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On The Issues

Independence

A Judge must be independent. This means he or she has to be able to understand the issues in a case quickly, understand the applicable law, and make a decision based on that intersection between the facts and the law. I have practiced criminal and civil litigation for 28 years. I have the knowledge to make the right decision.

A Judge has to stand strong for the Constitution and the Rule of Law despite what current public opinion may be, or the political pressures of one side or the other. As a political independent, I am not affiliated with any political party: I am not red, I am not blue, I am not purple. In a non-partisan race, for a non-partisan office, I do not believe that an individual's politics and personal views should be the deciding factor. 

The deciding factor should be whether this individual candidate will make an honest, fair and impartial judge. I believe that starts with independence. And that takes courage. The kind of courage I have exhibited my entire career.

 

Impartiality

A Judge must listen to the individual litigants before him or her and apply the law to the facts in an impartial way, regardless of personal feelings or sympathies. This is easy to say, but harder to do. In order to be impartial, a Judge has to concentrate solely on the case before her or him. But how can that be done? We all have biases, specific or implied, don't we?

In the many cases that I decided over my years volunteering my time to serve as a Judge Pro Tem hearing Small Claims matters for the San Diego Superior Court, I have had to face that task many times. Often my sympathies were with one party over another, but the evidence and the law favored the opposing party. Despite my personal feelings I had to decide the case properly - based on the facts and the law.

In an adversary system, one side wins and one side loses. I learned whenever I have bad news for a party, I look them directly in the eye as I explain the reasons for my ruling. If I can't do that, then I am doing something wrong. Justice requires an Independent and Impartial person to decide disputes, based on the Constitution and the Rule of Law. I have the objectivity and patience to do the right thing in each case whether it is criminal, civil, family, probate or any other case.

Vote for Independent Justice for San Diego June 5!

 

Integrity

A Judge must have integrity in everything he or she says and does. This is a blessing and a curse. It tends to isolate Judges from the society that they are a part of. Yet a Judge's Independence and Impartiality depend on it.

My personal views are strongly held. I have views that people might term "progressive," some people might call "moderate," and some views people could deem "conservative." My record of service to my country and community are strong. Right after high school I enlisted for a 4-year tour of duty in the United States Air Force. After law school I was appointed by then-Mayor Jerry Sanders to the city's Gang Commission. I was elected to a 3-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Bar Association. I have served as the spokesperson for a coalition of human rights organizations in North County "El Grupo," where I also opposed the incumbent when he was an attorney representing members of the so-called San Diego Minutemen who were harassing and assaulting Latino citizens and immigrants. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the University of San Diego Law Alumni Board, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and the Route 78 Rotary Club, as well as the USD TransBorder Institute's Advisory Board.

I have been honored by the Legal Services Corporation and California Legal Rural Assistance, as well as Border Angels for my work with the Latino community. I have represented many people who were criminal defendants, I have represented labor unions, and I have represented small and large business owners. I have represented the rich and powerful, as well as the poor and downtrodden.

But a Judge's personal feelings and political views do not matter. A judge must decide impartially and independently, in order to ensure the integrity of the legal system.

 



Victor Torres for Superior Court Judge 2018
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