Vote for Scott Jackson for Alameda County Superior Court Judge
Eighty-one percent of local attorneys say he’s the most qualified candidate in this race. We agree.
Down-ballot races—like for superior court judge, for example—are typically among the most difficult for voters to decide. That’s usually because of the dearth of information available about the candidates. As a result, many voters skip such contests altogether on their ballots.
But we think this year’s race for Alameda County Superior Court judge offers a clear choice: Scott Jackson. He’s a smart attorney with a broad range of experience who has garnered deep respect from both prosecutors and defense lawyers. In fact, this year, in an unusual move, both Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods endorsed him, along with more than three dozen county judges.
An Oakland resident, Jackson is currently the director of the Litigation Center at Golden Gate University Law School, the campus’ largest department. Previously, he was a partner with the law firm Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley, handling civil litigation. And before that, he was a deputy district attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Jackson’s opponent, Barbara Thomas is a longtime local attorney and former Alameda city councilmember. Thomas describes herself as a “victim’s rights” attorney and has been practicing law since the 1980s. In Alameda, she's known for taking public stances on a range of issues. Earlier this year, for example, Thomas spoke out strongly against Measure M1, Alameda’s proposed rent control law. In an interview, she said she was representing a landlord client at the time, but then added that she does have personal “concerns” about the measure.
During the past year, Thomas was embroiled in a nasty legal dispute with the Alameda County Bar Association. The association had terminated her from its list of attorneys assigned to serve low-income defendants. In court documents, the association raised serious questions about her billing practices and said she had committed numerous rules and administrative violations over the years.
In an interview, Thomas accused the association of age discrimination, saying it “wanted younger attorneys.” But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch dismissed Thomas’ lawsuit in its entirety in July, ruling that it was without merit. According to transcripts of the case, Roesch became frustrated with Thomas because she was badly unprepared for the final hearing. She acknowledged during the hearing that she failed to file—or bring to court—key evidence of her claims against the association.
According to the Bar Association, 81 percent of its members—attorneys from throughout the East Bay—ranked Jackson as the “most qualified” candidate in this race.
Our endorsements are unanimous selections of the editorial board.