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Politics

2018 Election: Let a judge help you judge the LA Superior Court candidates




Twenty-eight candidates for seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court will be on the ballot in this Tuesday's primary election.
Twenty-eight candidates for seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court will be on the ballot in this Tuesday's primary election.
Stock Photo: SalFalko/Flickr Creative Commons

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There are 28 names on the ballot for Los Angeles Superior Court, and it isn't so easy to find information on all the candidates.

But the court is the largest of its kind in the country, and those elected judges will handle trials from small claims to felony murder, and family law to civil cases.

To help you figure out who you'd like on the bench, Take Two asks a judge what makes a good judge.

Stuart Rice serves on L.A.'s Superior Court, and is president of the California Judges Association.

See what the L.A. County Bar Association thinks

The organization evaluates all the candidates based on interviews, references and insider-information within the law community.

"They view it as a public service obligation," says Judge Rice. "Everybody is ranked."

You can see the rankings yourself here.

A candidate's title can give you a hint

After every name is a short description of the candidate's current job.

For example, someone who's a Superior Court commissioner technically do the job of the judges, already.

District attorneys also have regular courtroom experience, and they're more likely to be ready to handle the job on day one.

That does not mean other candidates are incapable, but it may take them more time to get up to speed.

"If they have the right personality and willingness to work and learn, they may turn out to be a fantastic judge," says Judge Rice.

Look at endorsements

These are non-partisan positions, so no parties are next to a name on the ballot.

But if political leanings matter to you, then see if a local political party endorsed a candidate.

Judge Rice also says if sitting judges support someone, then they could be a great judge.

Otherwise, look for people endorsed by organizations you trust.

Check out a candidate's website

There's more you can glean from a candidate's site than just their platform.

If that website is rife with grammatical errors or if a candidate doesn't even have one, for example, then that person might not be mounting a serious run.

Ready for Tuesday's primary election? We're here to help. Go to KPCC's Voter Game Plan page for information on candidates, ballot measures and an election guide personalized for you.