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Judge Assigned to Hear Seau Wrongful-Death Case Has Fans, Harsh Critics

Randa Trapp, named to handle suit against the NFL, recently made news with Fresh & Easy order.

Judge Assigned to Hear Seau Wrongful-Death Case Has Fans, Harsh Critics

The judge assigned to hear the wrongful-death lawsuit by Junior Seau’s family recently threw the book at Fresh & Easy but has been on the receiving end of some harsh attacks herself.

Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp scored poorly on a judge-rating site and inspired an impeachment petition and critical blog.

And Wesley Smith of Virginia included her in his online Hall of Shame, labeling Trapp a “black-robed child abuser.”

But she was endorsed by U-T San Diego in her June 2006 race for Superior Court, saying she was rated well-qualified by the bar association after three years on the Family Court bench. (A letter reputedly from Family Court employees challenged this assertion.)

And her smartvoter.org profile in 2006 depicted her as an experienced judge, a deputy attorney general from 1985 to 1989 active in the community (serving on the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s San Diego Board of Directors and as chairwoman of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp.)

“In 2004,” the site said, “she was named the 79th Assembly District's Woman of the Year. She is also the winner of the YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) Award.”

A San Diego Metro profile of Trapp in 2002, when she was legal counsel to Sempra Energy, said she was a member of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Judicial Advisory Committee and a director on the County Retirement and the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau boards.

“I think it’s important to work in the African-American community and represent the community throughout the county,” she was quoted as saying. “I have a very supportive employer. It helps the company to have employees out in the community.”

A jury trial was demanded in the suit against the National Football League and the case was assigned to Trapp, 58, according to online records.

But an anonymous blog critical of Trapp said she “suffers from incompetence” and has the highest reversal rate in San Diego. 

A judge-rating website called The Robing Room puts Trapp near the bottom.

One site started a petition to impeach Trapp but gained only nine signatures.

On Tuesday, Trapp ordered the owner of Fresh & Easy grocery stores to pay $833,136 to settle a consumer protection case brought by prosecutors in San Diego and Riverside counties, alleging the chain charged more for meat and seafood than prices posted on store shelves.

Her own money was subject of a U-T San Diego story last May.

“Campaign disclosure records show that the committee Trapp set up in 2006 has given $2,500 each to the campaigns of judges Robert C. Longstreth, Lantz Lewis, DeAnnn M. Salcido and Joel Wohlfeil,” said the U-T.

And in February 2012, Trapp sided with the city of San Diego in a medical marijuana case, saying the city cannot be required to take actions that amount to an illegal act.

“Wisdom Organics of Lemon Grove is allowed to deliver medical marijuana under state law, but use and distribution of the drug remains illegal under federal law, Trapp wrote in the ruling Feb. 3,” U-T San Diego reported.

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