David Lim / Louis Goodman – Podcast Transcript

[00:00:00] Louis Goodman: Hello, and welcome to Love Thy  Lawyer. Where we talk to real lawyers about their lives in and out of the practice of law, how they got to be lawyers and what their experience has been. I’m Louis Goodman, the host of the show, and yes, I’m a lawyer. Nobody’s perfect. We’re going to do something a little different on Love Thy Lawyer.

I’m talking with attorney David Lim and David and I have in common, and we both ran for judge a few years ago. Not against each other, in different campaigns and since it’s election season, and since we have a judicial race,  I thought it would be interesting to talk to David about his experience running for judge.

And I would [00:01:00] talk to him about my experience, about running for judge, and we would make a podcast out of it. So with that, David  when did you first start thinking about being a judge?

David Lim: Well, Louis, I want to first thank you for having me on the podcast and reopening old wounds. I think, you know, it’s a lot of fun to have to relive, you know, some of your defeats as a lawyer.

But all kidding aside, you know, you and I always joke that we belong to a very elite club of good lawyers who didn’t win their judicial races.

Louis Goodman: And let me say this, welcome back to Love Thy Lawyer, because we’ve had you on and we did a very successful interview with you a month or two ago. So thank you for coming back.

David Lim: That’s great to be back it was an honor to be asked back, but to answer your question, I ran for judge in 2016. And I’ve been thinking about it probably for, Oh, probably three or four years before that.  How about you, when did you start thinking about running for Judge, [00:02:00] when did you run?

Louis Goodman: I ran in 2010 and  I had never really thought about running for judge. I put in an application because Oh God years ago, when I first left the DA’s office, I was very good friends with John Purchio , who was a retired Alameda County judge. And he sort of put the notion in my head that it was something that I should aspire to and that I should do and that I should work on.  So I did that and I put in my application with Gray Davis and I was essentially kind of informally promised that I would get an appointment in Gray Davis’ second term. However, as we all know, Gray Davis didn’t really even manage to finish his first term. So there went my judicial aspirations and a lot of politicking kind of down the drain.

So what happened with [00:03:00] me is in late 2009, it was before Christmas. I know that Judge Hashimoto, Roy Hashimoto called me into his chambers. And he said, you know, there’s going to be a judicial opening. I think that you should run for it. And so that’s what got me started thinking about running. And I thought about like turned it over in my mind.

I talked to my family and decided, okay,  this was something that I was going to do. So that’s how I got started. What about you?

David Lim: Yeah. So, you know, in 2016, I was still working for the District Attorney’s Office in Alameda County, but I sort of had a side job. Where I was an elected member of the San Mateo City Council.

I’d been elected in 2009. I had won my second term in 2013. So I come off of  two successful campaigns where, you know, one election and retain my seat as a City [00:04:00] Council member. And kind of like you in 2016, I mean, I’d always thought about becoming a judge. I’d never been kind of gone through with the application process, but in 2016, there were two open seats.

Actually three open seats and that was unheard of at the time. I mean, we had three judges who were retiring and letting their seats go open to election. And so the Governor wasn’t going to fill those spots. And so there was a lot of buzz in the County about who was going to run for those three seats.

And I remember. The weekend before the filing deadline, there was still no clear notion of who was going to run. And people started to tell me, hey you should put in your name. You know,  you’re a politician, you’ve won elections before, you know how to campaign, you know, maybe if you get in there, people will decide not to run against you.  And, you know, we think you’d be a good judge. And so people were encouraging you to do it. And I remember seeing, I think it was the Monday or Tuesday before the filing deadline and my kids were in school, [00:05:00] but for whatever reason, my wife and I had had a day off. And so we went and got breakfast together, which with three young kids is almost unheard of.

And we were sitting there over breakfast burritos and tater tots and we saw, you know, what the heck. You know, we’ve always been open for an adventure and she says, you like the law, you’ve always thought about being a judge. You know, why don’t you put your name in, you know, what’s the worst that can happen that we, as we saw as we thought.

And so, you know, got it. And that leads me into my next story, but I want to ask you a question. So what was your filing deadline like? I mean, did you have a campaign staff? You know, what did you kind of plan out your strategy for how you were going to file and then how you, how you were going to run the campaign?

Louis Goodman: Yeah, well, unlike you, I’d never run for office. So, I had no experience whatsoever  with running or filing, it was completely new to me. Setting up a bank account. So I hired a [00:06:00] professional, you know, who runs campaigns and talk. I remember having this meeting with them and, and they just kind of told me what to do.

And so I did it, it was frightening. I remember going down to the basement of the courthouse where the, you know, the elections offices and there were all these people down there who were filing for different offices around the County for Supervisor, for City Council elections. And it was just, I was just so,  like really frightened, I have to say. Yeah. And so  I remember that day very, very clearly. And I also remember it being pretty expensive. I had to write a check in order to get the ballot statement printed. And I don’t know, it was like about 17, [00:07:00] $18,000. So it just seemed like a lot of money.  I think it’s even more now.

David Lim: Yeah. You know, I remember that too. And you know, in hindsight, I actually paused because I did not know the filing fee was that expensive because in San Mateo County, when I ran for Council, they base the fee based on the number of voters in your election and because of judicial races, a countywide election.

Yeah, it was up there. I remember it was in the tens of thousands of dollars and, you know, thinking back in hindsight, I should have just put my checking checkbook back in my pocket and walked away. That was first notion that maybe I hadn’t thought this through as well as I should have, because it was a lot of money.

I mean, for council, I probably paid, maybe a thousand dollars or a couple thousand dollars, but it was not so cost prohibitive. The other thing I’ll tell you is, I don’t know, did you know who your opponents were going to be when you went down to file or were you still sort of in the dark as to who was going to come out of the woodwork and run against you?

Louis Goodman:  I’m not sure.  I’m not sure [00:08:00] if  I knew at the time that I filed who else was going to file. I just don’t remember.

David Lim: Yeah, I remember because we had three seats and  Margaret Fujioka, now Judge Fujioka had laid the groundwork for a run a year before, so she had all the endorsements lined up and she had a campaign staff already to go. And so nobody was going to challenge her.  My friend, Jennifer Madden, who was in the DA’s office with me at the time, now Judge Madden was going to run for another seat and she had an opponent whose name I can’t remember, but a nice lawyer, I think out of a Livermore Pleasanton area. And then there was a third seat. I had no idea who was going to be in my third seat and I had no Intel. I didn’t hear about anything, but as it turns out, Barbara Thomas, who you and I know is a defense attorney in a nice lady, nice attorney and Scott Jackson, who was my former colleague in Alameda County DA’s office and at that time was working, I believe [00:09:00] either for Golden Gate Law School or a Law Firm or both. And he’s now Judge Jackson. He ended up winning, they ended up filing and I joked with both of them after the fact that if they had managed to catch me down there, just before I wrote that check, it wouldn’t have taken much for them to convince me not to write that check.

You know, they said, Hey, you know, we’re running because I admired both of them. I think Barbara is a very good lawyer. And Scott is an excellent Jurist now.  If either one of them had caught me at that door and then I had heard how much it was to pay that filing fee, I probably would have said, you know what, good luck you guys.

You can go fight this out and you know, maybe I’ll put my application in. Maybe I’ll run it some other time, but I think I would have walked away. And I think I told that to them and I think Scott laughed. And I think Barbara thought I was making fun of her, which I wasn’t. I was very serious. I said, you know, I could have used that money to buy a car or something.

You know, I didn’t need to be out here with you guys. You, the campaign trail, I’ve done all that before. So I do remember that. Yeah. I wish I had known beforehand that they were going to run.

Louis Goodman: Well, you know, [00:10:00] Barbara had prior electoral experience as well. She had been on the City Council for the City of Alameda, had run for that office and had been elected.

David Lim: Oh, that’s right. I forgot that. So, yeah, so that was even more reason for me not to, you know, jump in that race and, you know, Scott and I were friends and we remained friends and yeah, and you know, after the fact that we sort of laughed at each other saying, you know,  we could have saved each other some heartache.

So how did your campaign go?  Did you do any studies reading books on how to campaign, or did you just lean on your consultants?

Louis Goodman: I read a couple of books. One was a book that my consultant had written about how to run a campaign and things to do. And I don’t know, I think a lot of these things are somewhat more geared to people who are running for School Board or for City Council rather than a judicial race.

 But yeah, [00:11:00] I read that book and then Don Squires  gave me a book. He was very much in my corner  and he gave me a book as well on, you know, how to campaign and that sort of thing. And you know, I thought that there was  some good information  in both of those books, but I was really such a babe in the woods, in terms of politics. And then I started raising money too. And I was aware of what it was going to cost to run this thing. And I mean, just to, you know, just to be very straight about it, I think I spent about $150,000 on my campaign and  I raised about half of that and about the other half was my own money.

David Lim: Yeah. It’s not cheap thing. I’ve heard of other candidates who I won’t name because we don’t have their permission, but yeah, other people who could join our club, Louis of [00:12:00] good lawyers who didn’t win to judicial campaigns have told me how much they’ve spent. And it is a little mind boggling. I’ll tell you, and I’m not gloating.

I’m not making fun of you. My wife and I agreed that we were going to put a very strict limit on the amount of money that we spent on the campaign. And I think I have the benefit of having been an elected before I sort of have the self-discipline to know, not to mortgage my house. And, you know, I have three kids who are still very young.

None of them are in college yet. So I have, you know, their long-term financial wellbeing to think of. And so I, we had a $10,000 cap on personal expenditures for the campaign that we agreed. I wasn’t going to spend more than $10,000 of our own money. And I blew that in the campaign finance statement right out the door.

Yeah. It was gone.  Right after that, I was like, okay, I guess I better raise money.

Louis Goodman: Well, I just couldn’t believe how expensive these things were, like the signs and the printings and everything required that they have a [00:13:00] union bug on it. And it was just, I mean, it was just amazing to me how expensive it was. We also ran some TV advertising and it was just a lot of money.

And I was,  I just,  had had it budgeted. I had the money. I was, I didn’t take a second on my house. And you know, so, I mean, it was,  I went into it with eyes wide open as far as the money is concerned.

David Lim: So what, how did you feel during the campaign? Do you have a good time doing it? Was it a grueling for you?

Louis Goodman: You know, there were parts of it that were really fun and really interesting. I, some, you know, there were certain events that I went to that just worked and they were just fun and they were good and the people were fun and sometimes the other candidates would be there and sometimes they weren’t there.

You know, some of it was, it was fun going out and meeting a lot of people  [00:14:00] and just seeing  these places and these venues that  I’d really never been before, you know, like the Hayward Democratic Club or the MGO club in Oakland, or there was this, I don’t know, maybe you’ve been there, there’s some Democrats that meet at the Humanist Hall in downtown Oakland. And then I don’t know how many Rotary meetings I went to and Kiwanis meetings and lunches and breakfasts and those sorts of things. Some of are really fun, but some of them were also just really grueling, you know.  I thought that the schedule was brutal, that every morning I had some breakfast to go to every lunch, I had some lunch to go to every evening I was out an event. And then I’d be making phone calls, dialing for dollars, and also trying to keep my law practice going. So it was. [00:15:00]   a difficult time for me.  A lot of my campaign that seemed took place in January, February, March. And it seemed to me that it was raining all the time.

David Lim: Well, maybe that was a symbolism for how you actually felt Louis. Maybe it wasn’t really raining. It was just in your heart that it was raining.

Louis Goodman: Maybe. How about you? What was your take on, you know, the campaign?

David Lim: better prepared? And I guess I was because I had campaigned before, but I had never done a countywide campaign.

And then, you know,

Louis Goodman: It’s big, isn’t it?

David Lim: It’s huge. And then here’s the thing that I don’t think  our listeners realize even some of our lawyer listeners, that when you run for judge, it is not like any other political campaigns. So I ran for City Council and, you know, that’s a more traditional political race where you can make promises like I’m going to the streets, I’m going to, you know, make our parks better. And you know, everybody’s going to get, you know, the garbage can, you know, bigger, garbage [00:16:00] cans, so you can throw away more trash and keep your streets cleaner. You can make those sorts of crazy promises as a Council Member, you know, cause you’re running for office. But when you run for judge, you have to sign an oath that you will abide by the Judicial Rules of Conduct, which means you have to start acting Judicial, which means you cannot prejudge any issue.

You can’t offer opinions about things because that’s not the role of a judge. And so I found, honestly I found the judicial campaign to be in reality boring, because you couldn’t take a position on anything.   People would ask you, what’s your view on the death penalty? What’s your view on the three strikes laws?  You know, what’s your take on our drug treatment programs?   And you’re only allowed to say, you know, if elected, I will be fair and impartial, I will look at each case on its merits and I will do my best to uphold the law. Right. Basically, that’s all you could say.

Louis Goodman: And you can say it, you can say, yeah, that’s right.

David Lim: And so, you know, I, towards the mid, towards the end of the campaign, I would be sitting around with the other candidates [00:17:00] at, you know, whatever function we were at and we’d be all like, why are we here? We could just send one of us. And, you know, one person could say I’ve done behalf of all the candidates.

We would be fair and impartial. We’ll follow the law and we will not prejudge any issue. Because all of us were extremely ethical. And, you know, even though you have moments of them being your competitors and you definitely want to win, I can say, and I don’t think I’m looking through rose colored glasses.

I had fun with my opponents, with Barbara and Scott. You know, we didn’t go at each other’s throats and we never, we did what we needed to do to win, but you’re sort of limited to what you could say and do. And it almost became humorous. And I thought this is goofy. This is a really goofy way to run a campaign.

And I was, I almost, you know, I almost stressed out because in addition to running the campaign, I was still, you know, a deputy district attorney during the daytime. So I had my court obligations and obligations to the People of the state of California, but then you remember, I was always also a council member.

So I was [00:18:00] doing my council meetings. I had constituents to take it care of here in San Mateo. And so I was out yeah, a lot, you know, that just it’s about broken because there was almost too much on my plate where I thought, you know, I may have bitten off more than that I can chew, but I think it’s really not being able to really flesh out where you stand on things that makes judicial races sort of, sort of

Louis Goodman: goofy.

Yeah. I really agree. Did you have any sort of like go to people? I mean, I had a couple of real kind of go to people like if a question or a problem came up or just some people who I would, would talk to on a regular basis, because I have to say that I found, I found the whole thing to be really kind of, of a lonely experience.

David Lim: You know, I think I had one up on you there, Louis, where I had, because I was in the political game for a while. I knew people in politics. So I knew some of the members of the Democratic Club I met. I knew people from the unions and those [00:19:00] were good friends who would give me Intel on what they thought about things.

And I had a friend who was a consultant and she helped me and I hired her to do a little bit of work just to kind of keep me on the straight and narrow in terms of being organized. So you know, I was in the political game. And so I kind of liked that whole political gossip thing. So I found that to be interesting.

I mean, I met some wonderful people as well. So, yeah, I didn’t find it as lonely, I think, but because I had already been around for, at that point, I’d been on the council for seven years and I’d been on some regional boards, so I sort of knew some people. But I get what you say. I mean, you go into a room and you don’t know, half the people are more or less than half the people and, you know, People come up to you and you’re trying to keep track of, you know, the hundredth person you’ve met in that particular day and it can get quite lonely.

Louis Goodman: So  there was a guy, as a matter of fact, he’s on the ballot this November, his name is Chris Peeples and he’s the AC transit. [00:20:00] I don’t know, at large Representative on AC transit and Chris and I knew each other from law school from Hastings a million years ago. And I would call him and he’d always pick up the phone.

He would always pick up the phone for me and I would, you know, run something past him and he would tell me what to do,  what was really going on. And it was just so helpful. And, and then I got to say, my sister was someone who I would talk to during the campaign.  She  would always listen to me  and give me some advice.

And that was, it was always helpful. And there were a couple other people who were just really kind of came out of the woodwork for me, that  I never really had much experience with them before, but  they just came out and they were really there for me. And  I just can’t tell you how much I appreciated [00:21:00] those people because a lot of it.

Yeah. So a lot of it, to me, I felt like I was like living in this bubble, like this kind of plexiglass bubble that the campaign stuff was there. I could see the rest of the world out there doing things, but I had no ability to participate in it because I was so busy doing this judicial campaign. Does that make any sense?

David Lim: Yeah, it does. It totally does. It’s almost like an out of body, other worldly experience sometimes, you know, and in the moment you’re so busy, worried about a million different things. You don’t kind of have time to step back. And I think it’s only after you’ve done the journey that you realize. Wow,  that was kind of weird.

You know, there’s a lot of weird things going on there and everything comes together. Now, how did you do with, you know, there’s a number of organizations that everyone knows that endorse candidates, like Sierra club, the unions, the newspapers, democratic party, or the various [00:22:00] political parties. How did you do with those?

Did you fill out all the questionnaires, you know, those long questionnaires. And did you go do the interviews and how did that work?

Louis Goodman: I did.  I filled out the questionnaires. I had someone who was very helpful to me in explaining how you fill out those questionnaires because like the Sierra club would ask you these questions about CEQA.

I can’t even remember what it stands for anymore, but you know, it has to do with land use regulations. And I remember getting asked questions about that. And I remember asking, you know, the union people asking me questions about. These kind of esoteric union questions. And I was thinking, you know, I don’t know. You know, I’m running for judge because I think that I’m a pretty good, you know, pretrial guy, you know, I know how to pre-try drunk driving cases and I know how to [00:23:00] get through a preliminary hearing.

And  I know how to,  I could listen to both sides and make a bail request, something intelligent around that. But these things were just stuff that was like, so out of the blue to me,  but I learned, and I did okay with them.  I did get the union endorsement and I got the endorsement of the newspaper  you know, the East Bay times.  I guess it was the Oakland Trib at the time, but that whole, you know, Tribune/East Bay times all of the, at the time, I don’t know, there were a whole bunch of them, the Argus and the Hayward Review. And if you got one, you got them all. And I remember that, that editorial coming out and just like, oh my God, this is the greatest thing in the world. And then I heard that getting the endorsement of that newspaper, it was sort of the kiss of death that any judicial candidate who got the endorsement, never won.

[00:24:00] David Lim: you know, it’s funny.

I got the endorsement as well. So I think we’ve proven that.

David Lim: But no, but we’ve proven the point that getting the East Bay times endorsement is basically the kiss of death. That  it’s just another nail in the coffin of print media, basically being dead in this country. And I’m kidding to all my friends who work in print media, but yeah, I got their endorsement.

So we’ve proved that, that you should not seek East Bay times, but running for judge or maybe  they just take good lawyers. And it doesn’t always mean that just because you’re a good lawyer, there could be other good lawyers who will win the election and not, you.

Louis Goodman: Yeah. I mean, I think that the three of us who ran were all qualified and Vicki Kolaikowski was the person who ultimately prevailed and I’ve been in front of her any number of times.

And, you know, she’s always been very pleasant to me, very fair with me. And very frankly, in my view,  she’s very fair with everybody. [00:25:00] So, I mean, I think she’s done a really  good job and brought a very unique perspective that I certainly couldn’t have to the bench. And the other person who was running in that campaign is one of our old colleagues from the DA’s office, John Creighton, and John and I have certainly remained friends, although he’s retired from the DA’s office now I don’t see him very often.

I’ll tell you one thing that I found difficult. Or difficult, but it was just something I noticed myself doing was just having to be nice to everybody. You know I’m like pretty nice to everybody anyway, but there was this, it was just always having to be nice to everybody.

David Lim: No, it’s funny that you say that Louis, because I’ll tell this to your listeners, cause you’re normally the host. So a lot of times we don’t get to interview you Louis. And so you’re the one that’s asking the questions. All the listeners who are listening to this podcast should know that Louis Goodman, has [00:26:00] a reputation for being a very good lawyer and a very good advocate for his clients on both sides of the aisle.

But people who don’t know him should also know that he enjoys a reputation in Alameda County of being one of the nicest lawyers. I mean, you really are. Those people always sing your praises about how you always come in. You’re always positive. You always got a smile in face. We could be having a horrific case where we’ve got to just, you know, beat on each other, you know, to advocate for our size, but you will always stop to ask somebody how their day was, how their weekend was. So for you to admit that it’s tough campaign to have to be nice, 24/7 is very telling about just sort of how much of a grind  a campaign is.

And I’m not nearly as nice as you. I mean, I like to think I’m a respectful person, but if I get tired and I think someone’s being, I’m not afraid to tell him, so. That’s a big reveal for you, Louis.

Louis Goodman: Did you put up lawn signs or anything like that?

David Lim: You know, I wasted a lot of money on some lawn signs and I ended up [00:27:00] not putting up very many of them.

And the main reason I didn’t put them up is I have a huge pet peeve. I do not like candidates who put up lawn signs and then don’t take them down after the election. And so I kind of chose principle over practical, Sally, you know, my campaign consultant was saying, Oh, we’ve got to put up signs and I’ve got a guy.

He’ll go throw them up along the Bart tracks. He’ll throw them up down on International Boulevard. He’ll go out to Livermore and throw them out on the, on ramps and off ramps. And I said, no, you know, I don’t want to do that unless, you know, we’re going to pay him to take them down. And she said, nobody cares about that.

And I said, well, I care about it, the living crap out of me, I do not like candidates to work so hard to get their name out there. And when the election is  over those things become like an eyesore for months. If not years, I was just driving down the street and I saw a campaign sign from the primaries back in March pre pandemic, and it’s still sitting on the corner.

And I keep telling myself one day, I’m going to just stop my car and yank that thing out because it just bugs me so much. So [00:28:00] I didn’t put up that many signs. I know it was a waste of money. I gave them to a lot of friends to put out in front of their houses, but I realized in a County wide election, the use of signs, unless you basically paid for the entire County, you know, it’s not going to have much utility.

I like the fact that you did TV ads. Did you do a lot of sign adage as well? Or did you do a billboard or bus stop or anything like that? Individuals who volunteered to put up a sign in front of their house.

Louis Goodman: And whenever I would drive by somebody’s house and they had a Louis Goodman for Judge sign up and it always made me feel really good to see it.

But yeah, we did TV. That was intro. I really enjoyed that. I, somehow talking in front of a camera, microphone and stuff. I kind of like that obviously. And,  I thought that the TV ad really, really came out quite well and I enjoyed doing it. We did it [00:29:00]  on the steps of the Alameda County Courthouse downtown, and then a little bit around Lake Merritt and we had some professional voiceover and some music. And it was, it was great. It ran on like Fox news and CNN and you know, the cable news channels.

David Lim: Yeah. That’s pretty impressive for a judicial race. Cause most people who don’t know again, if you’re not running a campaign, running media ads, like a TV ad in a judicial race is very unusual and good for you.

It means you work really hard. Because number one, they’re expensive. And number two for down ticket races, like a judicial race, where you have a lot of other stuff above you on the ballot, which is why it’s called the down ticket race. You know, it’s hard to get any sort of traction. And so a TV ad is really a nice way to get your name out there.

And I don’t remember, did you finish in the top two and go on to a runoff against a judge?

Louis Goodman: No, no, no, no. I, I was out in [00:30:00] June.

David Lim: Yeah, me too. I was out. So tell me about that experience. We  let’s trade stories and let people know what goes on in the candidates’ head on election night. Where were you? Did you have a party?

With friends and family, you know, did you do the whole thing at a restaurant with caterers and what, what did you do and how did you feel when the results came in?

Louis Goodman: We were at my sister’s house in Piedmont. And there were, I don’t know, maybe 30 people there and as the results came in, you know, we just kept checking it and it was, it was quite obvious that I was coming in third and as the night wore on it just, it just became quite obvious that I wasn’t going to win.

And I remembered just going outside. And by then the rain had stopped and it was just beautiful. It was a beautiful evening. It was warm. It was in June. And I just kind of went out by myself and just kind of like took a walk around the block and thought, well, okay, [00:31:00] that’s it. This is over.

And I felt, I felt okay about that. You know? I mean, I had really given it, my all. I’d done everything that I possibly could have, it wasn’t my night. And I was kind of okay with that really. And then the next morning I made three phone calls. I called Victoria and congratulated her. I called John and I congratulated him. And I called Hawaiian Airlines and I made a reservation for my wife and myself to go to Maui about 10 days later. And we spent, you know, week, week and a half or whatever, over there doing some kiteboarding. And that was a kind of a great way to end it.

David Lim: That really is. Did you sleep like 16 hours then died the day after the [00:32:00] campaign was over?

They say people do that. People run campaigns and then the first,  within the first 48 hours of the election being over, you’ll kind of just go comatose for literally like 16 to 18 hours and just pass out.

Louis Goodman:  I don’t think so. I don’t think so, but I can’t say that I really remember.  I’m not a great sleeper as it is, you know, if I get five or six hours of sleep at night, I’m in great shape.

So,  I don’t remember having some really long sleep experience, but. I don’t know.   Did your campaign get audited at all?

David Lim: Yeah, we did.  I think it’s a matter of law. I think under the FPPC guidelines, all judicial campaigns get audited, just because of the nature of the office.

Did you get audited?

Louis Goodman: Yeah. And we came out to the penny, thanks to my secretary, Tracey Harvey, who I give credit to at the end of all these podcasts, but she was my [00:33:00] treasurer and just did a phenomenal job. I remember this woman; very nice woman came from Sacramento and she sat in my conference room with all the books and stuff.

And she was here the whole day looking at stuff. And at the end of the day, I mean, she just gave us a clean bill of health and really the books came out to the penny, which kind of shocked me. Cause  there’s no way I could have done that. Yeah. I mean, I think it, yeah, it makes you realize why people don’t run for office.

You know, people say, well, how come more people who were interested don’t run for office and you know, well,  it’s really a difficult, expensive proposition. It  gave me, it’s given me a great deal of respect for anybody who runs for any office whatsoever, regardless of what their political persuasion might be.

David Lim: Yes, absolutely. But we talk  amongst elected officials or people who even run for [00:34:00] elected office, that there is a certain amount of respect that you give to people who’ve put themselves out there, put them, I was in the arena. How do you feel that Louis, like you should be proud that you put yourself out there and even though you didn’t win, you should take measure of pride.

And, you know, let you know when people complain and whine about how bad our society is and how things aren’t going well, don’t you have a place in your heart that kind of quietly as well. You know, I did my part, I got out there,  I tried to make a difference. I stood for something and I put myself out in front of the public, you know, and stood for election to try to change things.

Do you ever feel that?

Louis Goodman: Yeah. Yeah I do. And  I take it upon myself in any election that I care about to try and do something meaningful, whether it’s writing a check. Cause I realize how meaningful it is to the candidate to get some money and, you know, perhaps make some phone calls, [00:35:00] write some postcards, you know, whatever it might be.

But I just recognize how important that is to any campaign, even a low-level campaign, like running for Judge in Alameda County and it’s an important, very important job, obviously. But as far as the ballot is concerned, it’s considered very much of a down-ballot race.

David Lim: Yeah. So do you have any regrets about running.

Louis Goodman: I don’t, I don’t have any, there’s hardly anything in my life that I’ve done that I have regrets about. I think everything is a learning experience. The one thing that I would really do differently if I had to do it again, is I would not have closed my campaign account. I would not have stopped campaigning and I would have jumped into the next election  and run for the next open seat.   That’s the advice that I give [00:36:00] people who asked me about it now I say, be prepared to do it twice. And I think that, you know, Victoria Kolakowski did that, and she got elected, you know, she lost first and then she learned from whatever mistake she made and she ran a very effective campaign  and she won.

And judge. Hey, Hiyashi, you know, same thing there. He ran and lost the first time and then ran again and won. So I, I think that  the one regret, the only regret I have is that  I didn’t recognize that I should just keep going.

David Lim: Yeah. Oh, that’s good. I  never thought about that. You know, for me, I sort of knew.

So what, the one thing I didn’t tell you is my wife and I had decided that I wasn’t going to run for reelection to city council, that I was going to stop after two terms to spend more time with the family [00:37:00] and just do one job as opposed to two jobs. And so this was sort of a  no-fault campaigning.

I figured, well, if I don’t win, you know, I still got a good job and, you know, if I win and great,  I get to be a judge, which is something I’ve been interested in for a long time, but it was a little disappointing that it was my last campaign. Cause I already knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to run for another campaign.

And I was kind of divesting myself from politics. So I was a little bummed to go out, not winning, but on the other hand, you know, I thought, well, you know, I’m a have one, two last one. So I’ve still got  above 500, so I can retire from politics with a winning record. And you know, that’s not so bad.

Louis Goodman: So that was fine. Would you encourage other people to run for judge?

David Lim: You know, I’m not sure that I would, because I think if you want to be a judge, I think that the better route is to put your name in for appointment and see where that takes you. I think running for judge is [00:38:00] such a crapshoot because as we’ve talked about a number of times or alluded to in this podcast, it’s a down ticket race.

I think if you honestly ask most people, most voters about a judicial race. The majority of them are going to say they know nothing about the candidates.

Louis Goodman: Well, David, it’s been fun talking to you and opening up the old wounds of the past. And I wish both of the candidates who are running right now Good luck.

And I think that looking at the election coming up, it’s going to be interesting on a lot of levels.

David Lim: Yeah. I wish them both the best. I know one of the two candidates, but my heart certainly goes out to both of them. It sounds like they’re working really hard and you know, whoever wins, I think will be a good judge and we’d lucky to have both of them.

Louis Goodman:

Yeah. I agree. Well, good talking to you, David, and see you soon. Thanks. That’s it for today’s episode of Love Thy Lawyer. Many thanks to my guests who [00:39:00] contributed their time and wisdom and make this show possible. Thanks as always to Joel Katz  for music, Brian Matheson for tactical support and Tracey Harvey. I’m Louis Goodman.

David Lim: I hope Judge Madden and Judge Jackson don’t get too angry, but this is all public knowledge.

 

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