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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election

Judge, Seat 42 — Los Angeles County Superior Court

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About this office

Superior court judges preside over trial court cases, both civil and criminal. They hear witnesses' testimony and other evidence and decide cases by applying the law to the relevant facts.
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Candidates

You can vote for 1 of these 4 candidates.

Alicia Molina

Domestic Violence Attorney
Top 3 Priorities
  1. To treat everyone who comes into court with fairness,...
  2. Equal access to justice to all parties.
  3. To be fair, unbiased and thorough in examination...
Profile
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E. Matthew Aceves

Child Molestation Prosecutor
Top 3 Priorities
  1. Protecting our children and community
  2. Treating everyone fairly, with dignity and respect
  3. Apply the law equitably by treating everyone individually...
Profile
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Cyndy Zuzga

Superior Court Commissioner
Top 3 Priorities
  1. One of my top priorities is to do make the courts...
  2. Through community outreach activities, I hope to de-mystify...
  3. By working with collaborative courts, public safety...
Profile
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Michael P. Ribons

Arbitrator, Attorney
Top 3 Priorities
  1. Providing a courtroom which is effective and efficient...
  2. Providing all with a voice and opportunity to be heard...
  3. Advance the public trust and confidence in the judicial...
Profile
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Domestic Violence Attorney
488,289 votes (32.83%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • To treat everyone who comes into court with fairness, courtesy, dignity,and respect
  • Equal access to justice to all parties.
  • To be fair, unbiased and thorough in examination of the facts and circumstances of each case on the merits.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Domestic Violence Attorney
Partner/Litigating Attorney, Law Offices of Molina & Molina (2011–current)
Litigating Attorney, Moving Forward USA (Vamos Unidos USA) (2009–2010)
Division Director, Litigating Attorney, Accredited Representative, International Institute of Los Angeles (Non-Profit) (1995–2009)

Education

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA Juris Doctor (J.D.), Law (1995)
University of California Los Angeles Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History (1990)

Community Activities

Volunteer/Pro Bono Attorney, Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law (2014–current)
Board Member, Hope Heals Hearts (H3) (2012–current)
Vice President, Mexican American Bar Association-Political Action Committee (MABA-PAC) (2009–2016)

Biography

  • UCLA and Loyola Law Graduate
  • Over a Decade of Litigation
  • Respected Community Leader 
  • Ethical, Fair, Thorough and Unbiased

I believe I am well qualified for the position of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Seat 42 because my life experiences and formal education, at UCLA and Loyola Law School, allow me to be fair and impartial and everyone will benefit from the perspective I will bring to the bench.

I’m a lifelong resident of the City of Montebello and I’m a small business owner of the Law Offices of Molina and Molina in the City of Huntington Park.  I have dedicated my entire life to serving the community by providing legal services to the poor, the disadvantaged, and the LGBT community in areas of Domestic Violence, Immigration, and Family law. 

I worked for 14 years at a non-profit, the International Institute of Los Angeles serving the Boyle Heights community.  For the Last two years I have volunteered and provided Pro-Bono legal services at the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law.

I think it is important to have diversity on the bench.This includes having a diverse legal background as well as knowing how to balance when you need to be tough and firm  as well as when you need to show compassion and understanding.

My goal as a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge is to be firm yet fair with the application of the law to ensure equal justice to all. We need a judge that is qualified and experienced with a strong understanding of the law yet is in touch with the social economic fabric of the community.

I have dedicated myself to serve the people of the County of Los Angeles. Being a local of Los Angeles, I am well acquainted with the local problems and the challenges of our communities.  My sole aim is to serve the people of Los Angeles irrespective of race, color, sexual orientation, creed and religion.

 

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (6)

  • Mexican American Bar Association-Political Action Committee (MABA-PAC)
  • AFSCME Local 685 Los Angeles County Probation Officers Union
  • Mexican American Democratic Club
  • Gardena Valley Democratic Club
  • Odyssey Investments
  • Kids Artistic Revue

Elected Officials (11)

  • Isadore Hall III-California State Senator
  • Mike A. Gipson-California Assembly Member 64th District
  • Carol Najera-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
  • James Horan-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
  • Gustavo Sztraicher-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge
  • Gil Cedillo-Los Angeles City Council 1st District
  • Manual Lozano-City of Baldwin Park Mayor
  • Ivan Altamirano-City of Commerce Mayor
  • Dan Medina-City of Gardena Councilman
  • Susana Contreras Smith-Superintendent of Schools, Montebello Unified School District
  • Hector A. Chacon-Montebello Unified School District Board Member

Individuals (1)

  • Maria Elena Durazo-Unite Here International Union Vice President

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County ILO (1)

Do you favor alternative, non-jail sentences for non-violent offenders and what options should be available?
Answer from Alicia Molina:

Our jails are over crowded and we need to make sure there is room and money to incarcerate the violent offenders who are a threat to our communities therefore I am in favor of alternative sentencing of non-violent offenders. I believe we need to find productive alternative sentencing and/or rehabilitation for non-violent offenders. We must create new programs which have a drug/alcohol program, a mental health component, GED or trade/employment/life skills program in order to ensure that the offenders will have the appropriate skills to be able to become productive citizens and break the cycle of recidivism.

Candidate Contact Info

Child Molestation Prosecutor
441,357 votes (29.67%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protecting our children and community
  • Treating everyone fairly, with dignity and respect
  • Apply the law equitably by treating everyone individually and without prejudice

Experience

Experience

Profession:Child Molestation Prosecutor
Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County District Attorney (1997–current)
School Board President, Whittier City School District Board of Education — Elected position (2005–current)
Governing Board Member, PIH Health — Elected position (2007–current)

Education

UCLA School of Law Juris Doctorate, Law (1997)
UCLA Bachelor of Arts, Sociology / Business Adminsitration Emphasis (1992)

Biography

 

  • Extensive Courtroom Experience and Lead Prosecutor in Hundreds of Criminal Cases

  • Assigned to Prosecute the Worst Child Molesters

  • Endorsed by Jackie Lacey, Steve Cooley and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon

  • UCLA School of Law Graduate

  • Bar Association President & Attorney Mentor

Mr. Aceves began his legal career at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 1997. During his time as a criminal prosecutor, Mr. Aceves has garnered a stellar reputation amongst his peers, Superior Court Judges and opposing counsel. He is known for his intellect, thoroughness, fairness, and relentless pursuit of justice. He has tried over 100 jury trials ranging from Special Circumstances Murder, Gang Related Murder, Mayhem, Rape, Child Molestation, Carjacking, and Kidnapping.

Mr. Aceves has devoted the majority of his career as a prosecutor to fighting against crimes perpetrated against women and children. He is currently assigned to the Victim Impact Program (“VIP”), where he primarily handles the most serious of child molestation cases, as well as physical violence against women and children.

Mr. Aceves has also been lecturing and instructing judges and lawyers regarding the American system of justice and how to become more effective in the courtroom. He has used his vast trial experience to teach trial advocacy skills to prosecutors, attorneys, and law students.

Mr. Aceves currently serves as the President of the Whittier City School District Board of Education.  During his ten-year service on the board of education, he has helped transform the district by focusing on accountability and insisting on transparency.  Last year, the Whittier City School District received an award for being one of the most improved districts in the State of California.

Mr. Aceves also serves on the PIH Health System Board of Directors, an important regional health organization in Los Angeles County that serves the cities of Whittier, Norwalk, Santa Fe Spring, Pico Rivera, Montebello, Hacienda Heights, and La Mirada. In this capacity, Mr. Aceves ensures patients treated at the organization’s two hospitals and several clinics are provided with the highest quality medical care.

 

Mr. Aceves was the first Deputy District Attorney elected to serve as President of the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County in 2007. During his ten-year tenure on the board, he was instrumental in establishing the association’s first international chapter and an annual legal fair that provides free legal advice to residents of Los Angeles County.  

 

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (2)

  • Association of Deputy District Attorneys
  • Over 50 Judges

Elected Officials (3)

  • District Attorneys Jackie Lacey, Steve Cooley (ret.) and Robert Philibosian (ret.)
  • Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon
  • Over 50 Judges

Candidate Contact Info

Superior Court Commissioner
405,233 votes (27.24%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • One of my top priorities is to do make the courts more accessible to the public through self-help centers.
  • Through community outreach activities, I hope to de-mystify the workings of the court to the public and make them aware of career opportunities in the court system.
  • By working with collaborative courts, public safety can be addressed while providing a positive program experience for all involved with the court.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Superior Court Commissioner
Superior Court Commissioner, Los Angeles Superior Court (2006–current)
Superior Court Commissioner, Los Angeles Superior Court — Elected position (2006–current)

Education

Michigan State University College of Law (current)
Michigan State University College of Law Juris Doctor (1982)

Community Activities

Committee Member, Superior Court Community Outreach Committee (2009–current)

Biography

  • Superior Court Commissioner (2006 - present)
  • Deputy District Attorney for over 21 years
  • J.D. Michigan State University, College of Law, 1982
  • Presided over treatment courts
  • Nationally recognized expert in elder abuse
  • With over 10 years' judicial experience, I make well-reasoned, fair decisions that effect people's lives while managing a heavy caseload and honoring the litigants' rights to be heard.  As a Deputy District Attorney, I was part of a multi-disciplinary team that helped to ensure that elderly financial abuse cases did not slip through the cracks.  I serve on the board of a non-profit, public service announcements film company whose mission is to make the community aware of pressing elder issues.
  • Rated "Well Qualified" by the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • More than 80 judges and commissioners
  • The Metropolitan News-Enterprise
  • The Los Angeles Times

Elected Officials (3)

  • U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal
  • Hon. Steve Cooley, District Attorney (2000-2012)
  • Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Councilmember

Individuals (2)

  • Hon. Lee S. Edmon, Appellate Court Justice
  • Hon. David Wesley, Former Presiding Judge

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County ILO (1)

Do you favor alternative, non-jail sentences for non-violent offenders and what options should be available?
Answer from Cyndy Zuzga:

As a sitting judicial officer, I cannot comment on any pending cases.  However, I have presided over a Drug Treatment Court where many non-violent offenders successfully completed the program and were gainfully employed upon graduation. 

Political Beliefs

I believe that each litigant and attorney has the right to a a fair and dignified hearing and to be treated with respect in a court of law.

Candidate Contact Info

Arbitrator/Attorney
152,566 votes (10.26%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Providing a courtroom which is effective and efficient while achieving justice.
  • Providing all with a voice and opportunity to be heard without bias
  • Advance the public trust and confidence in the judicial system by reaching decisions on the facts of each case before me.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Arbitrator, Attorney
Attorney, Private Practice (1996–current)
Volunteer Temporary Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court — Appointed position (2010–2016)
Volunteer Temporary Judge, Ventura County Superior Court — Appointed position (2015–2016)
Member Citizens Advisory Committee, Los Angeles CIty Council Third District — Elected position (2006–2008)

Education

Whittier Law School, Los Angeles Juris Doctorate (1995)
California State University, Northridge Double Bachelor of Science - Real Estate/Finance (1986)

Community Activities

Fee Arbitrator, San Fernando Valley Bar Association (2007–current)
Fee Arbitrator, California State Bar (2014–current)
Member, Professional Standards Committee, San Fernando Valley Bar Association (1991–1994)
Chair, Vice Chair, Member - Ethics & Arbitration Panel, Greivance Committe,, San Fernando Valley Association of Realtors (1988–1993)

Biography

  • "Well Qualified" rated by the Los Angeles County Bar Association for his professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament to serve as Judge with skill and effectiveness.
  • As a Volunteer Judge, Arbitrator, and Mediator heard thousand of matter
  • Community Oriented Volunteer
  • Experienced trial attorney with 20 years experience
  • Committed to providing justice to all in an unbiased, efficient and expediant manner.

 

Michael was born and raised in Los Angeles, the son of an immigrant father.  He attended Los Angeles Unified School District.   From a young age he was entrepreneurial and community service oriented. While in his teens he started a non-profit organization which provided public service to the community.  Michael has started several successful companies in the Los Angeles area.

 

While working full time he graduated from Cal State University, Northridge, and later while raising his family attended Whittier Law School in Hancock Park.  Prior to law school Michael was a member of the local Realtor Board's Ethics and Arbitration Committee, culminating in chairing various Committees.  During law school, he was an extern for United States Bankruptcy Judge Vincent P. Zurzolo,

 

Michael was appointed as an adviser to the Los Angeles City 12th  Council District, and served as an elected member of the 3rd  District Woodland Hills/Warner Center Citizens Advisory Committee. He has coached youth sports, and served on several non-profit boards focused on youth activities.

 

He has participated in the Horace Mann Project on several occasions which introduces young people to the judicial system.  Michael has been a judge at the American Mock Trial Association's Regional Tournament.

 

Michael has served as a mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, and is a fee arbitrator for the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and the California State Bar.  Michael has been appointed as a Temporary Judge in both the Los Angeles and Ventura County Superior Courts, and has served on approximately 300 occasions hearing Limited Civil, Traffic, Small Claims, Landlord/Tenant disputes, and Civil Harassment, conducting hundreds of trials, and thousands of motions and arraignments,

 

Michael has been a civil litigator for 20 years in both the California and Federal Courts serving plaintiffs and defendants from around the world and from all socio-economic backgrounds.  He runs all aspects of his own practice.

 

He is seeking a judicial seat in order to give back to the community.  As a litigator he knows how delays in the judicial system have both an emotional and financial impact on participants.  He would like to bring the efficiency of a small private practice to the bench while serving justice for the litigants.

 

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (3)

  • Robert M. Letteau, Judge retired
  • Gregory O'Brien, Judge Retired
  • Michael Harrison, fomer Mayor of Calabasas, former City Council Member

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County ILO (1)

Do you favor alternative, non-jail sentences for non-violent offenders and what options should be available?
Answer from Michael P. Ribons:

While constrained by Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Ethics, I can say that as long as alternatives are provided by Californai law, and the facts and circumstances allow for justice to be served utilizing alternative, non-jail sentencing , I will consider altenative sentencing.

 

Mental health services; substance abuse counseling; life skills.  In appropriate circumstances public service. 

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