As the campaign winds down and we get closer to the vote on June 5, I am grateful to the VCBA for giving me the opportunity to submit this candidate profile. When I entered my name in this race, I received a few letters and emails from attorneys in the county trying to bully me out of the election. They said I had no chance of winning, that I was unknown to them, and that I should reconsider being a judicial candidate. I think they may have been a little jealous that I had the guts to do this. Directly in opposition to those few individuals, however, are thousands of my supporters. These are people who believe I am the best candidate for the position, that my experience and background will allow me to bring new life and new perspective to the bench, and who understand and see the value in my campaign message. It has been their support and encouragement which has made my campaign so successful at the grass roots level, leveraging the power of social media and the reliability of old fashioned precinct walking.
For those that do not know me, my background is diverse. I am an attorney just like most of you, and I have been practicing for more than ten years. I served as an executive for a technology company. I worked for one of the largest law firms in the United States. I currently work for a law firm in Westlake Village, as well as serve as an adjunct lecturer at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks (where I have taught courses since 2004). I regularly teach classes to undergraduate and graduate students at CLU (right now I am teaching Law & Society and Environmental Law & Policy). I have also taught courses in Constitutional Law, as well as Law & Public Policy.
I pride myself in being a modern attorney, using my technology background to implement innovative solutions to matters involving document and case management. I am a proponent of going paperless in the courts. I understand how electronic document filing should work and be implemented in the court system, and I know how to utilize technology to handle an increasing caseload in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
Now is the time to elect a judge who can help move the courts into the future. To do this, the judge of the future needs to not only understand evidentiary issues, law and motion, and litigation, but that judge also must be willing to embrace technology, to accomplish more with a tighter budget, and to be able to converse with the new generation of attorneys who expect their judges to understand the intricacies of electronic discovery and how businesses work in the technology age. We need judges that can help move cases through the court system in a more expeditious manner, without compromising the legal attention that must be given to each case. We need judges who can relate to where the practice of law is today and where it is going, and who have a clear vision on how a courtroom needs to be managed – not just today but also for the next six years.
I am the only candidate in this election who can accomplish this. I will help lead the courts into the future. And, I will bring my enthusiasm, my experience, and my passion for the law with me to serve this county and to usher new life into the court system. To learn more about me and my campaign, please visit www.bjelke4judge.com.