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|Additional Endorsements for Robert Lemkau|
I am constantly updating the Endorsements page of my Web site, which you can visit at http://www.votejudgelemkau.com/endorse.html
James C. McGuire, Retired Superior Court Judge
As the then Presiding Judge of the Superior Court for San Bernardino I was responsible for the transfer of Judge Lemkau to Victorville. Never was Judge Lemkau's ability to make honest, fair and appropriate decisions in his calendar involving Sexually Violent Predators an issue. Judge Lemkau has a reputation for hard work and dedication to the Bench which is admired by myself and all of the judicial officers to whom I have spoken. A change of assignment and venue is the best way to make a hardworking judge such as Judge Lemkau a utility member of the Bench and it has been the practice in this county for many years.
Unfortunately, the justice system in San Bernardino County is the most judicially understaffed in the state of California. The judicial officers of San Bernardino County must handle calendars which are far more voluminous than the other counties of California. As such, a judicial officer in our County has to be hardworking, efficient and dedicated to long hours of decision making as well as calendar management. Although the State Legislature has approved addition judicial positions for our county, due to on-going budge issues it has failed to fund those positions. Therefore, Judges sitting in San Bernardino County must work tirelessly at providing open access to everyone seeking judicial determinations, whether they involve a civil or criminal case. Judge Lemkau has a proven record of putting forth the time and effort so vital to accomplishing this goal.
It is quite improper to look back to one decision and state that is the medal of a Judge. Our Judges must make decisions in a timely fashion so that all may have the benefit of appearing in our Courts. Every judicial officer has made a decision which, if blessed with foreknowledge of the outcome, would have made it differently. I have reviewed the history of the decision Judge Lemkau made in the case which his opponent is criticizing and, as a twenty year veteran of the bench having handled all case types, I well may have made the same decision under the circumstances. Of course, I was not, nor were those who criticize Judge Lemkau's decision, privy to the mannerisms and attitudes of the parties during the hearing. To determine whether a decision is appropriate a Judge must look to many factors including the history of the case; the evidence before him or her; the best interest of the parties, including, in this type of case, that children have appropriate access to both parents; whether one party has attempted to mislead the court in the past, to name just a few. Judge Lemkau obviously considered these issues in making his decision.
For more, please visit http://www.votejudgelemkau.com/endorse.html#mcguire
Larry W. Allen, Judge of the Superior Court
As you recall, shortly after the tragic events of the Tagle matter became known, in my position as the Supervising Judge of the Victorville Court, I personally reviewed the court file and transcript of the matter. I have some experience with Domestic Violence cases and have served on the bench almost 19 years and served a rotation on the family law calendar in Victorville. I have also handled Domestic Violence matters on the general criminal calendar and for a short while handled the criminal Domestic Violence calendar in Victorville. While I was the County Presiding Judge I directed that the Domestic Violence calendar started by Judge Martin in the Central Court be expanded to the Rancho and Victorville Courts. Prior to taking the bench I served on the Board of Directors of a local Domestic Violence program. Earlier in 2010 just prior to the tragic events of this case I had attended a three-day Domestic Violence Workshop.
It was with the above background and experience that I reviewed this matter and as I told you at the time, it is my opinion that based on the information that was available to you at the time, your decision to deny the ex parte request to terminate visitation, refer the matter to family court services and set it for a further hearing was fully supportable and well within the range of appropriate responses. Specific factors are the petitioner had agreed to the current visitation custody order only a few months before while represented by an attorney; a similar request had twice been denied by two fellow judges shortly before and there was a notation on a minute order that the father was found not to be a threat to the minor; the only significant change since the last hearing was an email story that was not directly traceable to the respondent and which he denied sending.
We are not clairvoyant and there is no way to know what the outcome of this matter would have been had you granted the request. While hindsight is always 20/20 we do not have the advantage of foresight. Restraining orders are valuable tools for both the courts and law enforcement but they are not magic shields. It is not unheard of for someone to violate an order and do physical harm or worse in violation of the order. It is not always possible to make rational predictions of irrational behavior and we as judges must rule on the facts that we have before us within the boundaries of the law.
Richard A. "Rick" Young, Supervising Deputy District Attorney, Fontana Office
I have recently heard claims that Judge Robert Lemkau was "blanket papered" while he was assigned to the Central Courthouse.
The term "blanket papered" means that either the defense or prosecution filed a 170.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure affidavit on every case assigned to that judge. Essentially this is a peremptory challenge to a judge stating that he or she can not be fair, but does not require the party to state any specific reasons.
I was a Supervising Deputy District Attorney assigned to the Central District Attorney's Office while Judge Lemkau was assigned to the Central Courthouse. There were no 170.6 CCP affidavits filed by the District Attorney's Office against Judge Lemkau during that time. I can recall one 170.6 CCP affidavit filed by the Public Defenders Office during that time.
Claims that he was "blanket papered" are false.
P. Timothy Pittullo, Joseph W. Howington, Sissie L. Barker & Christopher R. Abernathy The Law Offices of Pittullo, Howington, Barker & Abernathy
The Law Offices of Pittullo, Howington, Barker & Abernathy, LLP have more than 100 years of combined experience in the Family Law Courts of San Bernardino County. Judge Lemkau has been known to this firm for more than 25 years both as a former District Attorney and now as a sitting Family Law Judge. Throughout his tenure with the District Attorney's Office he earned his reputation of being tough on crime while focusing his attention toward the needs and protection of children.
The San Bernardino County Family Law Court now has the good fortune to call Judge Robert Lemkau one of its own. Since taking on the assignment in the Desert District, he has quickly earned the reputation by family law attorneys throughout the county as one of the most admired Judges currently sitting on the Family Law Bench.
Judge Lemkau is a man of high integrity, who understands and appreciates the complexities of family law. He brings to the table a wealth of information, is highly educated, takes pro-active steps to improve the system, avidly pursues continuing education and most importantly, demonstrates on a daily basis how much he cares.
It is with great honor that P. Timothy Pittullo, Joseph W. Howington, Sissie L. Barker & Christopher R. Abernathy whole-heartedly offer their endorsement for the re-election of Judge Robert Lemkau.
Tim Taggart, Attorney at Law
There are two candidates running for Superior Court: Judge Lemkau, 34 years of a prosecutor -- 13 of those prosecuting crimes against children, and three years sitting on the Superior Court, Major of the U.S. Army Reserve, retired; and James Hosking, who barely satisfies the 10-year requirement of practicing law, currently a prosecutor living in Riverside.
Kerry C. Justice
I have read the Daily Press articles regarding the murder-suicide of Stephen Garcia and his infant son, Wyatt, followed by the Feb. 15 story about Deputy District Attorney James Hosking deciding to run for election against Judge Robert Lemkau, who had denied issuing a restraining order against Garcia.
As someone who practiced family law for 10 years, I would suggest that, rather than place all of the blame in this tragic case on Judge Robert Lemkau, some of the focus should be directed to some very real problems.
State budget cuts have caused overwhelmed judges and court commissioners to have unmanageable caseloads and inadequate administrative and clerical assistance. In addition to not having enough judges, the state and county have taken away helpful services like minor's counsel, which is where the court appoints a local family law attorney to advocate for children. Also, the state and county have cut back on resources for Family Court Services, which is set up like a counseling office where the mediators are trained in psychology and are more capable of determining if either parent is any type of threat to children. In the past, Judge Lemkau would have been able to send something like the Tagle/Garcia case to Family Court Services so that more information could be gathered.
The voters may also wish to push for a change in the way judges are elected. For instance, in Nevada, judicial candidates can run for specific court seats like family law, civil, or criminal. In California, voters often understandably express a preference for former prosecutors because of their concerns about crime, even though upon being elected a former prosecutor could be assigned to civil or family law regardless of experience.
An ex parte (emergency) hearing is a hearing for temporary or emergency relief. California Rules of Court Rule 3.1201 requires that "A request for ex parte relief must be in writing and must include the following: (1) An application containing the case caption and the relief requested; (2) A declaration in support of the application making the factual showing required under rule 3.1202(c); (3) A declaration based on personal knowledge of the notice given under rule 3.1204; (4) A memorandum; and (5) A proposed order."
If any of those rules are not followed, the judge must deny the temporary relief requested.
Due process required the mother to put all of her allegation in her pleadings (paperwork filed with the court) so that the other party had notice of her allegations. The mother, even though she meant well and attempted to represent herself, probably failed to follow the rules. Any person who undertakes self-representation in court is charged by the law with knowing all of the laws just as though he or she were an attorney.
I have personally witnessed Judge Lemkau take every step he could to make sure he was following the law. If the mother in this case did not follow the rules, no judicial officer could have granted the restraining orders.
Judge Lemkau may have pulled up other court proceedings on his computer an nay have noticed there was a mutual restraining order granted against mother and her prior spouse about two years ago under an entirely different judge who made findings that both she and the prior spouse engaged in "mutual combat." That, and the fact that two other judges denied restraining orders before, could have caused him to believe the mother was not credible, or feel as though she was one of the many litigants we see crying wolf in an effort to get an upper hand on custody and support issues.
I could not read the file to find out whether it followed the rules, see how the parents presented, did not have the court database at my fingertips at that moment, all as he did. All I saw was the transcript, which is a small piece of a very large and complicated puzzle.
Judges have an extremely difficult and thankless job. Half of all litigants are unhappy and dislike the judge, regardless of who the judge is. In my professional experience, Judge Lemkau is considerate and respectful. He has cared enough to attend MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) courses he was not required to attend, and he reads everything in the file.
Generally, we have a great group of judicial officers in the High Desert, which is why so many local attorneys do not travel to other jurisdictions.
I do not know Mr. Hosking, but I do know that Judge Lemkau is a former Deputy District Attorney as well. We need to at least give this man credit for the 13 years he ensured criminals who did horrible things to children went to jail for a long time.
I cannot speak for all my colleagues in family law, but many of us agree that having a new judge with less experience than Judge Lemkau would only be a step back for us. The voters should consider that.
Kerry C. Justice practices law in Victorville.
Keith & Sharon Brown
We have been acquainted with Judge Robert Lemkau for about 15 years. We know him to be an honest, ethical, dependable man. He has a strong work ethic. He feels a deep responsibility for the work he does, for upholding the law, and he always give his utmost. His experience in family law has demonstrated his particular concern for protecting the rights of children.
I am Attorney Devin Weisberg. I recently defended a theft case...
Richard and Barbara Taylor
We have known Judge Bob Lemkau for at least 20 years. We have found him to be an ethical and moral person. We would have no problem trusting his word and judgment. We believe that he is a man of courage and conviction and that he takes the job of serving our community very seriously. We know him to be a honest man. We strongly endorse Judge Lemkau and believe that he is the right man for the job.
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