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Posted by: thepinetree on 04/21/2014 09:32 AM Updated by: thepinetree on 04/21/2014 09:32 AM
Expires: 01/01/2019 12:00 AM

Sixteen Fellow Judges Endorse Hugh K. Swift's Election

San Andreas, CA...Sixteen superior court judges from throughout California have endorsed Judge Hugh K. Swift in his June 3 election campaign to retain his position in the Calaveras County Superior Court. Following an extensive evaluation by the State Bar Association’s Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, Swift was appointed last December to succeed the Hon. Douglas V. Mewhinney who was retiring. He now faces two challengers in the primary election....

At Judge Swift’s January 17 swearing in, Mewhinney said, “ While his work as court executive officer has been a critical and integral part of the Calaveras Superior Court, Judge Swift’s experience as a judicial officer is of even more importance. The commission could not have made a better recommendation.”

Presiding Judge John E. Martin officiated at the swearing in. Several days later, he said he would retire at the end of the year. He said he had delayed making the announcement until Judge Swift was appointed and sworn in.

“Now I feel the court will be in good hands with Judge Swift on board,” Martin said.

Judges from the tri-county area joining Mewhinney and Martin in endorsing Swift are superior court judges Susan C. Harlan and David S. Richmond (Ret.) of Amador, and James A. Boscoe, of Tuolumne.

Other California superior court judges endorsing Swift are Julie Conger (Ret.), Alameda, David Devore and Thomas Kolpacoff, Alpine, J. S. Hermanson, Suzanne N. Kingsbury and Thomas A. Smith (Ret.), El Dorado, W. Kent Hamlin, Fresno, Mark A. Juhas, Los Angeles, Ronald F. Frazier, San Diego, Philip Pennypacker, Santa Clara, and Robin Appel, San Joaquin

“I am very honored to have the support of these highly respected judges,” states Judge Swift. “I will do everything in my power to deserve their trust as I serve the people of Calaveras County.”

A list of all current endorsers of Judge Swift can be found on

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No Subject
Posted on: 2014-04-21 13:57:23   By: Anonymous
I see so many signs regarding elect this guy or that gal for judge.

How many judges are we voting on or are all these lawyers unemployed?

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2014-04-21 15:34:38   By: Anonymous
    Two judges - 1 for mostly civil matters; 1 for mostly criminal.

    But I have a question too. Did the ABA rate all the candidates as to whether they were qualified or not?

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-04-21 17:31:32   By: Anonymous
      No, the state Bar Association only vetted Swift during the application process. That's what makes him such a great choice to REMAIN a judge. Fellow professionals up and down the state believed him to be the best replacement for retiring Judge Douglas Mewhinney.

      None of the other candidates have been approved to be a judge. They are just running because they think they have what is needed to be one. That's where it's important the people electing these judges pay attention and ask questions at all the upcoming Debate Nights.

      [Reply ]

        Re: Brown
        Posted on: 2014-04-21 17:43:45   By: Anonymous
        Do we really want a Jerry Brown appointee?

        [Reply ]

          Re: Brown
          Posted on: 2014-04-21 18:42:01   By: Anonymous
          From the State Bar website: "The mission of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) of the State Bar of California is to assist the governor in the judicial selection process and thereby promote a California judiciary of quality and integrity by providing independent, comprehensive, accurate and fair evaluations of candidates for judicial appointment and nomination."

          If Judge Swift made it through JNE, he absolutely has my vote! It's difficult to overlook our individual party preferences during an election, but this race should not be about Democrats and Republicans. It is a nonpartisan position. I definitely want a judge who was screened by JNE and is endorsed by other judges.

          [Reply ]

            Re: Brown
            Posted on: 2014-04-21 18:59:22   By: Anonymous
            Well put. I agree wholeheartedly!

            [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2014-04-22 19:00:20   By: Anonymous
        I agree - Judge Swift was the perfect choice to replace retiring Judge Mewhinney. He was the most qualified candidate and has been doing an outstanding job since his appointment in December. Judge Swift has an extensive civil and family law background and has my vote in June. Keep Judge Swift on the bench!

        [Reply ]

    Posted on: 2014-04-21 18:16:03   By: Anonymous
    Our Superior Court has two departments. Judge Mewhinney retired from Department 2. Judge Hugh Swift currently serves in Department 2. John Trifilo and Tim Healy are running against Judge Swift.

    Judge Martin is now retiring (from Department 1) so there are three candidates in that race: Grant Barrett, Dana Pfeil and Kenneth Foley.

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-04-21 20:12:35   By: Anonymous
      I vote for Dana Pfiel. She has civil and criminal defense and prosecution experience, which gives her very broad experience.

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2014-04-22 20:43:17   By: Anonymous
        FYI: The JNE Commission initially vetted four nominees and Judge Swift was NOT one of them. He was considered after the process had been on going for more than a year and a half. So what does that say? Maybe the Governor didn't like Barrett as his only Dem choice? Whatever the reason, it's clear only a Dem was going to be appointed. Research it on the Enterprise.

        [Reply ]

          Posted on: 2014-04-22 23:08:27   By: Anonymous
          Governor Brown appoints people from all political parties. Look at the Appointments page on his website.

          Brown chose Swift as the best possible candidate after a thorough vetting process by the Judicial Review team. If this team, and 16 of the neighboring judges, all agree that Hugh Swift is making a respectable judge then that is good enough for me. He deserves our vote to continue what he started.

          The fact both Martin and Mewhinney endorse Swift is a very huge statement. When was the last time you heard or saw the judges endorse anyone??

          [Reply ]

          Posted on: 2014-04-23 15:34:13   By: Anonymous
          I looked on the Enterprise. Swift, Pfeil, Barrett and Steve Airola were the four?

          Found interesting quotes from Pfeil and Barrett about Swift being selected:

          She had applied for the governor-appointed judgeship in Department 2 after Judge Douglas V. Mewhinney announced his own retirement back in 2012. Last month, Hugh Swift received the nod from Gov. Jerry Brown as the appointee, so Pfeil decided not to run in this year’s election for the same post.

          “I was happy that Mr. Swift was elected,” Pfeil said. “I think he’ll do a fine job, and I didn’t want to be in that kind of race. (The governor) made the choice and I’m good with that choice.”

          Governor Jerry Brown, who makes the official selections for Superior Court judges, isn’t the only one who thinks Swift will make a good jurist. Calaveras County Superior Court Commissioner Grant Barrett, who was also a candidate for the position and was endorsed by Mewhinney, believes that Swift is a good choice for moving the court forward.

          “The biggest challenge we’re facing right now is that the court is in a new building and we’re getting used to our new surroundings,” Barrett said. “(Swift) helped with the construction of the building and he’s intimately familiar with all of the facilities. He’s very capable and he’s a fine choice.”

          [Reply ]

Retired Judges Endorsements
Posted on: 2014-04-23 07:12:47   By: Anonymous
Judge Martin and Judge Mewhinney have both endorsed Grant Barrett for Judge Dept 1, in addition to Swift for Dept 2. They have observed the performance of all the candidates, with the exception of Healy, who currently works in San Joaquin County, for decades. They know better than anyone if these attorneys have good decision making skills, knowledge of law and ethical standards. Most of us see or hear about one side or another in legal matters, but judges see it all so their endorsements should carry the most meaning.

[Reply ]

Helpful discussion
Posted on: 2014-04-23 15:02:44   By: Anonymous
Wow! This actually turned in to a very helpful thread. Thanks to all posters.

[Reply ]

    Re: Helpful discussion
    Posted on: 2014-04-23 19:39:59   By: Anonymous
    Without any reservation, I am voting for Judge Hugh Swift for Department 2 and Commissioner Grant Barrett for Department 1. Those are the two most qualified people for the positions.

    [Reply ]

      Posted on: 2014-04-26 11:33:00   By: Anonymous

      [Reply ]

        Posted on: 2016-01-04 14:13:07   By: Anonymous
        Swift is the least qualified as he has never practiced per all the research I have done. He has been a court attorney clerk for various counties.

        [Reply ]

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