Publication Date: Friday, February 20, 2004
Two gavels up for grabs
Two gavels up for grabs
(February 20, 2004) Voters will select among five attorneys
By Julie O'Shea
There are five attorneys vying for two judgeships in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Voters will decide March 2 which two will take the bench for six-year terms.
In the running for Seat 7 -- which was vacated by retired Judge Jerald Infantino -- are Griffin Bonini, Lance Burrow and Enrique Colin.
In the Seat 18 race -- a position previously held by Judge Richard Turrone -- are Teresa Guerrero-Daley and William Monahan.
Bonini, who grew up on the Stanford campus and went to Gunn High School in Palo Alto, has been a trial attorney for the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office for nearly a decade.
With experience prosecuting hundreds of criminal trials as well as his five years in private practice, Bonini, 38, said he is ready to take this next step up the judicial ladder.
"It's about service," said Bonini, who has taught trial techniques at Santa Clara University and trained law enforcement officers on sexual assault cases. "To serve our community. I know it's a corny answer, but it's the truth."
A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, who received his law degree from Santa Clara University, Bonini has more than 300 endorsements from other judges, lawyers and criminal defense attorneys.
Lance Burrow, a 54-year-old Army veteran and civil attorney who is a partner in his San Jose firm, believes his life and legal experience make him the best candidate for the judgeship.
"I am deeply committed to the practice of law," Burrow said. "I think I am ready professionally and emotionally."
Burrow, a native of Arizona, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada and went to law school at Lincoln University.
"I think I will be highly ethical. I will work hard," he said.
Likewise, Enrique Colin, who has worked in the Public Defender's Office for more than a decade, said he is ready to work hard if elected to the judgeship next month.
Having served as a judge pro tem since last October, Colin, 43, said he can't wait to do it full-time.
A product of Chicago's inner city, Colin said he'd like to improve the juvenile justice system. In 2000, he sat on the county's juvenile mental health court committee, which explored ways to deal with mentally ill youth offenders.
"I was one of the very few people to survive my neighborhood," Colin said of his childhood, explaining what drove him to act on behalf of juveniles in trouble with the law.
Colin, a Navy veteran, studied business administration at Hayward State University and earned his law degree from Santa Clara University.
Guerrero-Daley, an independent police auditor for San Jose and a judge pro tem for the Santa Clara County Superior Court system, said she is at the top of her profession now and is looking for new challenges, explaining why she is seeking the judgeship.
Guerrero-Daley became a single mother at 16 and dropped out of high school. It wasn't until she was 24 that she went back, and it was then that she decided it was time to turn her life around. She earned her undergraduate degree from San Jose State University and her law degree at Lincoln University.
"I have a passion for public service," she said. "It's an honor; it's a personal honor."
With six years of criminal law under her belt and spending her free time mentoring young girls and teaching classes at Lincoln Law School, Guerrero-Daley, originally from Texas, feels her diverse background will help her to be a compassionate judge.
William "Bill" Monahan, a trial lawyer who grew up in Mountain View, said his main goal, if elected to the judgeship, is to keep his community safe.
It was retired Mountain View police officer Bill Crawford who Monahan credits for urging him to follow his dream of becoming a lawyer.
Monahan earned his political science and economics degree at UC Santa Barbara and studied law at Santa Clara University. A business and civil litigation attorney since 1983, who has acted as judge pro tem for the county, Monahan feels he has made a "real contribution" to the court system and excited to move into the judges chair permanently.
"There is more to public service than what you are paid," he said, adding that it's about "giving back to the community."
E-mail Julie O'Shea at email@example.com
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