Wanted – Judicial Candidates for Offices 30 and 38! And remembering Judge Ospino.

Vern here: It appears the worst omission in our June 2022 election coverage has already occurred! A good friend writes in:

“Remember Judge Scott Steiner, who had sex in his judicial chambers with two women, one his then-current intern, both former students of his when he was an adjunct professor at Chapman University Law School?

“Well, he is up for re-election in Superior Court Judge, Office No. 38 — and he is currently poised to be re-elected to another six-year term unopposed. Any challenger has until this Friday, March 11 to complete the application process.

“For understandable reasons, judges on our Superior Court generally do not appreciate candidates challenging sitting judges. They rightly don’t want challenges based on their issuing unpopular decisions, for example. That can transform the judiciary into a biased and fearful branch, rather than one that can safely aspire to impartiality.

“But: opposing a judge based on their ethics, or scandals like this — which is probably considered a bigger deal right now in 2022 than it was in 2016, when Attorney Karen Schatzle ran against Judge Steiner — that is something that judges should welcome rather than fear.

“Which brings me to ask: Is there no well-qualified attorney or law professor who can challenge Judge Steiner? YOU HAVE TILL THIS FRIDAY TO APPLY!

And Office # 30!

Vern again, and now we’re speaking of a different Superior Court Office, Number 30, for which the only candidate is currently the incumbent, Frank Ospino. No, Judge Ospino did not as far as we know have sex in his chambers – what HE went and did was DIED a few weeks ago, so you’d think that after a decent interval for mourning, some other well-qualified attorney or law professor would apply for his old office.

In the case of death of an incumbent, the application deadline is extended FIVE CALENDAR DAYS – that is, until next Wednesday, March 16!

No news is available as to how Judge Ospino died (at the age of 61, on Feb. 19) but his obituary page includes several touching tributes, which match my memory of him as a very patient and caring Public Defender (before he became a judge.) Here are some of those:

From his friend Deann Payn: “Frank I wish I could speak with you one more time! I would tell you the impact you have had on my life. Your kindness made me do better and your gentle nature made me calmer. I loved watching you in Court defending some person that I felt had nothing coming yet there you were protecting their rights. I so admired you for that! I probably never told you. Then when you where appointed to the bench and went to Family Law you trusted me to handle a very difficult case that I’m still working. So many memories that I will cherish forever. You made a difference.. that is your legacy. I will miss you my friend”

From his colleague Eric Alderete: “This is a devastating loss to the Orange County legal community. Frank was a pillar of the bench and was an exceptional PD. He was class and intellect personified. QUE DESCANSE EN PAZ.”

From former defendant Michelle Bounds: “Judge Ospino was a wonderful man. He was very understanding and always saw through the BS in our case. What a shame and so very sad. Rest in Paradise Judge.”

From colleague Linda Rowell: “I worked with Frank at the Alts as his investigator for several years. He was the best part of my career at the PD’s. He brought out the best in me as a investigator and I have missed him since the day I left the office. An exceptional man, friend, attorney, and father.”

From friend Jim Appel: “Frank and I, when he was an attorney in the alternate defenders office, had a preliminary hearing together on a co-defendant case. When I finished cross examining their star witness I sat down and thought I did a very good job. Then I watched Frank cross exam the same witness. After he was finished I realized what a great cross examination looked like. It was like watching a master.”

And on the day after the sad news broke, DA Todd Spitzer posted: “The legal community lost an amazing person last night. Judge Frank Ospino was one of the kindest human beings. He was smart and compassionate and he treated everyone with such kindness and respect.”

Yes, may Frank rest in peace, and may we honor his memory. But STILL – SOMEONE’S gotta run for Office 30, and y’all got till Wednesday the 16th!

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.