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Dissenting Opinion on D.A.'s Office

* On Feb. 19, The Times printed a stinging indictment of the Orange County district attorney’s office (editorial, “How Not to Conduct a Trial”). Because the Gionis case was not heard in my court, it would be inappropriate for me to address the outcome of that case, but The Times’ statement: “This case should remind prosecutors of the need to follow the rules,” cannot be left unchallenged.

Having sat as a jurist in Orange County for 18 years, I have heard hundreds of criminal cases.

Without exception, the men and women of the district attorney’s office have conducted themselves ethically, courteously and professionally, both to myself and the jurors. Never have I had to remind a prosecutor to “follow the rules.”

In order to be properly prepared on complex issues of law, these dedicated public servants frequently spend evenings and weekends buried in a case file instead of enjoying their families.

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To leave the members of our community with the impression that these lawyers are legal rogue elephants, trampling on the law, is a gross distortion of the truth.

What they do deserve is a heartfelt thank you.

LUIS CARDENAS

Judge, Superior Court

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Cardenas is Presiding Judge of the Orange County Superior Court’s Westminster operations.


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