After a twenty-eight year career as a practicing attorney, I was honored to be appointed as an Alameda County Superior Court Commissioner. I am currently assigned to the Fremont Hall of Justice where I hear criminal infractions consisting of mostly Vehicle Code, Fish and Game code, and Health and Safety Code violations. While these cases may not seem serious to some, they are very important to the people who come to court seeking justice, whether it is the mother of a teenager charged with speeding more than 100 miles per hour, or the person who does not speak English and has no experience with the criminal justice system.
Recently, a young man appeared in the courtroom where I preside because he had been convicted of driving without a driver’s license. He had been given multiple opportunities to get a valid license in exchange for dismissal of the charge. However, he kept failing the written test. He had appeared before a judge who told him he had one last chance to get his license. When this person appeared before me, I saw that he was out of chances. When he said he still didn’t have his license because he couldn’t pass the test, I talked to him about how my kids struggled to pass their driver’s tests, and we chatted about how he had been studying. I told him he was free to take or leave my advise but I gave him some tips on how he might study better. I decided to give him one more chance. That young person later told me that he did not have a father, that he had never been given that type of parental guidance before, and that he appreciated getting advice to help him succeed. Moments like that are why I want to serve as a judge.
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