The Times Superior Court Judicial Endorsements
April 28, 2016
Voters in Los Angeles County will see seven judicial races on their June 7 ballots. In three of them, lawyers have challenged judges who are seeking to be re-elected to new six-year terms. But the challengers fail to measure up to the people they want to replace, and the Times on Wednesday recommended that the three judges — James Kaddo, Kathryn Solorzano and Ray Santana — be re-elected.
In the other four races, candidates are vying for seats that are being vacated because the incumbents are retiring or otherwise leaving the Superior Court. As is so often the case, many of those candidates come from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, contributing to a bench with a disproportionate number of criminal prosecutors. Sometimes prosecutors make good judges, sometimes not. In three of this year’s four open-seat races for judge, we fond the best choices to be prosecutors. And in the fourth, the best candidate is a former prosecutor.
Office 11: Steven Schreiner.
Three Los Angeles County prosecutors and a private practitioner are vying for this seat. Jonathan Alexan Malek, the lawyer in private practice, has a dearth of courtroom experience — and with 11 years as a licensed attorney, he has just a year above the minimum qualifications to serve — and is well out of his depth. Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta brings a combative style that may serve her as a prosecutor but would not translate well to the bench. Deputy District Attorney Paul Kim may someday make a good judge.
Of the four candidates, Steven Schreiner — also a deputy district attorney — has the most experience. He also is the one with the calm demeanor that a judge must have, and that is somewhat ironic, given that the knock on him when he ran two years ago was that he supposedly lost his temper when making his argument to a jury that couldn’t reach a verdict. Given his record in his many other trials, it seems more likely that he didn’t lose his temper at all, but was just going for effect. It wasn’t a great tactic, but it was a departure for a candidate who would likely make a model judge.
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