What makes a good judge? The voters will face this question on June 3, when they select one of the four candidates running for an open seat on the Yolo Superior Court.
Picking a judge is not always easy, because the qualities that make a good lawyer are different from those that make a good judge. The most important qualities for a judge — impartiality, fairness and open-mindedness — can be vices for a lawyer, since no client wants a lawyer who is neutral. A forceful advocate is much different than a principled and impartial decision-maker.
Many lawyers successfully transition to a judicial role, but it is not always easy to predict whether a successful lawyer also will make a good judge.
In this race, all four candidates are fine individuals, but only one has truly proven herself on the bench: Janene Beronio. For more than 25 years, Beronio has served as a court commissioner here in Yolo County, wearing a robe and handling cases of all types. (Commissioners possess many but not all of the powers of a Superior Court judge.)
If you meet Janene Beronio, you will find that she is not a back-slapping politician or a bulldog lawyer, but instead has the quiet intelligence and fairness of a judge. For Beronio, judging is not just her job, but it is her identity, formed through decades of service.
We don’t need to guess how Beronio will perform on the bench, because we already know from experience that she is an excellent jurist. That’s why I am supporting her, as is every other Yolo Superior Court judge, active and retired.
The lawyers of Yolo County also have great confidence in her, as 78 percent of the voting members of the Yolo County Bar Association recently chose to endorse Commissioner Beronio, with her three opponents cumulatively receiving 22 percent.
The reason for this overwhelming support is simple: Janene Beronio has proven herself through years of excellent judicial service, and it’s high time that she is elected to the Superior Court.
Judge, Yolo Superior Court