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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Judge, Office 7San Francisco County Superior CourtNovember 8, 2016California General Election

November 8, 2016California General Election

San Francisco County Superior CourtJudge, Office 7

Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (0/0).

About this office

Superior court judges preside over trial court cases, both civil and criminal. They hear witnesses' testimony and other evidence and decide cases by applying the law to the relevant facts.
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Who’s Running?

You can vote for 1 candidate of 2 total candidates.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
Civil Rights Attorney
217,689 votes (65.05%)Winning
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  • 1. Greater access to justice where all litigants--regardless of language barriers, education level, or resource level--have an equal opportunity to present their cases in court. I would work to improve court self-help centers to achieve this.
  • 2. Improved procedural justice that gives every litigant a full opportunity to be heard. If elected, I would be sure to explain my ruling and the reasoning behind it so that no litigant leaves the courtroom without knowing what happened, and why.
  • 3. Establish implicit bias training for all court staff including judges undergo periodic implicit bias training to guard against developing stereotypes and biases.
Profession:Civil Rights Attorney
Deputy Director, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (2014current)
Commissioner, San Francisco Police Commission — Appointed position (2014current)
Civil Rights Prosecutor, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (20072014)
Managing Attorney, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (20012007)
Commissioner, San Francisco Elections Commission — Appointed position (20062007)
Managing Attorney, Asian Law Caucus (19962001)
Deputy Public Defender, Los Angeles Public Defender's Office (19921996)
University of Southern California Juris Doctorate (1992)
University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Arts, English (1989)
Secretary, PTA (20142015)
Board Member, Bar Association of San Francisco (20082010)
Commissioner, State Bar Commission on Women and Minorities (20032006)
Co-Chair, Minority Bar Coalition (20042005)
President, Asian American Bar Association (20042005)
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • John Burton, CA Democratic Party Chair*
  • George Gascón, SF District Attorney
  • Hon. Richard B. Ulmer, Jr., San Francisco Superior Court
  • Margaret Fujioka, Mayor, City of Piedmont
  • Hon. Julie Tang (Ret.), San Francisco Superior Court
  • Hon. Steve Owyang (Ret.), Administrative Law Judge
  • Hon. Elizabeth Lee, San Mateo Superior Court
  • Hon. Ken Kawaichi (Ret.), San Francisco Superior Court
  • Hon. Roy Hashimoto, Alameda Superior Court
  • Hon. Delbert C. Gee, Alameda Superior Court
  • Hon. Samuel K. Feng, San Francisco Superior Court
  • Hon. George T. Choppelas (Ret.), San Francisco Superior Court
  • Hon. Andrew Y.S. Cheng, San Francisco Superior Court
  • Hon. Tracie L. Brown, San Francisco Superior Court
  • John Burton, Chair, California Democratic Party*
  • John Chiang, California State Treasurer
  • David Chiu, SF Assemblymember
  • Steve Ngo, Trustee, Community College Board
  • Sandra Lee Fewer, Member, San Francisco Board of Education
  • Norman Yee, San Francisco Supervisor
  • Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Supervisor
  • Eric Mar, San Francisco Supervisor
  • Jane Kim, San Francisco Supervisor
  • David Campos, San Francisco Supervisor
  • John Avalos, San Francisco Supervisor
  • George Gascón, District Attorney
  • Edwin M. Lee, Mayor
  • Phil Ting, SF Assemblymember
  • Hon. Michael Begert, San Francisco Superior Court
  • Justice Harry W. Low (Ret.), California Court of Appeal
  • Fiona Ma, Member, Board of Equalization
  • Hon. Lillian Sing (Ret.), San Francisco Superior Court
  • Matt Haney, President, San Francisco Board of Education
  • Hon. Dennis W. Hayashi, Alameda Superior Court
  • *For identification purposes only. †Indicates retired judge.
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • San Francisco Examiner
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • Community Tenants Association
  • Bernal Heights Democratic Club
  • Chinese American Democratic Club
  • District 8 Progressive Democrats
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
  • Korean American Bar Association
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley
  • Asian American Prosecutors Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Bay Area
  • FDR Democratic Club
  • New Avenues Democratic Club
  • Richmond District Democratic Club
  • Teachers for Social Justice
  • SF Vision
  • Chinese American Citizens Alliance
  • San Francisco Women’s Political Committee
  • San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters
  • UNITE HERE Local 2
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • San Francisco Green Party
  • San Francisco for Democracy
  • South Beach District 6 Democratic Club
  • Malcolm Yeung, Deputy Director, Chinatown Community Development Center*
  • Murray Zisholz, criminal defense attorney
  • John Zahar, Former San Francisco Assistant District Attorney*
  • Jeremiah Jeffries, Teacher, San Francisco Unified School District*
  • John Murphy, Murphy and Associates
  • Hene Kelly, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee*
  • Steve Nakajo, Member, San Francisco Fire Commission*
  • Tony Kelly, President of the Potrero Hill Democratic Club*
  • Minette Kwok, Trustee, American Immigration Council, Past President, AILA*
  • Sonia Melara, Commissioner, San Francisco Police Commission*
  • Dr. Joe Marshall, Commissioner, San Francisco Police Commission*
  • Melba Maldonado, Executive Director, La Raza Community Resource Center*
  • Rita Mah, former Director, Chinese Newcomers Service Center*
  • Allan Low, Vice President, San Francisco Parks and Recreation Commission*
  • Myrna Melgar, Executive Director, Jamestown Community Center*
  • Rafael Leiva, UNITE HERE Local 2*
  • Steven Lee, Commissioner, San Francisco Entertainment Commission*
  • Mel Lee, Member, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association*
  • Antonio Medina, Dean of Students, Leadership High School*
  • Eumi Lee, Clinical Professor of Law at U.C. Hastings*
  • Alex Lee, Vice President, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association*
  • Phong La, Chair, California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs*
  • Davi Lang, Commissioner, Animal Care and Control Commission*
  • Dale Minami, Founder, Asian Law Caucus*
  • Zachary Nightingale, immigration attorney
  • Vilaska Nguyen, San Francisco Deputy Public Defender*
  • Sanaz Nikaein, family law attorney
  • Greg Tanaka, director, court self-help center*
  • Dean Ito Taylor, Executive Director, API Legal Outreach*
  • Tom Temprano, small business owner
  • John Tsutakawa, child abuse prevention attorney
  • Rob Uy, Former President, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California*
  • Terry Valens, Executive Director, Filipino Community Center*
  • Patty Wada, Regional Director, Japanese American Citizens’ League*
  • Steve Whitworth, criminal defense attorney
  • Cindy Wu, Commissioner, San Francisco Planning Commission*
  • Omid Talai, San Francisco Assistant District Attorney
  • Lateefah Simon, Former Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights*
  • Terry Szucko, family law attorney
  • Ember Oparowski, former law clerk and attorney
  • Richard Ow, Commissioner, San Francisco Commission on Aging*
  • Roberto Peña, SFUSD Office of Pupil Services*
  • Stephanie Wildman, Law Professor, Santa Clara University*
  • Edwin Prather, Former Member, California Commission on Access to Justice*
  • Leah Price, Commissioner, San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission*
  • Charles Sanchez, Commissioner, Oakland Library Advisory Commission*
  • April Seo, family law attorney
  • Julie Soo, Commissioner, Commission on the Status of Women*
  • Mia Tu Mutch, Director, Transitional Age Youth SF*
  • Don Tamaki, Founder, Asian Law Caucus*
  • Jessica Chia, housing rights attorney
  • Jonah Chew, criminal defense attorney
  • Christina Chen, family law attorney
  • Hung Chang, President, Asian American Bar Association of Greater Bay Area*
  • Billy Chan, small business attorney
  • Dori Caminong, Commissioner, San Francisco Entertainment Commission*
  • George Borges, criminal defense attorney
  • Steve Bingham, Former Attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid*
  • Alex Bastian, Spokesperson, San Francisco District Attorney*
  • Wendy Aragon, President, Richmond District Democratic Club*
  • Mukesh Advani, Founder, South Asian Bar Association
  • Calvin Abe, Member, Assessment Appeals Board*
  • Anni Chung, Executive Director, Self-Help for the Elderly*
  • John Crew, former director of Police Practices Project at ACLU*
  • Joel Engardio, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee*
  • Stephen R. Jaffe, employment rights attorney
  • Richard Hung, Commissioner, San Francisco Rent Board*
  • Lee Hsu, Vice President, Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association*
  • Francisco Hsieh, Member, San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City*
  • Darryl Honda, President, San Francisco Board of Appeals*
  • Becky Hogue, Treasure Island Community Advisory Board*
  • Christine Hoang, immigration attorney
  • Jeff Harris, CEO, The Junior Statesmen Foundation*
  • Gail Gilman, Executive Director, Community Housing Partnership*
  • Greg Gangitano, construction law attorney
  • Erin Gangitano, family law attorney
  • Marc Fong, Fellow, American Board of Trial Advocates*
  • Greg Flores, Parliamentarian, Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club*
Civil justice system

Many people feel that a backlog of cases has led to a situation where people cannot get reasonable access to the civil justice system. Do you believe that there is a problem with access? Please explain in detail and indicate whether or not you would support expanding court hours.

Answer from Victor Hwang:

Yes, there is most definitely a problem with access to our courts.  I believe that our courts must open to all and maintain a fair system of access to ensure that everyone—no matter his or her standing—has an equal opportunity to achieve justice.


But since 2008, state budget cuts have been responsible for closing 52 courthouses resulting in an enormous strain to our legal system, statewide.  Here in San Francisco, our Superior Court was forced to close 25 courtrooms in 2011 and reduce hours in all clerks’ offices due to multi-year budget cuts.


The consequences of these actions have been clear: litigants must wait longer to have a case heard and access critical services such as self-help and family law assistance are limited.  Clearly, this is not an ideal system. 


If elected, I pledge to run a courtroom that is efficient and accessible to all. I would – as many judges do – invite counsel to meet with me in chambers to resolve as many pre-trial issues or discuss settlements before the start of the court day to maximize our time in open court.  I have also been a leader in promoting greater language-access in our courts, an issue I have championed for the last decade.


But at the end of the day, it is more important for the courts to focus on the quality of the time spent in court by the parties, rather than the quantity.  Having a judge with the most trial experience will benefit the courts by having someone who can settle cases quickly, who can rule more quickly on trial issues, and who can keep the court on pace.

Prosecutor/Public Servant
116,937 votes (34.95%)
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  • Broader inclusion to the legal profession (for women and diverse students)
  • Increased diversity to the judiciary
  • Broader access to the court and legal services
Profession:Prosecutor/Public Servant
Deputy Chief of Staff, Public Safety, Mayors Office, City & County of San Francisco (2011current)
Chief of Administration, San Francisco District Attorney's Officer (20072011)
Managing Attorney, Trial Division, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (20052007)
Trial Attorney, General Litigation, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (20042005)
Prosecutor, Narcotics Division, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (20022004)
Tulane University Juris Doctor (1993)
University of California, Los Angeles Bachelor of Arts (1990)

An experienced courtroom litigator and lifelong San Franciscan, Paul Henderson has served since 2011 as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Public Safety Liaison in Mayor Edwin Lee’s Administration. Paul serves as a principal adviser to the Mayor and is responsible for the development and implementation of policy across a broad range of issues affecting our City. Paul supports the management of various City departments, providing direct support to the Mayor with an emphasis on the criminal justice system working with local, State and Federal partners.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s office, Paul served as Chief of Administration for then District Attorney Kamala Harris, and trial prosecutor for the City of San Francisco, where he successfully handled every type of case in the criminal justice system, from nonviolent misdemeanors to serious felonies, including homicide. As Chief Administrator, Paul held the highest position ever held by an African-American male attorney at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to his record of courtroom success as a seasoned prosecutor, Mr. Henderson also has years of criminal pro tem superior court judicial experience, and civil appellate experience as an appointed hearing officer.


In a state poll, Paul was twice voted as one of California’s “Super-Lawyers,” and has been recognised as one of the state’s most astute legal minds by California Lawyer magazine. He is a standing member of the national faculty for the U.S. Department of Justice and frequent speaker for the American Bar Association (ABA). Last summer, Paul was called to the White House to contribute to the emerging agenda on nationwide justice reforms.


Paul grew up blocks away from the San Francisco housing projects, where law enforcement was often seen as an adversary. He rejected the notion, however, that relationship between underserved communities and the justice system must be one of conflict. Through his success working to protect victims of violent crimes and representing communities without a voice in the courtroom, Mr. Henderson has made lasting impacts on the San Francisco Bay Area.

Paul attended San Francisco schools and earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA before obtaining his law degree at Tulane University, where he served as president of his class. Mr. Henderson is a passionate advocate for both civil rights and public safety. Presently Paul serves on the boards of several nonprofit agencies and was recently appointed to a prominent committee with the State Bar by the Board of Governors.

  • Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
  • Secretary of State Alex Padilla
  • Congressman Eric Swalwell
  • Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Democratic Party
  • Laborer Local 261
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • Firefighters Local 798

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