Do you currently have any personal relationships with anyone currently seated as a judge in Humboldt? If yes, how will you navigate that personal relationship in the judicial system?
No. I do not have a personal relationship with anyone currently seated as a judge in Humboldt. I have appeared before our local judges, on a daily basis, for many years. I have always maintained the utmost professionalism in the courtroom and believe that any judge that I have appeared before would say that I am an honest and fair litigator with a steady, compassionate and unbiased temperament.
Yes, I do.
Over the past 15 years I’ve worked here in Humboldt, I became friends with several attorneys who later went on to become judges—Larry Killoran, Kaleb Cockrum, and Greg Elvine-Kreis. I also am lucky enough to be in a long-term relationship with Judge Kelly Neel. Kelly and I live together and have a child, Emily (also 2 cats and 4 Chesapeakes).
With respect to how I would navigate my professional relationship with Kelly, there are rules in place to avoid potential conflicts. As is the case now, I would not discuss particulars of on-going cases with Kelly. In fact, at least as I understand it, judges do not discuss on-going cases among themselves. This is because, in the event a conflict arises, any discussions could be considered ex parte communications—speaking about a case without all parties present—which are strictly prohibited. I take the rules of court very seriously and that certainly wouldn’t change, if I’m elected.
My relationships with the other judges I mentioned are cordial and friendly, but are limited to the courthouse. I’ve never socialized with Judge Killoran, Cockrum, or Elvine-Kreis, though I was a supporter of the former. My former support of Judge Killoran wouldn’t cause me any concern. Judge Killoran actually presided over 2 or 3 of my most recent trials and treated me just as he would any other attorney.
I hope this answers your question, which is a good and fair question to ask. If you want any further follow-up, please email me at either Ben4Judge@gmail.com or email@example.com. To date, I’ve personally responded to all the emails I’ve received.