Who Should Judge Us - Reconsidered

by Bob Soltis

A couple of weeks ago I sent a letter to the editor that did not fully assess Brian Taubman’s outstanding qualifications to be our Municipal Court Judge. And I had not talked with Brian about some philosophical differences that initially led me to believe the other candidates may be better qualified. After reading Brian’s article to this paper about why he wants to serve as our Municipal Court judge, and talking with him for almost an hour about his experience, philosophy, and vision for the position, I’ve changed my mind. 

Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that the federal system requires only seven years of experience to sit for administrative law judge examination. Thus, Brian’s thirteen years of experience trying cases before civil and criminal courts is more than enough to qualify him to be a judge. He has represented defendants in criminal cases, plaintiffs in civil cases, and petitioners during administrative hearings. His litigation experience before a variety of forums will make him a good judge. 

As my neighbor for six years, Brian has shown how deeply he cares about other people. When he and his wife valiantly tried to help me get my car unstuck a couple of winters ago, Mary told me this is what Brian always does. That empathy is just one example of his belief that we’re here to help others. That life view is something that sets him apart from the rest of the herd. 

At great cost to his political career, Brian ran for judge six years ago, and at that time I wrote an article supporting his candidacy. Then and now I believe our municipal court bench needs his independence and commitment to doing the right thing no matter what other people think. 

As a former federal administrative law judge, I know that being a judge is not just about prior experience, but is all about integrity, values, and doing the right thing. It also requires listening to different points of view. Being a pilot requires constantly checking your course and changing course when necessary. So after talking with Brian, doing more research, and rethinking my decision, I’m convinced that he has the experience and integrity to serve us as our Municipal Court Judge. Please vote for him in the September primary and in the November general election. Thank you.

Lakewoodite Bob Soltis is a retired federal administrative law judge.

Bob Soltis

Bob Soltis is a retired federal administrative law judge.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021