Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our view: Elevate Beronio to Superior Court judgeship

From page A8 | May 08, 2014 |

Yolo County voters have the rare opportunity this spring to elect a Superior Court judge who has spent the past 25 years basically doing the job already. She is uniquely qualified for the job she seeks.

COURT COMMISSIONER Janene Beronio has the support of every sitting and retired judge in Yolo County, as well as many practicing attorneys and every law-enforcement organization in the county. We can see why.

Since her appointment as commissioner in 1989, Beronio has undertaken numerous assignments, from traffic, juvenile and family court matters to misdemeanor and felony criminal proceedings. As a judge, she would enjoy a wider range of authority, such as presiding over felony trials, which comprise a significant portion of the court’s calendar.

Beronio seeks to fill the vacancy being created by the retirement of Judge Stephen Mock, who will step down in January after 24 years on the bench.

Yolo’s prosecuting attorneys and local defense attorneys are lining up to endorse her; it’s a remarkable feat to receive such levels of support from both sides of the aisle. Their faith in Beronio is a testament to the respect Yolo’s attorneys have for her intellect, her record of fairness and the knowledge that they’ll all receive equal treatment in her courtroom.

She received the support of more than 75 percent of members of the Yolo County Bar Association, despite the fact that there are three other candidates running on June 3.

BERONIO ALSO has distinguished herself for her innovation. She restructured the misdemeanor court calendar to reduce the backlog of cases while improving the quality of service. Her model is recommended to other courts for improved efficiency.

Juvenile law holds a special place in her heart. She has the distinction of presiding for nearly five years over juvenile law matters — a rigorous assignment typically reserved for Superior Court judges.

“Juvenile court is a very, very hard assignment — it makes some of the other things we do pale in comparison for how intense the issues can become, because you’re talking about kids,” said Judge Timothy Fall. “The judges here knew that she had what it takes.”

Beronio also serves as the judge in the Every 15 Minutes program, which seeks to educate teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving through a realistic scenario played out each spring at Yolo’s high school campuses. Her role is to handle the courtroom appearance of the “drunk” driver, a scene that is videotaped to show students the very real consequences of their actions.

HER CALM DEMEANOR, agile mind and extensive knowledge are mentioned time and again as skills needed on Yolo’s bench. We join those who know her best and recommend her election on June 3 as a Yolo Superior Court judge.



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