Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Appellate Justices, Hundreds of Others, Remember Cerrell

Services were held yesterday for Joe Cerrell, described by the LA Times as "a legendary political consultant and consummate schmoozer whose unrelenting but principled style won respect from allies and opponents."  An "overflow" assembly of "[m]ore than 600 mourners" filled the Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in LA, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Cerrell's clients included many judges.  The Met News reports:  "While judicial campaigns were a small part of the firm’s overall business, it became known as a go-to source of support for judges and aspirants forced to navigate the unfamiliar turf of electoral politics.  The firm’s involvement in judicial campaigns began in 1978, when about 30 judges, mostly appointees of then-Gov. Jerry Brown, were facing election challenges around the state. Cerrell took on  representation of nine candidates in Los Angeles County in that 1978 cycle, including six incumbents, two candidates for open seats, and one challenger—Ronald Schoenberg, who ran against Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Richard Moore—and won every race.  His success earned him the sobriquet “king of the judges” from then-California Judges Association President Harry Low, who went on to become a presiding justice of the First District Court of Appeal."

2/5 PJ Paul Turner recalls:  "When I was on the ballot in 1984, Joe Cerrell was my consultant and in our first meeting, after telling me I was going to win my election, he gave me this advice as to how act during this odd political episode called a judicial campaign, ‘Act like a judge.’ No better advice was ever given."

2/5 Justice Richard Mosk adds:  "My father, Justice Stanley Mosk, when a California member of the Democratic National Committee, hired Joe to work for the Democratic Party in California. Those were great years, filled with accomplishments. Joe helped my father and Jesse Unruh run John Kennedy’s 1960 campaign for President in California. The Mosk family is grateful for the service Joe provided to us, his party, and his country. He was a good friend."