Friday, May 21, 2010

With 5,000 lawyers in San Diego, why couldn't they provide a decent alternative in the contest for Judge DeAnn Salcido's seat?

I'm going to write in Sandra Berry's name on my ballot for DeAnn Salcido's seat. But it's pathetic that with roughly 5,000 lawyers in San Diego, we can't seem to fill all the judicial positions with qualified individuals:

Office 27:
Harold Coleman Jr: Unable to Evaluate
Judge DeAnn Salcido: Lacking Qualifications

Judge rated unqualified in local bar evaluation
By Greg Moran
May 14, 2010

Office 14:
Craig Candelore: Lacking Qualifications
Judge Lantz Lewis: Well Qualified.

Office 20:
Stephen Clark: Well Qualified
Jim Miller Jr: Lacking Qualifications
Richard Monroy: Well Qualified

Office 21:
Bill Trask: Lacking Qualifications
Judge Robert Longstreth: Well Qualified

Office 27:
Harold Coleman Jr: Unable to Evaluate
Judge DeAnn Salcido: Lacking Qualifications

Office 34:
Larry “Jake” Kincaid: Lacking Qualifications
Judge Joel Wohlfeil: Well Qualified.

Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido, facing an election challenge and under heavy criticism from her colleagues after she filed a legal action against the court a week ago, received the lowest possible rating in the local bar association’s evaluation of candidates.

Salcido was found to be “lacking qualifications” by the San Diego County Bar Association, which evaluates candidates for judicial seats each election. The bar says the evaluations are done as a public service to assist voters.

The process is supposed to be confidential and uses surveys distributed to judges and lawyers. A bar committee also interviews candidates and does other research before making its decision.

Salcido said that while she would have liked a higher rating, the low evaluation did not surprise her because she has ruffled feathers of lawyers and judges.

“I view it as the natural result of the county bar association asking only attorneys and judges of their view of me, and not the general public,” she said.

Last week Salcido took the unusual step of asking the 4th District Court of Appeal to issue an order commanding judges to impose certain probation conditions on misdemeanor domestic violence cases. She contended many judges were not following what she believes state law requires, and that when she stood up for that position, she was harassed by her supervising judge in El Cajon.

Salcido said thatshe was not willing to go along with plea bargains that were fashioned to avoid some probation conditions, and that this has angered her colleagues and defense lawyers.

The appeals court rejected the move on Tuesday, but Salcido said her stance long ago earned the enmity of her peers. Bar officials said Salcido was informed of her rating about a week before she requested the order from the appellate court.

The bar does not give specific reasons behind the ratings. But Salcido said she was told that lawyers thought her use of humor in court was inappropriate, and that she was considered “not professional enough.”

It is unusual but not unprecedented for the bar to rate as sitting judge an unqualified, said Patrick Hosey, the president of the bar association.

Salcido’s opponent, Harold Coleman Jr., was given a rating of unable to evaluate.

That is a neutral rating, and means the bar committee doing the analysis did not have sufficient information on the candidate to “fairly and adequately evaluate” a candidate’s ability to be a judge.

Coleman, an arbitrator and lawyer, is one of four candidates who is endorsed by Bettercourtsnow, an organization founded by a now-deceased religious leader that is supported by conservative legal and religious groups. All four are running against sitting judges.

The three other candidates who are endorsed by the group — William Trask, Craig Candelore and Larry “Jake” Kincaid — all received rating of “lacking qualifications.”...

Berry says she will not run
San Diego Union Tribune
Greg Moran
May 20, 2010

Former Superior Court Commissioner Sandra Berry said Thursday morning she will not be running as a write-in candidate for Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido's seat.

Berry was drafted by lawyers and others to run in the race, and earlier this week she took out nominating papers and collected the requisite number of signatures to qualify.

But she said that she decided time was too short to mount an effective campaign.

"It's just too late," she said. "I think it's just too hard to win without my name on the ballot."

Absentee voting has already begun, she noted, putting her even further behind the curve.

Her decision not to enter the race means that Salcido and challenger Harold Coleman Jr. will square off for the race.

Lawyers unhappy with those candidates had approached Berry, and there was already word spreading on social networks and e-mail chains throughout the legal community urging support for her.

Judge, husband accused of fraud
Injured woman sues, questions transactions
By Greg Moran
June 9, 2007

Superior Court Judge DeAnn Salcido and her husband are being sued for fraud for allegedly selling real estate assets to shield themselves from paying a woman who was badly injured while on a motorcycle ride with the judge's husband in 2004.

In a lawsuit filed May 24, lawyers for the injured woman, Stacy Hardesty, said the judge and her husband, Edward, have sold two properties – one for $1.2 million – taken on debt and transferred assets in an effort to avoid paying Hardesty.

DeAnn Salcido filed for divorce in January. That came after an incident in which she said her husband grabbed her roughly, leading her to obtain a restraining order.

The lawsuit contends that the divorce is an attempt to protect her share of their community property from any judgment against Edward Salcido.

DeAnn Salcido, who hears family law and other cases in El Cajon Superior Court, declined to comment on the lawsuit and referred all questions to her lawyer, Ken Medel...

1 comment:

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