Thursday, November 5, 2020

David Berger Declares Victory in Election for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80

 I am delighted to report that, according to the the latest ballot count, I am so far ahead of my opponent that it is now statistically impossible for the outcome of the election to change. I am therefore declaring "Victory" and am proud to say that the election is over with David Berger set to become Judge of the Superior Court on January 4, 2021.



I thank all the many people who helped me along the way to becoming the first elected English-American Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles County, and to the voters of Los Angeles County for their faith and belief in me.

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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Pre-Election Day Message – Vote David Berger For Judge, Office No. 80

In just 3 days the longest election period will close at 8pm on Tuesday November 3, 2020. You are probably reading this as you try to make your decision on one of the most important local elected positions on the ballot, yet the Judicial Elections are also the ones that many voters rarely feel comfortable about - because they don't really have enough information to go on.

So why vote for David Berger? If you want to know more about me, start off by reading the 'About' page. Then, take a look at the 'Endorsements' page to see the large number of judicial, political, and civic leaders who have exclusively shown their support for David Berger  - they clearly believe Berger is the best choice for Office No. 80. 

But beyond reading the names of those who support and endorse David Berger - the 50+ Superior Court Judges, 30 political and labor organizations, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys, you might also want to consider the in-depth evaluations of judicial candidates conducted by the LA County Bar Association, the editorial boards of the LA Times, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, the Daily Bruin, and the Los Angeles Sentinel – all of which exclusively proclaim David Berger to be the best choice for Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. 

The Los Angeles County Bar Association rated David Berger "Qualified" to be a Judge of the Superior Court, meaning Berger possesses the "professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function satisfactorily." High praise indeed.

The Los Angeles Times explained their criteria in making their endorsement of David Berger, said that they gave their endorsement "according to the qualities we deem essential: integrity, intelligence, compassion, knowledge of and respect for the law, and an ability to run a courtroom with a sense of fairness." Explaining their choice they said "Berger has handled trials as a criminal prosecutor for 24 years, which should tell voters that he can handle himself in a courtroom, and there’s a reason the Superior Court bench is filled with so many ex-prosecutors: They do one trial after another and know the routine cold. If that’s all Berger had going for him, though, it would be easy to reject him as just one more deputy district attorney on a court that badly needs some diversity. But Berger has developed over the years from an old-school tough-on-crime prosecutor to one who recognizes the importance of rehabilitative alternatives to incarceration ... Of the two candidates for Office No. 80, Berger is the better choice."

The Metropolitan News-Enterprise, one of Los Angeles' legal newspapers said "Deputy District Attorney David A. Berger is the clear choice for this office. He has more than two decades of courtroom experience, possesses exceptional skills in analysis and communication, and is composed and decisive. Berger knows what he’s doing," and described my opponent as "a clueless blunderer, lacking the talents necessary for the office he seeks." Harsh words for my opponent, however, these are the Met News' words, not mine.

The Daily Bruin said "David Berger has actively worked to put individuals through rehabilitation programs throughout his career. The editorial board endorses Berger both for his dedication to rehabilitation over incarceration and his 24-year history with the district attorney’s office.

As an alternative sentencing designee for the district attorney’s office, Berger facilitated a process that helps people convicted of nonviolent crimes dismiss their cases. In partnership with Community Collaborative Courts, Berger helped develop a process to reintegrate people into their law-abiding lives with dismissed cases.

As for my opponent, the Daily Bruin said "... the board finds McKay’s vague campaign priorities do not demonstrate the same dedication to the public interest as Berger’s. Berger’s vision is clear: He hopes to use his appointment as judge to further rehabilitation efforts." 

The Crime Survivors PAC, an organization representing and supporting the interests of victims of crime and witnesses, said "David Berger is a candidate with a balanced view on the criminal justice system; staying true to supporting crime victims’ rights while understanding how compassion and reform can reduce recidivism. With Berger’s wealth of experience in law working at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for over 24 years, he has the expertise needed to best serve our community as Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80. Please join me in supporting David Berger’s election as Judge, as he will make fair, ethical decisions that will protect crime victims and survivors alike."

While a candidate can make claims about their qualifications, experience, and suitability for judicial office, unfortunately some candidates make claims about themselves that are frankly unsupported by facts. There really is no better way of evaluating a candidate than by the remarks of those who have independently conducted their own research, evaluated the candidates, and explained why they choose one candidate over the other. 

If you have read this far I thank you for your perseverance and congratulate you for dedication to making an informed choice as to who gets your vote for Office No. 80. 

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Metropolitan News-Enterprise Renews Endorsement of David Berger for Judge

 The Los Angeles News-Enterprise, one of the leading legal newspapers in Los Angeles, has renewed their endorsement of David Berger for Judge.


In making their endorsement, the Met-News said "Deputy District Attorney David A. Berger is the clear choice for this office. He has more than two decades of courtroom experience, possesses exceptional skills in analysis and communication, and is composed and decisive. Berger knows what he’s doing.

Klint James McCay, a Sacramento-based administrative law judge for the California Department of Social Services, is well-meaning and gentlemanly. But he’s a clueless blunderer, lacking the talents necessary for the office he seeks."

You can read all their judicial endorsements at the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise.

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Progressive Democratic Club Endorses David Berger for Judge

 As the countdown towards the end of the election period continues with just 19 days until it's over, I am delighted to announce that I have been endorsed by the Progressive Democratic Club. Please take a moment to click on the 'Endorsements' tab to see the broad bi-partisan and professional support for my campaign. 


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Crime Survivors PAC Endorses David Berger for Judge

 Very proud to announce that the Crime Survivos PAC has endorsed me, saying "David Berger is a candidate with a balanced view on the criminal justice system; staying true to supporting crime victims’ rights while understanding how compassion and reform can reduce recidivism. With Berger’s wealth of experience in law working at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for over 24 years, he has the expertise needed to best serve our community as Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80. Please join me in supporting David Berger’s election as Judge, as he will make fair, ethical decisions that will protect crime victims and survivors alike!"


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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Daily Bruin Endorses Berger for Judge

With just three weeks to Election Day my campaign continues to gain momentum with the exciting announcement that the Editorial Board of the Daily Bruin has endorsed David Berger for as Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80.


Explaining why the Daily Bruin endorsed me, they said:

“Yes” on David Berger for Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Office 80

David Berger has actively worked to put individuals through rehabilitation programs throughout his career.

The editorial board endorses Berger both for his dedication to rehabilitation over incarceration and his 24-year history with the district attorney’s office.

As an alternative sentencing designee for the district attorney’s office, Berger facilitated a process that helps people convicted of nonviolent crimes dismiss their cases. In partnership with Community Collaborative Courts, Berger helped develop a process to reintegrate people into their law-abiding lives with dismissed cases.

Klint McKay, Berger’s competitor, also has years of experience under his belt. While also held in high respect, the board finds McKay’s vague campaign priorities do not demonstrate the same dedication to the public interest as Berger’s.

Berger’s vision is clear: He hopes to use his appointment as judge to further rehabilitation efforts.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

 Although Election Day is 27 days away, voting has started. Please be sure to follow these simple instructions to safely and securely vote for David Berger for Judge, Office No. 80.


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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Los Angeles Times Endorses David Berger for Judge - "The Better Choice"

 In the March 3, 2020 primary election the Los Angeles Times endorsed David Berger for Judge. Much has changed in our world since then and rather than simply repeating their endorsement, the LA Times took the time and trouble to re-examine all the candidates for the November 3, 2020 general election to see which of the candidates are best suited to handling the challenges of our changed world. 

The Times stated that they had made their endorsement of judicial candidates "according to the qualities we deem essential: integrity, intelligence, compassion, knowledge of and respect for the law, and an ability to run a courtroom with a sense of fairness." I am delighted to say that the Times renewed their endorsement of David Berger for Judge.


The LA Times joins the vast majority of individuals, organizations, and civic leaders in concluding that "Berger is the better choice" for Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Office No. 80.

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

46 Days to Election Day, and more support for David Berger for Judge

The pandemic may be making campaigning more difficult but if anything defines my campaign, it is that I will not let difficulties stand in my way. After a marathon of endorsement meetings last night, I am very proud and deeply honored to announce that I have received the endorsements of the Latino Prosecutors Association, the Alhambra Democratic Club, and the Northeast Democratic Club. My sincere thanks to all who listened to me and agreed with the Los Angeles Times that "Berger is the Best Choice" for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80. With just 46 days to the election, my campaign continues to gain momentum. 

 


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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Post-Primary Update - Endorsements Add Momentum Despite Pandemic Concerns

The results of the March 3, 2020 Primary Election were certainly encouraging - I finished in first place with 45% of the vote, just 5% shy of an outright victory. The second placed finisher received 37% of the vote, and the third placed candidate, another Deputy District Attorney, was eliminated after receiving just 18% of the vote. I had every reason to be optimistic about my chances in the far-off November 3, 2020 General Election where my second-placed opponent and I would battle for the lions share of that 18% - if I scored half of that 18%, I would win in November with a solid 54%, while my opponent would need almost all of it. Things looked good for my campaign.

And then the pandemic hit. We did have warnings, we did have the sense that sooner or later we would have to change our way of living to avoid COVID-19, but I don't think many of us were able to comprehend how different our lives were going to be, nor did we have any idea how long it was going to take before we could return to some semblance of normality. As you can probably imagine, trying to run a campaign amid a pandemic is quite challenging to say the least! Fortunately, as we all became familiar with Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and other video-conferencing apps, virtual campaigning became a reality. 

I am very pleased to report that following a series of Zoom debates, meetings, and interviews, I received endorsements from these fine organizations:

I am truly honored and encouraged to have received these valuable endorsements, and offer my sincere thanks to all these organizations for taking the time and trouble to evaluate my candidacy and conclude that "Berger is the Best Choice" for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80. 

As it now seems clear that COVID-19 is not going to disappear anytime soon, and that in-person political events that would normally take place in the run up to the election, I will continue to virtually campaign as effectively as possible. 

Please take a moment to visit my 'Endorsements' page to see who else believes "Berger is the Best Choice."

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Berger In First Place After Primary Election. Bodes Well for Runoff in November

I am delighted to have emerged from this three-way race well ahead in first place. Although the counting of ballots is not yet over, and there may be some wrinkles with the new voting system, I do not expect the results to change significantly.

Results at 4:09 AM
I offer my sincere thanks and deep appreciation to all who supported my candidacy, whether by endorsement, contribution, or vote. Of course it would have been preferable to have won outright, however, when there are two Deputy District Attorneys in the same race, it inevitably splits the vote. Nevertheless, the margin of victory over Mr. McKay, and the likelihood that those who supported Rini will now support me, bodes very well for November. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

LA Times Endorses David Berger for Judge

I am delighted, immensely proud, and honored to announce that the Los Angeles Times has endorsed David Berger for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80, saying I am "Smart, and respected by judges, defense lawyers and fellow prosecutors, Berger is the best of the three candidates for this seat." Thank you to the LA Times Editorial Board for trusting me with your endorsement.
Los Angeles Times, Friday, February 21, 2020
For the 23 Judicial Candidates in the 2020 primary, the LA Times endorsed 9 after conducting extensive research and in-person interviews with all candidates. The Times Editorial Board explained their process saying “The process actually starts about two months before ballots are mailed, with the board inviting candidates to come in for interviews. Occasionally, a candidate will refuse to sit down with the board, but they’re all invited.” The full explanation of their endorsement process can be read at the LA Times by clicking here. 

The LA Times Editorial Board concluded “Berger is the best choice,” a view shared by others who have exclusively endorsed me including the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, saying: "Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David A. Berger looms as the outstanding contender in this race. He is highly articulate, skilled at analysis, composed, decisive, and knows what he’s doing.” 

While the Times did not comment extensively on either of my opponents, the Met News did. As to Nick Rini the Met News said “his performance would fall short of Berger’s. One judge advises:“Nick Rini has a difficult personality, to be charitable. He is quick to anger, slow to cool off, and can be vindictive towards criminal defense attorneys. He appears to enjoy controlling others, keeping attorneys unnecessarily waiting for his attention. His advocacy/legal skills are questionable, rarely researching the law, and relying more on bombast and repetition than calm, sound legal reasoning.

The Met News concluded “From what we have been able to ascertain, Berger enjoys respect among deputies in the Public Defender’s Office, being seen as fair, courteous, reasonable and ethical, while Rini is viewed as dishonest, unpleasant, lazy, and hot-headed.

As to Klint McKay, the Met News seemed concerned by McKay’s record of “gaffes” and “blunders” when he initially ran against a newly appointed judge, did not appear to understand election law, and spoke on his website of seeking “appointment” by voters, rather than election. The Met News opined that if "McKay could not be careful pursuing his own interests, how can it be expected that he will be careful and attentive to the interests of others.

Given the analysis by the Met News, it is easy to see why they concluded “We wholeheartedly endorse Berger.” The full content of the Met News endorsement can be read by clicking here

Neither the LA Times nor Met New endorsements had been published when the following organizations also exclusively endorsed me, but their reasoning was likely the same:
  • Los Angeles County Democratic Party
  • Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
  • Stonewall Democratic Club
  • West Hollywood & Beverly Hills Democratic Club
  • North Valley Democratic Club of Los Angeles
  • New Frontier Democratic Club
  • Democratic Alliance for Action of Santa Clarita
  • Los Angeles Hispanic Republican Club
  • Democrats for Neighborhood Action
  • Los Angeles Police Protective League
  • Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs
  • Association of Deputy District Attorneys of Los Angeles
I am very proud of and honored by those endorsements as well as having the endorsement of 49 Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges, and other elected officials. The full list of those who have endorsed me can be found by clicking here.

These endorsements matter because they give voters independent, impartial, and unbiased information about me and, and helps to explain why so many people have concluded that Berger is the best choice for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80.



Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Vote By Mail Ballots Arrive

Many supporters have been submitting photos of their Vote By Mail ballots and it's very encouraging to see and hear so much support for my candidacy. Just 3 weeks to election day, let's keep those votes coming!


And "Thank You" to the editorial board at the Metropolitan News-Enterprise for their endorsement and thoughtful analysis of the candidates for Office No. 80. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise Endorses David Berger for Judge

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Exactly five weeks away from the March 3, 2020 Primary Election, the Los Angeles News-Enterprise today announced its "wholehearted" endorsement of my candidacy for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80.

[Click on the image to read the text]

The Los Angeles News-Enterprise, or the 'Met News' as it is known by many, is a daily newspaper primarily serving the Los Angeles legal community, and is a highly regarded source for many. The Met News is unique in that it extensively covers the bi-annual judicial elections and provides a wealth of information on judicial candidates who are subject to in-depth interviews and extensive research in the legal community as to qualities and qualifications of their candidacy.

According to the Met News "Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David A. Berger looms as the outstanding contender in this race.

He is highly articulate, skilled at analysis, composed, decisive, and knows what he’s doing.
Another member of his office, Nick C. Rini, is also running. Rini boasts of 35 years as a prosecutor, contrasted with Berger’s 24 years. While the respective length and breadth of candidates’ job experiences is meaningful, the mere fact of seniority of one over the other in a particular office cannot reasonably be construed, as Rini portrays, as establishing superior skills.

Rini, a journeyman prosecutor, possibly could handle the job of a judge. But, his performance would fall short of Berger’s.

There are mixed reviews of Rini. He has favorable office evaluations. One judge terms him a “very competent and conscientious lawyer,” while another advises:
“Nick Rini has a difficult personality, to be charitable. He is quick to anger, slow to cool off, and can be vindictive towards criminal defense attorneys. He appears to enjoy controlling others, keeping attorneys unnecessarily waiting for his attention. His advocacy/legal skills are questionable, rarely researching the law, and relying more on bombast and repetition than calm, sound legal reasoning.”
From what we have been able to ascertain, Berger enjoys respect among deputies in the Public Defender’s Office, being seen as fair, courteous, reasonable and ethical, while Rini is viewed as dishonest, unpleasant, lazy, and hot-headed.

Klint James McKay is the third contestant. He does have judicial experience—of sorts. McKay is an administrative law judge for the California Department of Social Services. He is a delightful gentleman, and no doubt sincere. But among the three contestants, he’s a distant third.
It is natural that an ALJ in Sacramento, handling Affordable Care Act appeals, would, offhand, lack savvy in election law and not know much about Los Angeles races for Superior Court posts. However, it might well be expected that someone who enters a race for such a post would do some boning up.

McKay’s gaffes in 2018—when, for a brief spell, he ran against a randomly targeted incumbent because he didn’t know there were 10 open seats that year—and his blunders this year, including filing papers for an office for which he was not eligible, demonstrate that he is simply not careful.
So sloppy is he that he even states on his campaign website that he is seeking “appointment,” rather than election to the Superior Court.

If he is not careful in pursuing his own interests, can it be supposed that he would display adequate attentiveness to matters, often of vital consequence to parties, that would come before him if he were a Superior Court judge?

We wholeheartedly endorse Berger."



Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Stonewall Democratic Club Endorses David Berger for Judge of the Superior Court

I am immensely proud, honored, and frankly humbled to announce that the Stonewall Democratic Club has endorsed my candidacy for Judge of the Superior Court.


This endorsement came as a result of the support and encouragement that I received from friends in the LGTBQIA community who urged me to seek that endorsement, and who attended the endorsement meeting tonight and spoke on my behalf. So thank you, John Duran, Steve Martin, and Michael Kraut for your support and belief in my candidacy. I will not disappoint you.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

LA County Bar Association Rates David Berger Qualified for Judge of Superior Court

The Los Angeles County Bar Association has now made public its ratings for judicial candidates and I am delighted to report that I have received a 'Qualified' rating.



During the rating process, the Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association contacts over 75 people including judges, attorneys, supervisors, and co-workers who have personal knowledge of the candidate. That is followed by an intense personal interview of the candidate. The final results an evaluation, which in the case of my "Qualified" rating indicates that  I "possess professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicative of fitness to perform the judicial function satisfactorily." High praise indeed, and I am deeply appreciative of the evaluation.

Note: The full text of the LACBA rating can be viewed by clicking on the image above.


Saturday, January 18, 2020

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Endorses David Berger for Judge of the Superior Court

I am both humbled and honored to have received the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO in support of my candidacy for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80.


The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor is the second largest union in the United States, with over 800,000 members in Los Angeles County, spread among 300 unions including Health Care workers and Teachers. This endorsement is exclusive to me - no other candidate for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 80 has received this endorsement. Knowing that my candidacy has the support of 800,000 Los Angeles County Federation of Labor members is an awesome boost to my campaign, with just six weeks to go before the Primary Election.

LA County Democratic Party Endorses David Berger for Judge of the Superior Court

I am delighted to announce that after an intense and rigorous interview process, I have received the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.


I am the only candidate for Office No. 80 to have been endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, and while judicial elections are non-partisan, this endorsement is nevertheless greatly appreciated and adds tremendous momentum to my campaign. The election is fast approaching and it is gratifying to see the growing support for my candidacy.