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Volume32013verdict9whatwedoDoyoubelieveourtrialbenchhereinCaliorniaistouseterminologypreviouslypreemptedbyacertaintelevisionnetworkairandbalancedArecertainjudgesplainti-orientedoraresomeinclinedtoruleorthedeenseondifcultissuesDowehaveanystupidjudgesWheredothebestjudgescomeromMysensewasthataskingtwentyorsooourmembersthesequestionswouldproduceperhapsydierentvariationsoanswers.SurprisesurpriseIgotaboutahundredandydierentanswers.NowIunderstandandappreciateactuallyreallyappreciatethatalargenumberojudgesreadthesehumblescribblingsandinactsometakethetimetodropmeanoteindicatingthatwhileImnotyetbeingheldincontemptocourtIamtreadingperilouslyclose.Immostgrateulortheireedbackandalwayscomeawaywiseraerhearingromthem.LetmereachbacktotimeslongagowhenmennamedraynorandobrinersatonourSupremeCourt.Intheearly1970stherewasalistojudgestoavoidwhenpossibleastheywereplaintisjudgeswhatevertheheckthatwas.Sufceittosaythatalargepercentageotheolkswhorespondedtomyquestionsconcludedthatourcurrentjudiciaryissufcientlyneutralandthatewmembersothebenchareblatantlyone-sided.Ohtherewerenegativecommentsaboutaewjudgesbutthesenegativecommentsweremoreinthenatureopersonalityissuese.g.asenseoarroganceakatheblackrobediseaseorperhapsacertainlackocivilityconcerningschedulingissues.Onthewholeourmembershipispleasedwiththevastmajorityoourbenchmostparticularlywhencomparedwithstorieswehearromotherstateswherejudgesrunonapartyplatormorelection.Regardingmostoourjudgesitwouldbeextremelydifculttohazardaguessatwhatpoliticalpartytheybelongedtobasedontheirrulings.Apparentlyanumberootherstateswherejudicialelectionsareparty-basedarenotsoblessed.Othetwentyintervieweesperhapsthreeoroursuggestedthatacoupleojudgeswereplainti-orientedbutuponurtherdiscussionwiththemitappearedthatthisopinionwasmorebasedonasingleinstancewhereourcolleaguesreceivedarulingtheydidntwantratherthanasteadystreamorulingsavoringplaintis.NextquestiondowehaveanystupidjudgesOcoursewedojustaswehavestupidattorneysstupidclientsstupidpoliticiansetc.etc.etc.Itsjustcommonsensebutstupidisarelativetermandwhatmaybestupidinajudgemayequalgreatbrilliancetothemanorwomanonthestreet.LawschoolisnowalkintheparkpassingtheCaliorniabarexamdoesnthappenoreveryoneandexcellingsufcientlyatapracticesoastoberecommendedorappointmentbythegovernortothebenchrequiresacertainlevelointelligenceandhardwork.Intelligencedidntseemtobeanissueourcolleagueswereconcernedabout.LastquestionwheredothebestjudgescomeromHeretherewasalmostunanimityoopinion.Fromtheperspectiveoourcolleaguesthebestjudgescomeromtheranksoormerciviltrialattorneysrombothsidesothebarplaintisanddeendants.Againnogreatsurprisehere.TereareanumberomembersothisorganizationandouttslikeCAALAwhohavebecomeoutstandingtrialjudges.ButImsurealloyoucanappreciatethatsomereallygreatjudgesalsocomeromtheranksoacriminalpracticetheD.A.sofceorpublicdeenders.IcanpersonallytestiythataormerDistrictAttorneyromOrangeCountyhasbecomeanoutstandingjudge.Hewasagreattrialattorney.IknowthisbecauseIsatasajurorthroughaourmonthtrialinarstdegreemurdercasewhichheprosecuted.HewasoneothenesttrialattorneysIveeverseenandhasbecomeatrulyexceptionaljudge.Whatisalsointerestinghisatherwasapastpresidentothisorganization.osummarizemysurveyoourcolleagueswehereinCaliorniaareortunatetohaveanoutstandingbenchairhardworkingcreativeandcivil.Asweallknowtheyareundertremendousnancialpressureatpresentandwemustdoeverythingwecantosupportthemandworkwiththemtopreserveperhapsthebesttrialbenchinthecountry.RespectullysubmittedyourhonorsPatrickA.Longpalongldlawyers.comOurBenchwarmersaretheBestPatrickA.Long