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Concern Over a Judicial Triad

July 12, 1987

I read with deep concern your coverage (Times, June 14) of Judges (William) Willett, (Sandra) Thompson and (Benjamin) Aranda's plan to "fend off opponents" in the next judicial election.

These three musketeers' "all for one . . . one for all" attempt to assure reelection to the bench is offensive. Equally, the attempt to build a war chest is offensive and abusive to those who might seek the respective offices and who appear before the judges as attorneys, representing plaintiffs or defendants.

The latter have little choice; the former, less. If an attorney does not contribute to the fund-raising plan or critiques rulings publicly or to his professional associates, he or she cannot expect a judge without prejudice.

These judges should be challenged and a nonpartisan group would well serve the public in confronting this shameful exhibit of "don't challenge us, we will move on (upward no doubt) when advantageous."

Having set down their rules well in advance of election, is there not a group of legal professionals willing to take on the challenge? Can we have a true reading of their respective records, court conduct and evaluation of their credentials?

The implied opinion (is that) the voters do not understand the court, the law and the attorney's role. If so, why not present these findings to the voters as would a candidate for councilman, supervisor or mayor? Let the voter truly determine.

The three musketeers have, on their own, clearly politicized this far-off election. Since they obviously fear for their jobs, let the community be prepared and meet the challenge.

Candidates come forward! We have been forewarned. South Bay seeks qualified alternative candidates and will support them.

Wine, cheese and rubber-chicken dinners and noncommittal appearances with attorneys who in fact stand before these courts is not an answer to the voters. A warning has been given . . . candidates, take up the challenge. Organize for the credibility of our system and community.

ANDREW McGEE

Palos Verdes Estates

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