Another harsh sentencing judge

"Court Case Friday" In the “old days” when I was a prosecutor, one of our former old-time Orange County judges gave a criminal a consecutive sentence for each of his dozen serious felonies.   The total was over 300 years. (Such huge consecutive sentences no longer exist under California law.) When the judge imposed the … Continue reading Another harsh sentencing judge

We Can NEVER Judge Another’s Heart

"Sunday Sermon" "Judge Not" Throughout my life -- as a husband, father, and grandfather -- and as a criminal prosecutor, state judge, and ecclesiastical judge -- I have become convinced that we are NEVER in a position to judge another person’s heart. I think this is what Jesus meant when he commanded, “Judge not.” (Luke … Continue reading We Can NEVER Judge Another’s Heart

Father is Prosecuted for Killing the Stranger’s Pitbull that Mutilated his Baby Son

"Court Case Friday" My next door colleague presided over a difficult case that gained national publicity. Pitbull Attacks Baby A father was walking with his two-year-old son on the sidewalk in a strip mall. Outside one of the bars, a man had tied his pitbull to a pole while he went inside. As the father … Continue reading Father is Prosecuted for Killing the Stranger’s Pitbull that Mutilated his Baby Son

Case of the Illegal Hog Farm in Urban Irvine

"Court Case Friday" I spent 10 years as a D.A. prosecuting criminal cases and over 30 years as a judge presiding over them. Most of the thousands of cases I dealt with are very routine, like shop lifting, DUI, and drugs. So, I get excited when something new comes up. One morning, during my misdemeanor … Continue reading Case of the Illegal Hog Farm in Urban Irvine

The D.A.’s Disastrous Embarrassing False Start with a Jury

When I was a rookie deputy district attorney (D.A.) one of my colleagues quickly grabbed a case file and rushed off to court for his first jury trial. He wanted to make a good impression. The judge explained that the defendant waived his right to an attorney and insisted on exercising his constitutional right to … Continue reading The D.A.’s Disastrous Embarrassing False Start with a Jury

A Vietnamese Judge Reminds Us Americans “What We Have”

 In Honor of the Fourth of July I was privileged to be the mentor judge for Nho Nguyen, the first Vietnamese-American judge in the country. He is a living hero. A Living Hero In college, he protested the South Vietnam military dictatorship and led a student democratic movement. He risked his life to establish freedom … Continue reading A Vietnamese Judge Reminds Us Americans “What We Have”

Judges “Threatened” by Their Bench Chairs

One of the greatest threats to judges is their own bench chairs.  We judges get very used to our bench chairs. These plush chairs are very comfortable. Since we spend years sitting in the same bench chair, they get to “know” them and their limits.  Occasionally, we go beyond those limits. My "loaner chair" "made … Continue reading Judges “Threatened” by Their Bench Chairs