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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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Judicial

Los Angeles County Superior CourtCandidate for Judge, Seat 60

Photo of Tony J. Cho

Tony J. Cho

Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles
506,865 votes (45.83%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Through the fair administration of Justice, I hope to increase public confidence in the judicial system.
  • I hope to provide equal access to the courts for all.
  • I will efficiently and effectively manage my courtroom, to ensure all parties have a fair opportunity to be heard.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Deputy District Attorney
Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office (2005–current)
In House Counsel, TM Claims Services, Inc. (2002–2005)

Education

George Washington School of Law Juris Doctor (J.D.), Law (2001)
University of California, Irvine Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science (1998)

Community Activities

Staff Judge Advocate - Captain, California Department of the Military - California State Military Reserve (2010–current)
Facilitator/Instructor, Project LEAD Program - Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office (2010–current)
Member, California Lawyers Association - Criminal Law Executive Committee (2017–current)
Member, Korean Prosecutors Association - Board of Governors (2012–current)
Member, National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association - Treasurer and Board Member (2015–current)

Biography

  • Over 17 years of legal experience in both civil and criminal law
  • 13 years as a LA County Deputy District Attorney, with 68 jury trials
  • Specialized in elder abuse prosecution for the past 5 years
  • 8 years as a Military Lawyer with the CA State Military Reserve 

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Los Angeles County Democratic Party

Organizations (17)

  • Association of Deputy District Attorneys
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • Long Beach Peace Officers Association
  • New Frontier Democratic Party
  • Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL)
  • Montebello Police Officers Association (MPOA)
  • Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association (LACPPOA)
  • Korean American Democratic Committee (KADC)
  • North Valley Democratic Club
  • Culver City Democratic Club
  • Canada Crescenta Democratic Club
  • Hubert Humphrey Democratic Club
  • East Area Progressive Democrats
  • Long Beach Democratic Club
  • Latino Prosecutors Association (LPA)
  • National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association (NAPIPA)
  • Korean American Bar Association

Elected Officials (8)

  • Linda Sanchez, U.S. Congresswoman
  • Miguel Santiago, Assemblymember
  • Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Councilmember
  • Ed Chau, Assemblymember
  • David Ryu, Los Angeles City Councilmember
  • Steve Cooley, Former Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • Jeffrey Prang, Los Angeles County Assessor
  • Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney

Individuals (1)

  • Over 50 Los Angeles Superior Court Judges

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County (3)

What criteria are most important for voters to use in evaluating judicial candidates?
Answer from Tony J. Cho:

It is important for voters to be informed about judicial candidates.  In that regard, I believe that endorsements are critical in evaluating a judicial candidate.  For instance, endorsements from Judges, law enforcement, unions, elected officials, and organizations are all important in vetting judicial candidates.

The judicial candidates work experience is also important.  While the overall years of experience may be a factor to be considered, the true test is the quality of the years in experience.  Voters should consider the number of jury trials the candidate has completed, the seriousness and complexity of the cases that the candidate has handled, the candidate's reputation in the office, and the broad array of experiences.  

Lastly, character is critical in evaluating a judicial candidate.  This includes the candidate's integrity, work ethic, temperment, and demeanor.

How can courts and judges better assure that all people have adequate access to legal help and the legal system?
Answer from Tony J. Cho:

Adequate access to the legal system begins with efficient courtrooms and courthouses.  Mandating that the parties are ready when the courtroom opens and efficiently running a courtroom calendar is critical in access to Justice.  

Judges set the tone in their courtrooms.  I would promptly take the bench every morning, and be fully prepared to handle every case on calendar.  I would also expect the attorneys and parties who appear in my courtroom to be similarly prompt, prepared, and effectively use the time alloted.

The courts should also provide adequate and easily accessible resources to the public by way of self-help centers, readily available information on websites, and easy to follow instructions to navigate the legal system.

Most defendants are held in County jail before trial because they are not able, due to low income or homelessness, to secure bail imposed by the Court at their arraignment.  Does California’s system of imposing bail on defendants need reform?  If so, what would you recommend?
Answer from Tony J. Cho:

The Judicial Ethics Canon 5B(1) prohibits a candidate in a judicial election from making statements that would commit the candidate with respect to issues that could come before the courts.  I would note, however, that the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court has publicly stated that the bail system is in need of reform.  Also, in the case of In re Humphrey, the California Court of Appeals stated that courts must consider a defendant's ability to pay in determining appropriate bail.  The Attorney General's Office has decided not to appeal this judgment, which essentially establishes the In re Humphrey standard is the law in California.  As a judge, I would uphold the law of the State of California.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am a registered Democrat.  But specifically as to my political philosophy as a judicial candidate, I believe in the fair administration of Justice. 

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