Experience of a Prosecutor, Not a Politician.
I was born in San Diego to a family dedicated to protecting and improving San Diego. I continued that tradition and have dedicated my entire legal career to protecting our community as a criminal prosecutor. After almost 30 years as a prosecutor, I have decided to continue to protect our community by running for Superior Court Judge.
I graduated from Dartmouth College and USC Law School. While in law school, I worked for the California Attorney General’s Office in Los Angeles where I wrote briefs in criminal appeals. When I returned home, I tried criminal cases for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office as a certified law clerk. After I was sworn in as an attorney, I became a Deputy City Attorney, and continued prosecuting misdemeanor cases in the municipal court. While gaining extensive trial experience, I became a Supervising Trial Deputy, and helped train other Deputy City Attorneys.
Substance, Not Sound Bite.
I took my trial and appellate experience to Federal Court when I became an Assistant United States Attorney. During my 27 years as a federal prosecutor, I prosecuted drug smuggling organizations, alien smuggling organizations, mail theft gangs, home invasion crews, fraudsters, money launderers, identity thieves, bank robbers, and kidnappers. I prosecuted the largest counterfeit currency case in the nation, a defendant who defrauded the Red Cross of charitable funds by falsely claiming his wife had died in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, a defendant who set fire to the Cleveland National Forest, and one of the first stalking cases in our Federal District. These are only a few of the hundreds of cases I have prosecuted.
Using my experience with the California Attorney General, I also practiced before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where I handled over 100 appeals as a federal prosecutor. I was trial and appellate counsel in over a dozen published opinions.
While serving as a federal prosecutor, I was appointed as a Special Deputy District Attorney, and prosecuted violent recidivists in San Diego Superior Court. In 2002 I served as an instructor of trial advocacy in National College of District Attorneys.
Every judge must be fair, impartial, and independent. Every judge must follow the law and decide cases based upon the evidence. These are the obvious requirements. When a judge fails to do this, it is time for a change.
I believe each judge is responsible for maintaining the public's confidence. Just as the public as a whole must be confident in the justice system, each individual must have confidence his or her rights will be protected. The foundation of that confidence is the judge’s competence. The foundation of judicial competence is legal experience deeply rooted in trial practice across a wide range of legal issues.
I believe that the essential foundation of the law is common sense. A judge must never forget that each case involves real life events that affect real people. No matter how small or large a case is, to the people before the court, it is the most important one in the world. When a judge treats the law as only an intellectual or academic exercise, common sense suffers.
I believe that respect for the court system flows from the judge’s competence, not by instilling fear. Instead, the public should feel at ease appearing before a judge, not fearful. A judge must assure that our system of justice remains the best in the world, and the final result of each case is fair. The public must leave the court knowing they have had their say, that the judge listened, and that they were treated fairly and with respect.
I believe judges should follow the law, preserve individuals’ rights, and do the right thing to see justice is done. My guiding principles for this are inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s declaration of the Four Freedoms. Freedom of speech, Freedom to worship, Freedom from want, and Freedom from fear. When a judge keeps these principles in mind, and does all within its power to protect and further these freedoms, then society is better off. If a judge frustrates the furthering of these principles, then it is time for a change.
I would like to hear from you. Please let me know if you are willing to volunteer, put out a yard sign, contribute, or endorse. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your support.