Public ratings based on secrecy, subjectivity, and bias*
The general public does not understand what the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) is and what it is not.
LACBA is not an attorney accreditation agency. The body that oversees attorneys is the State Bar of California. It is the State Bar that administers the standardized, anonymous bar test. LACBA is not affiliated with the State bar and thus has nothing to do with attorney accreditation, regulation, etc. LACBA does not have a test that one can pass to become “qualified” to be an attorney or judge. It is thus very misleading when LACBA says that it has evaluated the “knowledge of the law” for all the candidates! It has and cannot do so!
LACBA is a volunteer organization of attorneys without any oversight or accountability to anyone outside the association (apart from under regular law provisions). Nonetheless, LACBA rates attorneys based on its own subjective criteria no matter what the amount of positive references obtained by external references through its vetting process, for example, and how much other positive information found about the candidate!
The 2020 gender and other diversity statistics are as follows (apart from ** one man who refused to participate in LACBA's process, which also caused him to be called "not qualified"!):
|Male||Female||% Males in group||% Females in group|
|Exceptionally Well Qualified||0||0||0%||0%|
|Well Qualified (five white, one Asian)||6||0||100%||0%|
|Not Qualified (two black, one white)||**||3||0%||100%|
|Qualified (to some degree)||16||3||84%||16%|
Two of the women rated “not qualified” were black, and one was not a typical trial attorney. One of the women was a prominent civil rights attorney. Another was a highly respected law professor and Fulbright Scholar who worked as a research attorney for judges. LACBA changed the rating of one man from not qualified to qualified despite serious issues, but refused to change the ratings of any of the women.
LACBA’s 2020 judicial evaluation committee, per its own information, includes hardly anyone from nongovernmental organizations and none from academia or judicial offices, for example. Only 38% of the evaluation committee were females. All evaluation committee members were appointed by the LACBA president; one single person.
LACBA does not disclose the reasons for its individual ratings, which thus remain secret towards the general public. That is secret labelling of professionals in 2020 by a group of powerful people seeking to influence election results via secrecy and anonymity. Candidates could release their ratings themselves, but have no realistic, corresponding place to do so. In contrast, LACBA publishes their opinions on their website and in email blast(s).
LACBA’s “appeal” process is to the same body, just the entire committee instead of a subgroup. This is an obvious and serious conflict of interest.
Shine the light on secret "ratings" based on subjectivity by self-selected clubs!
* The above is an opinion made by a group of concerned voters.