Sentencing in Davis Rape Trial Delayed as Defense Seeks Disqualification of Judge Mock

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Yolo-Count-Court-Room-600Last week the Vanguard reported that the defense in the Michael Artz trial was moving to disqualify Judge Mock, based on his purported non-disclosure of his relationship to retired Chief Deputy DA Ann Hurd – who was in that position at the time this case was initiated.

According to court filings by Defense Attorney Kathryn Druliner, she was seeking to disqualify Judge Mock based on section 170.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

According to a motion filed earlier this week, “Subdivision 170.1 (a) (4) provides for disqualification if ‘[t]he judge, or the spouse of a judge…is a party to the proceeding or an officer, director, or trustee of a party.’  In addition, subdivision 170.1 (a)(6) (A) (iii) provides for disqualification if ‘[a] person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.’ “

She argues, “As the Chief Deputy District Attorney of the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, Judge Mock’s wife  may not technically qualify under subdivision (a)(4), as an officer, director, or trustee of a party.  However, her position is analogous to those positions and in this instance the District Attorney’s Office is the alter ego of a party, the People of the State of California.”

The motion immediately halted the sentencing and Judge Mock gave the attorneys until Tuesday to agree to select a judge.  Failing agreement on a judge to hear the 170.1 complaint, the matter will be referred to the Judicial Council.  The matter has been held over until November 12, as a placeholder in order for the case to maintain jurisdiction in Yolo County.

In his written response, Judge Mock stated that he been a Yolo County Judge since January of 1991 and for 17 years has been handling the criminal calendar.  “Since my election I have presided without disqualification for cause over more than 300 jury trials,” the Judge wrote.

Prior to that time, he worked as a Deputy DA for Yolo County and has been married to Ann Hurd since 1993, which is a matter of public knowledge.  He continued, “The fact that my wife and I both worked in the criminal justice system in Yolo County was mentioned in newspapers articles published in the Sacramento Bee, the Daily Democrat and the Davis Enterprise during 2007-2008.”

He continued, “In July, 2010, my wife was re-hired in the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office as a part-time employee.  She was not asked to supervise Ms. Susz, the prosecutor in this case.  Indeed she has never supervised Ms. Susz.  I have never discussed the merits of this case with Ms. Hurd and she has never discussed it with me.”

“On August 6, 2010, before trial began, I met in my office with Ms. Druliner and Ms. Susz.  I keep a large photograph of my wife on my desk.  The photograph faces the chairs in which visitors sit.   I intentionally placed it there so that any visitor to the office will see it. During this meeting, Ms. Susz asked when the picture had been taken.  I told her that I took it during our recent vacation,” he continued.

Furthermore he claims, “The jury trial in this matter commenced on August 27, 2010.  Undoubtedly, the trial was contentious.  Many objections were raised by both attorneys.  I sustained numerous objections made by each lawyer, while overruling others.  I am precluded from commenting on specific rulings, since this case is still pending.  All I can state is that I endeavored to rule on each objection in accordance with the law.”

In response to several of Judge Mock’s points, one of the problems with the relationship is not whether Judge Mock discussed a particular case with his wife, but whether their relationship and her position presents an inherent conflict of interest.  His wife may no longer have been the supervising Chief Deputy DA when the trial commenced, but when the case was filed, she was.

Second, having a picture of his wife on his desk is meaningless.  To an individual not familiar with Yolo County, there would be no way of knowing that she had been the Chief Deputy DA for several years.

Third, he suggested in his written response that he ruled during the trial on numerous objections. However, it seemed he often did so almost capriciously, with no rhyme or reason.  On major rulings, almost all went against the defense.  And he failed to address his tone or the fact that he raised his voice, admittedly, in front of the jury.

He concluded, “Given the circumstances [in] set forth herein and the paucity of facts contained in Ms. Druliner’s declaration, it is my belief that Ms. Druliner knew facts or at the very least, should have known.– of the facts supporting the purported ground for disqualification before trial in this matter commenced.  Defendant’s failure to present this statement of disqualification at the earliest practicable opportunity compels its denial.  Because defendant states no timely grounds for denial, I decline to voluntarily recuse myself.”

Ms. Druliner argued, regardless of what he believed was the case, it was his duty to disclose the relationship regardless of whether he believed defense knew or should have known.

Judge Mock also argued, “I respectfully submit that no one who attended all of the hearings and the trial and who was privy to all the in-chamber discussions we had in this case would “reasonably entertain a doubt” regarding my ability to be impartial in this matter.”

Among myself and several of my assistants, we sat through the entire trial and I have very serious doubts about his ability to remain impartial in this matter, given his conduct which appeared unequitable and at times unprofessional.

Speaking to the Vanguard after the hearing, Defense Attorney Kathryn Druliner indicated expectation that the matter will end up with the Judicial Council selecting a retired judge from another county to preside over the matter.

Once it gets before a new judge, she will seek a new trial for the two charges on which the defendant Michael Artz was convicted – sexual contact with a minor and the charge for having discussed with the minor his intentions to have future sexual contact.

Due to the attachment of double jeopardy, Mr. Artz would not be able to be tried under the original forced oral copulation charge, of which he was acquitted.

This maneuver by the defense will likely delay this matter for months, if not longer.  Ms. Druliner said that the Judge would need to look at the court transcripts, which would have to be translated from their current form into English renderings.  That itself will take a number of months.

This is not the first time that a defense attorney has moved to disqualify Judge Mock under 170.1.  Richard Van Zandt of the Public Defender’s Office made such a motion a few years ago, but it was a blanket motion and was more difficult to prove. 

Attorney Fred Dawson and Clyde Blackmon did it in the Volarvich trial, where the defendant was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty for killing CHP Officer Andy Stevens back in 2005.

Ms. Druliner argued that the Public Defender’s Office attempt was too early and too broad, as they sought to exclude all cases on the court calendar.

While the attempt in the Volarvich was also too early in her view, the Judge who examined that case concluded it was a “close call.”   That case was still filed too early, as it was after pretrial proceedings but before the trial.  They had no decisions showing bias in fact.  It was all based on the theory and appearance of a conflict.

In this case, she argued there are 30 to 40 clear and actual examples of bias in the rulings that Judge Mock made, in his repeated refusal to allow her to approach to discuss rulings, and in his demeanor.  She argued that if it had been a close call in the Volarvich case, in which she believes the verdict may be thrown out on upon appeal, she believes this one is a slam dunk.

Given the Judge’s observed conduct during the trial, there is probably a good factual basis to challenge the Judge’s ability to be fair and impartial.  However, at the very least this will delay imposition of a sentence for a number of months, which should be advantageous to the defendant, seeking probation. Deputy DA Tiffany Susz is pushing for a prison sentence, based in part on alleged behavior that the defendant was acquitted of.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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39 thoughts on “Sentencing in Davis Rape Trial Delayed as Defense Seeks Disqualification of Judge Mock”

  1. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “Second, having a picture of his wife on his desk is meaningless. To an individual not familiar with Yolo County, there would be no way of knowing that she had been the Chief Deputy DA for several years.”

    I agree here that the picture is probably not relevant. Unless there were numerous pictures of Ann Hurd in the Sac Bee, how would defense know about the connection between Mock and Hurd from looking at the picture on Judge Mock’s desk?

    dmg: “Third, he suggested in his written response that he ruled during the trial on numerous objections. However, it seemed he often did so almost capriciously, with no rhyme or reason. On major rulings, almost all went against the defense. And he failed to address his tone or the fact that he raised his voice, admittedly, in front of the jury.”

    1) What about the tone of defense, which may have caused the tone of the judge?
    2) Tone does not appear in a transcript, only words.
    3) This issue will be decided on the merits, not on “tone”.

    dmg: “Among myself and several of my assistants, we sat through the entire trial and I have very serious doubts about his ability to remain impartial in this matter, given his conduct which appeared unequitable and at times unprofessional.”

    But you are not unbiased…

    dmg: “This maneuver by the defense will likely delay this matter for months, if not longer.”

    Is the defendant out on bail or still in jail?

    To dmg: Were the other efforts to disqualify Judge Mock successful? You don’t say in your article.

    dmg: “In this case, she argued there are 30 to 40 clear and actual examples of bias in the rulings that Judge Mock made, in his repeated refusal to allow her to approach to discuss rulings, and in his demeanor.”

    Facial expressions or hand gestures (demeanor) are not going to show up in a written transcript.

    dmg: “Given the Judge’s observed conduct during the trial, there is probably a good factual basis to challenge the Judge’s ability to be fair and impartial.”

    Examples, other than being married to Ann Hurd? And being married to Ann Hurd will depend on whether she had any way of being connected to or in some way being involved with the case, I would think.

    Very interesting issue…if the judge is married to someone in the DA’s Office…

  2. Alphonso

    Very interesting issue…if the judge is married to someone in the DA’s Office…

    The situation was worse in the past. Mock was the lead Judge and he assigned judges to cases while his wife was the lead DDA responsible for assigning prosecutors to cases.

  3. Sanity Defense

    [quote]Third, he suggested in his written response that he ruled during the trial on numerous objections. However, it seemed he often did so almost capriciously, with no rhyme or reason. On major rulings, almost all went against the defense.[/quote]

    Given that you and your interns knew absolutely nothing about agreements made during the pretrial conference about what could and couldn’t be addressed in open court by the defense attorney and the fact that you’re not criminal attorneys and know nothing at all about what could and couldn’t be charged in this case, your observations are meaningless and meritless.

    Don’t you ever get tired of being used by defense attorneys? Or is your bias against the DA’s office so overwhelming that you don’t care at all what the truth is?

  4. Superfluous Man

    Judge Mock stated,“In July, 2010, my wife was re-hired in the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office as a part-time employee.”

    That’s interesting because this document http://www.docstoc.com/docs/18…nformation)
    , obtained by blogger Eric Alfaro from Yolo County, indicates that Ms. Hurd was terminated on 8/29/2009 as the Chief Deputy DA and was rehired on 9/22/2009 as a DDA IV. The document, if accurate, is in conflict with Judge Mocks recollection of the facts.

    This document shows that Ms. Hurd was still the Chief DDA when Judge Mock claims his wife was “re-hired” as a part-time employee.

    Judge Mock declared, “The fact that my wife and I both worked in the criminal justice system in Yolo County was mentioned in newspapers articles published in the Sacramento Bee, the Daily Democrat and the Davis Enterprise during 2007-2008.”

    Their relationship was mentioned in LOCAL newspaper articles sometime between 2007-2008. Therefore, it reasonable to conclude that all attorney’s who come before the honorable Judge Mock would be informed as to what is relationship to then Chief DDA Hurd is? Wow.

    Fails to take into consideration a few things: attorneys from out side the Sacramento area; attorneys who began practicing in the Sac area after the articles ran (ie new to the area and its CJS players); attorneys may not read one of the papers he mentions; and assuming they do regularly read one or all of those papers that they read the articles on the day they ran or sometime thereafter.

    OR MAYBE he assumes, because he is so important and fascinating, that while it’s possible some don’t read those papers or didn’t read those articles, the word surely got around re: the Mock and Hurd nexus. Still fails to consider attorneys outside the Sac area or new to the area, who probably don’t read those papers and didn’t have their finger on the Yolo County criminal justice system’s pulse prior to their involvement with the CJS in the Sac area.

    Judge Mock wrote, “On August 6, 2010, before trial began, I met in my office with Ms. Druliner and Ms. Susz. I keep a large photograph of my wife on my desk. The photograph faces the chairs in which visitors sit. I intentionally placed it there so that any visitor to the office will see it. During this meeting, Ms. Susz asked when the picture had been taken. I told her that I took it during our recent vacation,”

    By mentioning the photo and its intended purpose, Judge Mock is implicitly stating that he’s aware of the potential problems or conflicts that can arise from his relationship with Ms. Hurd, yet fails to take proper measures to assure all parties are informed of their relationship. Unless, that is Judge Mock honestly believes a photograph on his desk is the equivalent of properly advising counsel of his relationship with Ms. Hurd, in which case…how ridiculous.

    Judge Mock’s basis for declaring Ms. Druliner should have reasonably known of his relationship with Ms. Hurd seems very weak and frankly illogical. There are so many reasons for which an attorney, such as Ms. Druliner, would not have known about their relationship. Are Mock’s thoughts of himself so delusionally grandiose that he thinks a few articles about he and his wife would circulate throughout the entire CJS in the area, much less the state of CA?

    Maybe is he interjected his life into the media as frequently as Judge Rosenberg (with all the human interest pieces written about him and his family) I could understand Mocks’s reasoning. Seriously, does anyone else think Judge Rosenberg’s life is not that fascinating? Why are there frequently stories about him and his family in the local media, including the Bee. Is anybody interested in reading about his home’s bell tower or its interior color scheme? Are we to believe the Bee approached Rosenberg for that story?

    Does anyone else think it’s incredibly stupid for a judge to narrow down the location of his residence with detailed descriptions of the exterior of his 5,000 sq. ft. home in a publication such as the Bee? How many homes in North Davis have a bell tower that chimes on the hour and half-hour? Rosenberg is quoted as saying, “”I always thought that was a happy and comforting sound. I wanted my neighbors to enjoy it.”

    How considerate…

    /rant

  5. Superfluous Man

    SD,

    fact that you’re not criminal attorneys and know nothing at all about what could and couldn’t be charged in this case,

    Your qualifications are what now?

  6. kathryndruliner

    Sanity Defense: Oh come on. It doesn’t take a criminal lawyer or someone present for in chambers discussions to see how capricious the sustaining of a hearsay ofjection is without allowing the proponent of the evidence to make an offer of proof as to the relevance. Being that evidence is not hearsay if it is not offered for the truth of the matter asserted (i.e. if alleged victim says “he locked me in the room” and the cross exam is about there being no lock on the door, the question about an out of court statement re: the lock on the door is not hearsay). Beyond that,the 57 exceptions could not be heard or evaluated and that all happened in the courtroom not in chambers. You are clearly either Reisig or one of his minions hiding behind a pseudonym trying to fool the people. You should be ashamed.

  7. Sanity Defense

    [quote] You are clearly either Reisig or one of his minions hiding behind a pseudonym trying to fool the people. You should be ashamed.
    [/quote]

    Flattering but no, not even close.

    I’ve been through this argument before. You have no reason to believe me. You have even more reason not to believe the Vanguard and Druliner. My agenda is unknown. Theirs is hanging out for all the world to see and makes everything they say not only entirely predictable but suspect on its face.

    Perfect example:

    Reams of copy here about the purportedly “distorted” press release by the DA’s office. And yet the Vanguard sticks doggedly to the oppositive distortion. They brush off the convictions and focus entirely on the charge on which he was not convicted.

    It should be interesting asking for a new trial since Druliner herself has stated repeatedly that he was guilty of the charges for which he was convicted.

    And I will be checking to see whether he was acquitted of the third charge or whether the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, which is entirely different from an acquittal.

  8. highbeam

    He was acquitted, Not Guilty by Jury, of Charge #1:PC 288(c)(2), Oral Copulation by Force, Fear or Threats. The main jury instruction is CalCrim section #1015.

  9. valerie

    Katherine,

    You did not know that they were married. This is the Yolo County justice System. They do whatever they want. They are not the law, they are above the law. Did you not know that too? They do not play by the rules, they make up their own. I think we all know that! This is Reisig and his gang, how dare anybody to question the authority of this gang. You are stepping into enemy territory. oooooohhhhh. But on a serious note, good for you Katherine. About time someone stands up to these bullies. It’s ashame that the judge has such an arrogant attitude to think that a public defender whom is not even from Yolo County should know his personal life. And, for Judge Mock to even say that he does not discuss it with his wife is a joke. I discuss all my work related issues with my husband, it’s called communication. The Yolo County Justice System has been unfair for too long. It’s about time someone takes action to their illegal game playing that has been going on. Shame on Judge Mock to even admit that he has been a criminal judge since 1971, a criminal judge doing criminal acts. Talk about skeletons in the closet. Only in Yolo! Keep up the good work Katherine.

  10. Superfluous Man

    Sanity Defense,

    SD, “You have even more reason not to believe the Vanguard and Druliner.”

    Ms. Druliner has even more reason not to believe herself?

    SD, “My agenda is unknown. Theirs is hanging out for all the world to see and makes everything they say not only entirely predictable but suspect on its face.”

    True, I suppose there is no telling your agenda. Having said that, what is Ms. Druliner’s agenda? What is it about Druliner’s purported agenda that should have us discounting her opinions, analyses and criticisms outright?

    SD, “Reams of copy here about the purportedly ‘distorted’ press release by the DA’s office. And yet the Vanguard sticks doggedly to the oppositive distortion.”

    Is it fair to assume you thought the DA’s characterization of the Artz case was accurate? My recollection is that the Vanguard’s own observations and analysis of the case greatly differed from the DA press release, which is what was conveyed. Further, the Vanguard discussed parts of the release in which it believed the DA’s office had fallen short or mislead the public (ie spending a good portion of the release on stuff Artz was not found guilty of).

    Do you think the Bee also stuck to the opposite distortion when they ran a retraction, calling the DA’s press release misleading or inaccurate (I can’t remember what the wording was)?

    SD, “They brush off the convictions and focus entirely on the charge on which he was not convicted.”

    You think the convictions have received insufficient coverage here, so what? Could it be that other components of the case are of interest to the Vanguard, Druliner and the public? Is there no point in discussing the other stuff, just the conviction? We all hear about the conviction, that’s the one part of the story, whenever there is one in the local media (ie DA press release), that we DO get.

    Also, to the latter part of your sentence, you could say the same about the DA’s office, no? Seemed to be a pretty heavy focus on info that Artz wasn’t convicted of.

    SD, “Druliner herself has stated repeatedly that he was guilty of the charges for which he was convicted.”

    Did she say she believed he was guilty or did she acknowledge the conviction? If a jury finds a defendant guilty of a crime and the defense admits that the defendant was guilty of said crime that’s means what for that client’s future in that case? She stated that her client was guilty, okay, but in what context?

  11. Superfluous Man

    Valerie,

    “About time someone stands up to these bullies. It’s ashame that the judge has such an arrogant attitude to think that a public defender whom is not even from Yolo County should know his personal life.”

    She is not a public defender, but a private defense attorney.

    “And, for Judge Mock to even say that he does not discuss it with his wife is a joke. I discuss all my work related issues with my husband, it’s called communication.”

    There are things that people, in certain positions (ie Yolo County Superior Court Judge), can’t discuss with anyone else…even their spouse. There are pretty clear rules about this and severe punishment for violating them.

    “Shame on Judge Mock to even admit that he has been a criminal judge since 1971”

    I thought he said he was elected in 1991?

  12. hpierce

    Superfluous Man is a “dangerous” individual… (s)he challenges “facts”, that aren’t. (S)he challenges assertions that may/may not be true. May the force be with you SM.

  13. valerie

    SM,

    Public Defender,Private Defense Attorney? Still shame on him for being a PRIVATE Judge. And, you should be called the corrector I am to assume?

    You really think they do not discuss work at home? I would love to be that little fly on their wall. So, you are telling me you have never discussed work with your mate? thought so!

    And, I actually meant 1991 corrector.

  14. Superfluous Man

    valerie,

    I was only correcting you ‘for the record,’ not to be pedantic or obnoxious. Some don’t know the distinction re: public defenders and other counsel. What do you mean “private judge?” Feel free to refer to me as you wish.

    I didn’t say neither Mock nor Hurd EVER discussed work, but rather there are certain aspects of their jobs that they are prohibited from sharing, even with one another.

    I don’t know why you made the leap from them to me, seeing as I am not the focus here, but to answer your question: it depends on the information, issue, etc. There are some things you absolutely CAN’T tell anyone no matter what. Failure to do so would be grounds to fire someone or worse.

  15. kathryndruliner

    Anyone who believes that a husband and wife do not talk about things they are not supposed to talk about, even if they use code to do so, is truly naive. The Artz trial was public knowledge. Hurd was in the DA’s mgt. pos’n when it was filed. Susz makes 35% of her salary from the grant that funds that case and others in that category. Hurd knew (if only from reading the paper) that Mock was presiding over the trial. Hurd must have known Artz was winning. Susz was unhappy and asking Mock to limit time for closing arguments. He said he never did. Next morning, guess what? He did. Wonder why? The only thing that happened was that he presumably went home to his wife and spent the night there. Maybe they did not talk and he just had a sudden change of heart about time limits on closing arguments after 17 years as a judge?

  16. kathryndruliner

    One disturbing thing about the grant application to the DA’s office for Statutory Rape cases is not only that the prosecutors are not doing what the grant was intended for– that is special handling of real victims to achieve justice. But a real concern to me as a former prosecutor in a sexual assault/child abuse unit is that the DA’s office gets $ credit for 290 registrations. Never has the judge, the defense attorney or the prosecutor inserted him or herself into that arena as that is the ugly work of the legislature. The DA’s job is to properly assess the conduct and charge the appropriate crime. Now, give them money to get a 290 and they will look for a crime that will get them that. In Artz, they had a weak forcible charge and knew it. They wouldn’t get a 290 on stat rape as it is unconstitutional b/c it doesn’t apply to intercourse, just oral cop (Equal Protection). So, they reached for this wierd and no doubt unconstitutional, initiative written, not tested, brand new 288.3 law which carried a 290. Anyone see anything wrong with this picture? Even financially, the DA gets money to help pay Susz but the case would have pled and save the taxpayers over 1,000.00 per day of trial costs (court staff, judge, etc.)

  17. valerie

    SM,

    I was only correcting you ‘for the record,’ not to be pedantic or obnoxious. Some don’t know the distinction re: public defenders and other counsel. What do you mean “private judge?” Feel free to refer to me as you wish.

    Thank you for admitting that you were “correcting me”, whether it be for the record or not. As far as making the leap from them to you, go 5 blogs up and tell me who really leaped? I am not here to argue with anyone. We all have an opinion, and I think we all use it well. Point blank, you corrected me. And you go on as to question me about “private judge”. Private Judge in my eyes means he did not share the fact whom he was married to, and thats the reason we are blogging right now. Is this not true? It is my opinion to think that Mock and Hurd as a husband and wife do discuss work, even if no one else agrees with me. Is it not? Regardless of what anybody thinks, my opinion is I still think it is wrong for them two to be serving the public in their positions together. Katherine has every right to do what she is doing, for the sake of her client.

  18. Superfluous Man

    Kathryn,

    “Anyone who believes that a husband and wife do not talk about things they are not supposed to talk about…is truly naive.”

    So it is naïve of me to believe that you and your husband (you mentioned he’s a higher up at the AG’s office) refrain from discussing things with each other when that’s the requirement? Are you two the exception or the rule?

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t suggesting that Mock and Hurd don’t or haven’t, just that they can’t in certain circumstances.

    “Hurd was in the DA’s mgt. pos’n when it was filed.”

    I take it you think Judge Mock’s timeline with regard to his wife’s “retirement” and rehire is a bit off? What documentation are you using to refute his claims?

  19. Superfluous Man

    Valerie,

    V-“Thank you for admitting that you were “correcting me”, whether it be for the record or not.”

    You’re welcome? Do you take issue with people getting the facts straight?

    V-“As far as making the leap from them to you, go 5 blogs up and tell me who really leaped?”

    Elaine’s comment, “There are many jobs where this is a requirement.”

    Anyway, the aforementioned leap was brought up because you shifted the focus from Mock’s personal relationship with his wife and how that impacts the Yolo County CJS to whether or not I have “discussed work with my mate”. My point: let’s say I always, sometimes or never do (or every have) discuss work with my significant other, what relevance does that have to the Mock/Hurd/YCCJS issue? The answer is simply: none.

    V-“I am not here to argue with anyone. We all have an opinion, and I think we all use it well.”

    Okay, but if you were no one would hold that against you.

    V-“Point blank, you corrected me. And you go on as to question me about “private judge”.”

    Are you really offended by my correction? Look, there’s a difference between the two, it seemed pretty obvious that you weren’t entirely clear as to what role Ms. Druliner played (she’s not a public defender from another county), so I thought I would straighten that out.

    If you dislike being questioned, perhaps this isn’t the best medium for you to share, although I hope you continue to do so. I wasn’t sure what you meant, which is why I asked. Nothing more to that.

    V-“Private Judge in my eyes means he did not share the fact whom he was married to, and thats the reason we are blogging right now. Is this not true?”

    Okay, so “private judge” is a term you made up, thank you for the clarification. It sounds like Judge Mock did not disclose his relationship with Ms. Hurd in the Artz case and I think he should have. What’s more, Mock’s rebuttal to Ms. Druliner’s motion contains few sound reasons for which an attorney such as Ms. Druliner should have reasonably known of his relationship with Ann Hurd.
    V-“It is my opinion to think that Mock and Hurd as a husband and wife do discuss work, even if no one else agrees with me. Is it not?”

    If you say that’s your opinion, then of course it is.

    V-“Regardless of what anybody thinks, my opinion is I still think it is wrong for them two to be serving the public in their positions together.”

    Well, they aren’t serving together per se, but the both do work in the criminal justice system. In my opinion, it’s not a problem as long as the relationship is fully disclosed.

    V-“Katherine has every right to do what she is doing, for the sake of her client.”

    No doubt.

  20. E Roberts Musser

    To Valerie: This statement is accurate: “There are many jobs where this is a requirement.” If one holds a security clearance for instance, one cannot go blabbing top secret information to one’s spouse. It is one’s sworn duty not to. It is not impossible to be married, and not talk about one’s job to one’s spouse, if there is a requirement that the job or some aspect of it are not to be talked about. It is done all the time, in many professions.

  21. kathryndruliner

    Super…man: I do not talk to my husband about my client’s cases. I may be wierd — in fact I know I appear that way — but I know my ethical rules and followed them as a prosecutor (unlike a certain GH in the Yolo DA’s ofc who promised me he would consider my defense discovery b/c that was his ethical duty and he did not). I remember one time I had exonnerating evidence in a child molest case that I soooo did not want to give the defense attorney, it did not mean his client did not do it, but could confuse the jury, I almost had to stuggle with my hand when I was handing it over, but I did. In the Artz case, I received information from my client’s dad about the cop cheating; I wrote it down and gave it to Susz; she of course told Beasley who made up a long lie about his defiance of a witness exclusion rule. I don’t know many defense attorneys (and unfortunately prosecutors today) who would have done that, especially timely and in writing. My husband would. Maybe that is why we have been married for so long even though on opposite sides. I also follow the rules in court (fight hard and win much “too often” for defense attorney but never cheat); when I was a prosecutor my trainer prosecutor told me it was better to apologize than to ask permission. I was never comfortable with that and still don’t do it. I don’t need to; win anyway; but if I had to, I would go back to Insurance. I do not talk to my husband about my client’s confidential information. It is a slippery slope. I just wish more people either understood or cared about ethics.

  22. kathryndruliner

    super…man: do not misunderstand me: I am not a perfect person. Far from it. I have many chapters in my life that I am not proud of. Ethics is just not one of them.

  23. Superfluous Man

    Kathryn,

    “I do not talk to my husband about my client’s cases. I may be wierd — in fact I know I appear that way — but I know my ethical rules and followed them as a prosecutor (unlike a certain GH in the Yolo DA’s ofc who promised me he would consider my defense discovery b/c that was his ethical duty and he did not).”

    So do you think you and your husband are the exception? Since when is it considered weird to be bound by ethics? There’s something to say about doing the right thing, case and career be damned.

    What should or can be done about GH’s failure to act ethically? That would seem to be a big deal.

    “I don’t know many defense attorneys (and unfortunately prosecutors today) who would have done that, especially timely and in writing.”

    Why do you think that is? The profession has become less about the service and more about how it best serves one’s career?

    “when I was a prosecutor my trainer prosecutor told me it was better to apologize than to ask permission. I was never comfortable with that and still don’t do it. I don’t need to; win anyway”

    That must have put you in a moral bind. How did you approach that dilemma? On one hand you need to show your trainer you got the chops to be a skilled prosecutor and a “good fit” with the office, yet on the other…your conscience. Was leaving the only option?

    “do not misunderstand me: I am not a perfect person. Far from it. I have many chapters in my life that I am not proud of. Ethics is just not one of them.”

    FWIW, I didn’t think you came off as that way.

  24. Superfluous Man

    I just realized I made an error in my first post re: Ms. Hurd’s retirement as claimed by Judge Mock. Mock stated that his wife was rehired by the Yolo County DA’s office in July 2010 while the provided docuent indicates that Ms. Hurd was rehired in September 2009.

    So is the cited document inaccurate or is Judge Mock mistaken? It too is possible that Ms. Hurd again left the DA’s office sometime after September 2009 and was rehired again in July of the following year, I suppose. That just seems unlikely from this observer’s point of view.

    Interestingly, given the quotes DMG provided, Mock does not give a date for his wife’s “retirement” from Chief DDA. Did he address that at all or does it even matter?

  25. kathryndruliner

    Super…man:
    Re: GH’s ethics: the answer is to report him to the State Bar. The problem is that they are administrators and mostly deal with trust fund violations because they are easy to investigate and prove (paper trails). So there is no practical fix if the DA in charge does not care. The answer if for the voting public to become aware and replace the DA.
    Re: the conundrum re what my trainer told me about apologizing rather than asking? He was not my boss, just my trainer. Also I got excellent results so no one questioned my abilities. In fact, that very same young man suggested to Jan Scully, then supervisor of a Felony team, now Sac DA, that I be brought up early to her team when she had an opening. I was also recruited very early by the supervisor of the sexual assault vertical prosecution team (after only 5 mos. on Scully’s felony team). I left after almost 4 years in the DA’s office and only because I wanted to avoid the politics of my husband running for DA when 3 others in the office and one former DA were also running. It was too ugly.

  26. Superfluous Man

    Kathryn,

    “GH’s ethics: the answer is to report him to the State Bar. The problem is that they are administrators and mostly deal with trust fund violations because they are easy to investigate and prove (paper trails).”

    So what you’re saying is you could do something about it, but it would be futile? Ethics (alleged) violations in our criminal justice system, which literally can mean a man/woman is sanctioned to die, should be a top priority. It being an inconvenience to investigate claims of ethics violations is no excuse, if you’re correct in your assessment.

    “So there is no practical fix if the DA in charge does not care. The answer if for the voting public to become aware and replace the DA.”

    There’s an interesting academic article on this very topic (DA elections) and I think you might enjoy it (http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1009&context=ronald_wright) The reality is we can’t count on the elections to hold elected DA’s accountable. Further, incumbent DA’s win 95% of the time (including running opposed and unopposed), but the more alarming figure is that they ran unopposed 85% of the time, according to this study.

    Consequently, there is no one holding the incumbent DA accountable by way of a debate, campaign, et al. In other words, not only does the public not have an alternative to the incumbent the vast majority of the time, but the DA is never forced to address any public concerns.

  27. bachha

    Kathryndruliner said
    “Hurd must have known Artz was winning. Susz was unhappy and asking Mock to limit time for closing arguments. He said he never did. Next morning, guess what? He did. Wonder why?”

    I am very naive. I never thought that perhaps the DA is behind these kinds of tactics. Mr. Dev’s case had a very similar thing happening. Judge Fall limited just 1 hour for closing arguments. Mr. Dev was overcharged (cash for convictions) by DDA Steve Mount with 92 counts. The defense attorney needed at least 2 days to connect all the dots for closing arguments. Judge Fall finally allowed 3 hours after motion was filed. For heaven’s sake, the dentist case got few days for the closing argument. It was unreal. Justice was stolen from Mr. Dev. To find out more about Mr. Dev’s wrongful conviction you can check http://www.advocatesforajay.com

  28. kathryndruliner

    super…man and others in Yolo who are victimized or will be by Reisig: There was a very well organized and successful battle to unseat incumbant Steve White as DA in Sacto by Jan Scully in 1996. She and her backers (about 5 people in the office) had been planning it for several years. It included several no confidence votes by the DDA’s assn of which Scully was the head. They were very smart. Also Scully’s then husband (deceased) had a lot of $. She hired a very good campaign Manager. She was coached in public speaking. She was truly a come from behind winner. Despite my philosophical differences with her, I believe she has been a good DA and continues to get better. She has never filed a PC 288.3 and does not use the grant funding like Reisig although she knows how and could if she wanted to. No one has ever run against her (except one with no real credibility).

    I say this 1) to demonstrate the difficulty with unseating a DA; they have too much power as chief law enforcement officer of County and it is threatening and 2) to show how important the discretion of the DA is to the proper running of the office and the proper administration of justice. You residents of Yolo must get the Sacramento Bee and the County Bd of Supervisors involved to expose Reisig. When DDA’s in Sacto are unethical, even if the State Bar gives them a pass (and I have one person in mind specifically) Jan Scully fired her. She was a smart and successful career deputy da but she crossed the line.

  29. kathryndruliner

    Super….man: I read the article in the Ohio law review. Prosecutorial Discretion is basically unfettered.

    However, there is a hole in prosecutorial immunity when the prosecutor is either involved in the investigation or engages in a certain type of misconduct as was present in the Artz case. It becomes the prosecutor’s burden to establish immunity. This is in a Federal Civil Rights Action 42 U.S.C. 1983. Burns v. Reed (1991) 111 S. Ct. 1934; U.S. v. McLaughlin 126 F3d 130 (3d Cir) 1997), and many other cases since 1991.

    There is also the potential for the court to impose santions but in Yolo that request would be another exercise in futility.

  30. Superfluous Man

    Kathryn,

    KD “There was a very well organized and successful battle to unseat incumbant Steve White as DA in Sacto by Jan Scully in 1996. She and her backers (about 5 people in the office) had been planning it for several years. It included several no confidence votes by the DDA’s assn of which Scully was the head.”

    I think you’ll find that many of the well respected and experienced prosecutors in this county, who according to many were much better qualified for DA than Reisig (or Lenzi for that matter), either aren’t there anymore (for a variety of reasons), have since retired from the profession or just have no interest in running. Main point: what’s left at that office is a lot of the same. My understanding is that he has surrounded himself with similarly minded people-for better or worse.

    Have you talked to people in Yolo County’s criminal justice system? If so, anyone give you some examples of great alternatives to Reisig, who are currently YC prosecutors?

    What you described Scully doing in 1996 is impressive, but possibly infeasible in such a small office (30 attorneys or so). Good luck keeping that secret for one year, much less several. Of course, that isn’t to assume time dedicated to the “coup” is indicative of the “coup’s” success.

    KD “They were very smart. Also Scully’s then husband (deceased) had a lot of $. She hired a very good campaign Manager. She was coached in public speaking. She was truly a come from behind winner.”

    Well…having bookoo bucks is helpful. People at the DA’s office know that running against their boss has its inherit problems, so the benefits must greatly outweigh the costs. If you have a family, are comfortable where you’re at occupationally, don’t want to move to Yolo County and so forth-is it worth jeopardizing all that just for the slim chance that he/she can unseat the incumbent DA (his/her boss)? I think many believe it is not.

    KD “2) to show how important the discretion of the DA is to the proper running of the office and the proper administration of justice.”

    Preaching to the choir on here. Which DA’s run their offices as you believe they should be run, in your objective opinion?

    KD “You residents of Yolo must get the Sacramento Bee and the County Bd of Supervisors involved to expose Reisig.”

    I don’t think the YC BOS wants to deal with this. Frankly, this grant stuff prevents them from having to make very unpopular decisions…they embrace it. It is interesting that not only has the Bee not picked up on any of these recent Vanguard grant pieces, but the local media has also remained silent on this issue. Makes me wonder.

    I’m sure the Bee is aware of these grant stories, they pay attention to what goes on in YC and the Vanguard (ever since David broke the “Cheese Pants” case, I would think). Why do you think the Bee has not followed up on this?

  31. kathryndruliner

    Super…man: You need to know that for at least 10 years I hated Jan Scully. Till I learned that she didn’t think about me at all and anger consumes the host; I think Einstein or someone much smarter than I am said something about that.

    However, I will give credit where it is due. She has grown tremendously in the job.

    As to the question of who in Yolo DA’s ofc would run against Reisig? They would have to be 5150 (i.e. nuts, eligible for 72 hr hold against their will). This is the problem. Anyone in the office cannot run because if they lose, they will have to leave. Anyone outside of the office cannot run because if it is a local defense attorney (and I would nominate Dean Johanson (spelling?) with whom I worked in Sacramento Co. and who I know is a very excellent and ethical lawyer, he risks burning bridges with all the deputy da’s he has to do business with in the future.

    Also, I can tell you from watching my husband go thru it, and he is the best, hired by Lockyer to head the Criminal division for the Entire state of Ca. Lifetime prosecutor and as wise and ethical as you can get (altho like most prosecutors, he has to ask me what ?? when complex constitutional law questions like the gay rights marriage issue came up in SF).It is a political job and that is the opposite of what we need in a DA — someone who won’t say anything to get elected. When Dave ran an Assemblywomen said she would back him if he said he was anti-choice. He said “What does that have to do with it?” I will enforce the law. She backed Scully.

  32. Superfluous Man

    Kathryn,

    I agree and thought that was the point I was trying to make re: running against an incumbent DA as a local attorney/prosecutor of that very office=too much of a risk and not worth it to most.

  33. Superfluous Man

    One possibilty is to appoint the DA’s instead of elect the, right?

    On the other hand, with such a high success rate when challenged (95%) and only being challenged (85%) of the time, what are the incumbent DA’s so concerned about? Why do they need to “pander” or “look tough?”

    With the purported dirt and scandal surrounding Reisig and his office, no one challenged him. I believe his predecessor received a DUI and was reelected when challenged in the subsequent election (someone correct me if I’m wrong). What does it take to unseat an incumbent DA, it’s really hard. The field is highly specialized and thus very few citizens in the jurisdiction are even remotely qualified for the job.

  34. kathryndruliner

    The problem with the appointment of DA’s is that this too is often corrupted. The outgoing DA handpicks his/her successor and suggests that name to the Bd of Sups who knows no better than to accept that name. Then that person becomes an incumbent.

    With respect to the paranoia of the incumbents protecting their jobs your guess is as good as mine. I can only assume the following: not that well qualified for other legal work. These are political jobs with high pay, potentially higher future prospects, that go to people who are generally (not always, generally) not legal scholars. In other words, with the ego element necessary for a politician, they are in hog heaven.

    And many years ago there was a DA in Sac County with a drinking/ criminal record. Didn’t matter until a group of Deputies got together to unseat him. John Price was a career District Attorney in Sacramento like the one that Law and Order (TV show) is based on). That is ideal but how to get there? If I were king I’d say appointment by Governor with advice and consent by Senate like for U.S. Supreme Court with Presidential picks. But I am not and do not want to be King. The vetting process would be helpful.

  35. David M. Greenwald

    On the other hand, the problem with elections is that DA’s most often are never challenged by credible candidates, so once they get into office, they stay there. On the other hand, most Public Defenders are appointed and they have to adhere to the county-line. So you see the one elected Public Defender, in SF, as one of the better ones. There’s no good answer.

  36. Superfluous Man

    Kathryn,

    KD“The problem with the appointment of DA’s is that this too is often corrupted. The outgoing DA handpicks his/her successor and suggests that name to the Bd of Sups who knows no better than to accept that name. Then that person becomes an incumbent.”

    Exactly, I think a simple appointment probably wouldn’t be any better than an election. Your example, regarding the problems w/apppointments, however, has a bit of irony given the fact that Reisig’s election was helped immensely by the outgoing DA’s ringing endorsement. Henderson was well liked by his staff and for the most part respected by his peers.

    Henderson effectively “handpicked” Reisig to be his successor and “suggested” his name (Reisig) to the public who too “knows no better than to accept that name.” I think that contributed greatly to his victory.

    In other words…it’s an appointment of sorts. Funny thing, I don’t think Henderson endorsed Reisig the second time around. Wonder why…

    KD“With respect to the paranoia of the incumbents protecting their jobs your guess is as good as mine. I can only assume the following: not that well qualified for other legal work.”

    Re: not qualified: Possibly, but if the numbers are true why are they even worried? They win 95% of the time and run unopposed 85% of the time. You think all the grandstanding is just in case a really awesome opponent comes along and/or the incumbent DA is really weak for some reason at some point in the future?

    KD “These are political jobs with high pay, potentially higher future prospects, that go to people who are generally (not always, generally) not legal scholars. In other words, with the ego element necessary for a politician, they are in hog heaven.”

    They are political and high paid. Consequently, so are some of their top level appointees, hires, et al. I think Reisig makes over 180K and his Asst. Chief DDA’s (Mount and Raven) make 160K or so. That’s a lot for public service positions on the local level. Hell, the DA “Lieutenants” who oversee just a few people (I think the tally was less than 5 when averaged, seriously) make over 100K. I guess the point is that they all have a lot to lose and probably want to protect it all.

    I do think the prospect of higher office is a factor. Seems like DA/USAO serves as a stepping stone for aspiring state and federal offices. I don’t understand the legal scholar component to this. Are you suggesting that these people aren’t exactly the tip-top of the legal field?

    KD “And many years ago there was a DA in Sac County with a drinking/ criminal record. Didn’t matter until a group of Deputies got together to unseat him. John Price was a career District Attorney in Sacramento like the one that Law and Order (TV show) is based on). That is ideal but how to get there? If I were king I’d say appointment by Governor with advice and consent by Senate like for U.S. Supreme Court with Presidential picks. But I am not and do not want to be King. The vetting process would be helpful.”

    Did the DA’s brush with the law occur during his tenure as DA? What is ideal, a guy like Jack McCoy as DA?

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