Commissioner David J. Cowan, LA Superior Court, Santa Monica

September 29, 2009

Santa Monica CourthouseCommissioner David J. Cowan, well let me say this, a week ago I had never heard of him and perhaps it is because he is relatively new (2 years)? Or, I just did not pay attention to this part of the county’s divorce courts. The “commish” received his BA from Columbia University and his JD from Hastings College of Law….impressive educational background. And Poof! He gets a spot on the bench…I am sure it was not that easy..he had to have some support.

Two years on the bench as a “commissioner,” prior to that he was a lawyer who practiced real estate, business, tax and estate plaintiff and insurance litigation, so my research tells me. It is not easy finding much on this particular commissioner…a few inappropriate remarks on the net, funny there are several dozen of those about me. Ahh, who cares, they did spell my name right, that is all I care about. But for a commissioner with hopes of getting appointed or elected a Judge… Getting to the position of commissioner, that is not too shabby, either.

What was also tough for us at was what we witnessed in this commissioners courtroom. “Orders” that made one wonder, where did that come from, given the evidence before this bench officer, and his lack of common sense in one particular case…it was one of the worst decisions I had ever witnessed ( Old Street Cop thinking out loud). A few lawyers told me that going into chambers in Dept. E is also not always a good idea, as you should want all discussions on the record. Why is that?

Robert M. Cohen, Lawyer, when contacted by, told us, “I like him.” Avi Levy, Lawyer, also told us, “I like his accent” and “he seems like a nice enough guy.” The rest of the comments I feel would do an injustice to the bench and also prevent from ever reconsidering changing our thoughts (one negative comment was from a “shrink,” that one did not count) . Our thoughts on divorce rulings in the Santa Monica Family Law Court, where unlike some places you have choices, here my dears, you have only one: David J. Cowan, Commissioner. To some it must be like wanting a nice chocolate eclair with creamy custard filling and a nice cup of coffee. And when the menu arrives there is only one choice, day-old donuts and a warm cup of water, Hmmmph.

In some cases I wonder does a commissioner get to choose where they go, like traffic court or civil, or???? Do they request a place they might enjoy, or is it “good to have you on board,” go to Dept. %$^& and have fun! ” And you wake up and you are in DIVORCE court, ouch! I have three very good friends who are judges and I recall when two of them went to judge school…can you imagine what that must be like! A bunch of lawyers learning how to be judges!

We will be watching and paying more attention to Commissioner Cowans court in the future and will re-visit our thoughts on this subject.

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