LJ: Yes. t had always been my plan to run at some point in time, and this basically just presented an opening.
TAN: What do you feel makes a good district judge?
LJ: I think definitely honesty and ethics to start with, because even though a judge is to make impartial decisions and apply the law to the facts, the judge is still a person. And you have to look at the quality of the person that’s filling the candidacy.
So I think honesty, integrity. A good bit of fortitude, because decisions are going to be tough from time to time. It’s not always going to be the easiest or most popular.
I think also that, having been a sole practitioner for 18 years, I’ve developed the fortitude necessary to be the judge. I’ve had nobody to rely on but myself, basically, except some good friends who are lawyers who have given advice from time to time. But I’ve learned to stand on my own two feet.
I’m independent — always have been, even before law school ever entered my mind. I think that, also, would lend itself to being able to serve in the capacity of any judge, whether it’s district or associate or special.
TAN: Of those characteristics, which do you think is the most important? Why?
LJ: I think the ability to be impartial and to assess the facts, however they are presented. To see all sides of the situation and then to have the ability to apply the law to the facts.
In law school, they taught us to use a formula. It’s an acronym, and it’s called IRAC. It stands for “issues, rule, analysis, conclusion,” and I think that’s what a judge also would use when looking at facts as presented and making a ruling. You have to discern the issues, find the rule of law that applies, analyze the situation and draw a conclusion.