Brooklyn Surrogate's Court 2005

Keep up to date with the latest Newspaper and Internet articles on this year's Brooklyn Surrogate Court race

Monday, September 05, 2005

Brooklyn Surrogate's Court: López Torres

El Diario - Sept 5, 2005
Editorial Endorsement

We go to Surrogate`s Court at some of the most stressful times in our lives – when a loved one dies, with or without a will; when a mentally retarded adult or an elderly relative needs a guardian; or when we adopt a child.

Because Brooklyn is in the midst of a judicial corruption scandal, the primary election there for the Judge of the Surrogate's Court takes on added importance. It's crucial that the next judge be a person who has demonstrated competence, integrity and independence from the political machine. That person is Margarita Lopez Torres.

She seeks to replace Michael Feinberg, who the state Court of Appeals removed in June for paying excessive fees to lawyers he appointed to deal with the estates of people who died without leaving a will. Another Surrogate's Court judgeship was created in a last-minute deal between Gov. George Pataki and the state Legislature, but it was effective Aug. 1, too late for the primary. Instead, the Brooklyn Democratic party leader gets to appoint that judge. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a lawsuit to stop it.

Lopez Torres was elected to the Civil Court in 1992 with Democratic machine backing, but she has since fallen out of favor with party leaders and they refused to endorse her in 2002. She was re-elected anyway.

Although people think only rich people with big wills end up in Surrogate's Court, Lopez Torres says most of the estates are small. She wants to ensure that lawyers' fees are appropriate. And she wants to include more Hispanics and Blacks on the list of lawyers who are assigned to handle estates and as guardians.

All this will take a judge who will pick people not because of their political connections, but because they will provide the best service for the public. We believe that person is Margarita Lopez Torres and we endorse her for Surrogate's Court judge.


Blogger bklyndem said...

i knew it Gary, i knew you were Judge Torres' campaign manager, don’t you think you should disclose this before you try and influence peoples opinions on your candidate in your blog?

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