public, including the legal profession, as to the qualifications of candidates running for judicial office in Los Angeles County.

The Committee has thoroughly evaluated the judicial candidates running in the upcoming November judicial election. The candidates were reviewed for professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament; and each was rated "Exceptionally Well Qualified," "Well Qualified," "Qualified," or "Not Qualified"

The ratings for the candidates in the upcoming November election are as follows:

Superior Court Office No. 8:
Deborah L. Sanchez Well Qualified
Bob Henry Qualified
Superior Court Office No. 18:
Daviann L. Mitchell Qualified
John C. Gutierrez Qualified
Superior Court Office No. 102:
Hayden Zacky Well Qualified
George C. Montgomery Not Qualified
Superior Court Office No. 144:
David W. Stuart Well Qualified
Janis Levart Barquist Well Qualified

The names above are also links to the candidate profiles reprinted from the website of the League of Women Voters, www.smartvoter.org

The Committee is comprised of Association members drawn from a broad cross-section of the legal community. It is also divided into subcommittees, with each subcommittee assigned to particular contested Superior Court offices in Los Angeles County. The subcommittee contacts judges, lawyers, and others who may have knowledge about the candidate's professional qualifications. After information has been gathered, the subcommittee interviews the candidate. After the interview, the subcommittee reports its recommendations to the committee, which will make a tentative evaluation of each candidate based on the four categories of qualifications noted above. Candidates are then notified of the tentative rating and afforded the opportunity to appear before the Committee to appeal the tentative rating. The committee may or may not change the tentative rating based on the appeal. The Committee's final evaluations are then reported to LACBA's Board of Trustees and released to the public.

As a legal professional, the result of judicial elections in Los Angeles County directly affects you and your informed vote is important. Because the public does not often receive quality unbiased information about judicial candidates, you can also help by informing and educating voters around you.

As an organization that is committed to the improvement of both the bench and bar, LACBA strongly encourages you to consider the Committee's evaluation ratings and to do what you can to inform the public of them.

Brent A. Braun, Chair of the Committee urges all qualified voters, especially members of the legal profession to set the example for all citizens by voting on November 7th at their polling place or by absentee ballot. Braun stated, "In many places in the world, people die fighting just for the right to vote. Voting is the most fundamental expression and manifestation of democracy there is, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and its 45 volunteer lawyer members of the Judicial Elections Evaluations Committee urge you to get out and vote and ask you to encourage your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to do so as well. Let's have the Los Angeles legal profession lead the way by exercising our votes on November 7th."

If you have any questions regarding the Committee, Committee ratings or otherwise, please feel free to contact Brent A. Braun, Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee Chairman at bablaca@aol.com or by phone at 310-871-6431. Absentee ballots can be obtained at the LA County Registrar Recorder's Office web site at www.lavote.net/voter/absentee_voting.cfm.

Link to Metropolitan News-Enterprise Candidate Profiles


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