“If I hadn’t gone to that meeting…”

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Ed Kakita and Rose Ochi had a plan to go to Sacramento to meet with the governor’s appointments secretary, who was J. Anthony Kline, Tony Kline, who’s now on the Court of Appeal in San Francisco. And it was their purpose to go and tout the Japanese Americans who were ready, willing, able, and wanted to be on the court or be elevated. And it turned out at the last minute that Rose couldn’t go, so Ed asked if I would go with him, and…so I did. And it was at that point I met Tony Kline at this meeting. We talked about these people who we thought should be appointed or elevated, and Tony Kline told us that Governor Jerry Brown was very, very interested in appointing minorities to the bench. And they were looking around the state for people to appoint. And, he said, that they were having a hard time. First of all, you know, in those days, there was a Municipal Court and a Superior Court. To be on the Municipal Court, you had to have five years as a lawyer, and to be on the Superior Court, you needed ten. So he mentioned that they were having a hard time finding people, not only who were qualified but who were interested in doing this. So that was an interesting revelation for me to learn this. It had never, ever occurred to me to seek a judgeship before I heard that. And I thought, well, maybe I would have an opportunity to be appointed. And that’s basically the reason that I put an application in. If I hadn’t gone to that meeting and hadn’t been in that conversation…and also, Ed Kakita was very encouraging [to me].

Date: July 10, 2012
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Lawrence Lan
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

judgeship law Superior Court

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