SOURCE: Committee to Retain Judge Lemkau

June 07, 2010 10:30 ET

Family-Law Attorneys Support Judge Robert Lemkau for San Bernardino County Superior Court

Attorneys Voice Their Outrage of Opponent's 'Smear' Campaign Focusing on a Single Ruling

ALTA LOMA, CA--(Marketwire - June 7, 2010) - Nearing the upcoming June 8 election, Judge Robert Lemkau reports a large upswing of support from the legal community and local citizens. Many attorneys experienced in practicing family law have approached the press and have gone on record to publicly support Judge Lemkau, particularly in light of the one-topic smear campaign conducted by Judge Lemkau's opponent.

Attorney Sissie Barker, who has spent her career fighting for the rights of children, told the San Bernardino Bulletin that it is "inherently unfair for anyone to use the ruling in one case to base their entire campaign on."

Barker has had access to the transcripts in the case, and said that every legal professional she has spoken with "would have ruled in exactly the same way" on the Tagle/Garcia case. Family-law attorney Kerrie Justice agrees that Lemkau "ruled properly based upon what he had before him," particularly in light of the fact that both Tagle and Garcia "attempted to hand the judge paperwork."

"A judge will have 50 to 70 cases waiting on calendar" on any given day, Justice told the Bulletin. "It's the litigants' obligation to put everything in their pleadings" before they stand before the judge; neither Tagle nor Garcia were represented by attorneys.

"The outcome is tragic, and it has affected me deeply," Judge Lemkau said. "The public needs to understand that I took the bench on January 21 only after I reviewed the file. I was very familiar with the facts and circumstances of the case. There had previously been a full evidentiary hearing in the matter, and two judges ruled within weeks of each other that the father was not a threat to the child. The couple also had made an amicable custody agreement on their own, in my court, a mere five weeks before."

Superior Court Judge Larry W. Allen wrote to Judge Lemkau during the campaign, saying, "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."

Rumors that Lemkau was transferred to Victorville as a punishment are false.

"As the then Presiding Judge of the Superior Court for San Bernardino I was responsible for the transfer of Judge Lemkau to Victorville. 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," said retired Supervising Judge James McGuire. "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."

Rumors that Judge Lemkau was "blanket papered" by attorneys who felt he was an unqualified jurist are untrue. Assistant District Attorney Dennis Christy and Supervising Deputy District Attorney Rick Young have both stated that Lemkau was never "blanket papered."

"I am most concerned that the only thing my opponent seems to discuss is the tragic outcome of the Garcia matter. He has yet to say anything about what qualifications he would bring to the bench. If elected, I intend to push hard for legislation that will create funding for Minor's Counsel attorneys to represent, free of charge, the youngsters who so desperately need a voice in family-law court," Judge Lemkau said.

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