With all the attention on the national election, and believe me that attention is warranted, we are drawn away, sometimes, from the very important, and perhaps as critical political races, being run in our own backyards.  Such a race is the one for 36th district court judge here in Detroit.

Detroit needs and deserves someone on the court who sincerely wants to make a difference for the city and it’s citizens. That person is Attorney and Administrative Law Judge, Doug Monds.

Recently I sat and talked with Doug and was impressed both with his qualifications for election and the vision that he has for the city he loves and wants to serve.  I want to share with you some of what I learned from our conversation.

His story began in Detroit, just over 50 years ago:  “My father was a hard working entrepreneur, having started his own trucking company.  My mom, a registered nurse.  Me, my sister and my brothers went to a small Lutheran School on Tireman and Burnett,” on Detroit’s west side.  “My Education started in that four room school house,” Doug continued, “and progressed to St. Mary’s of Redford High School, Morehouse College in Atlanta – famously known as the school of Reverend Dr. M.L. King and then the University of Michigan Law School – the number three law school in the entire country.”  After graduating from law school Doug landed a position as an Associate Attorney at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, one of Detroit, and Michigan’s, most prestigious law firms.  “I eventually left the firm in my quest to gain more trial experience,” said Doug.

After a time, Doug applied for and received a quasi-judicial position as an Administrative Law Judge for the City of Detroit Department of Administrative Hearings.  Said Doug, “I finally found something I loved in the law.  I wasn’t the first ‘blight court judge’ for the city, but I was determined to be the best.  I wrote my own operating manual and worked hard to fairly adjudicate every case.  I earned the respect of the city inspectors and the police officers who regularly appeared in my courtroom.  I also earned the respect of the residents, business owners, investors and attorneys who also happened to find themselves in my courtroom.”  Doug continued, “I will continue to earn respect every day as a District Court Judge.”

When asked why are you running for judge, Doug responded:  “One of the things I realized right away is that the ordinary people who appeared in front of me often had never been in a courtroom before.  I found that truly listening to folks and letting them have their day in court went a long way toward them understanding and accepting the judicial system.  Taking this same approach of respect for the individual to the 36th District Court will make a difference.”  “While there are more than 30 judges on the court,” Doug said, “the right judge, at the right time, can make a difference in someone’s life.  I will be that right judge.  I will be that difference maker.”

We talked about crime, and this is what Doug had to say:  “Everyone who lives in Detroit has been touched by crime or, at least, knows someone who has been touched by crime.  Judges aren’t crime fighters, but they can have impact, as program implementer’s.”  In fact, Doug was victimized recently, “My car was stolen a couple of weeks ago.  Just like everyone else, in that situation, I had to deal with it.  I’ve been robbed before – I had to deal with that, too.  What people don’t like to deal with is a system which seems to ignore them.  If a person is caught committing a crime the worse thing that can happen is that the offender is seen to have gotten off ‘scott free.'”  Doug continued, “The role of the judge is to balance the need for punishment, the need to prevent future offenses, by the persons found guilty, the need for fairness and the need for firmness, all at the same time.  This type of balancing can’t be taught.  It is a skill developed with years of experience.  I have those years of experience.  I have those skills.  I’ve demonstrated them for years and will continue to demonstrate them as a District Court Judge.”

Finally, this from Doug, “Every case is different.  Every person is a unique individual.  My philosophy is to remember this, even when there is a courtroom of people waiting to be heard.  No one gets the short shrift.  When people are treated as individuals they tend to respect the process.  Respect for the process is the reason for the black robe, the gavel, the elevated bench, the flags in the courtroom and all of the rest of the symbolism that goes with the office.  When the people respect the judge wearing the robe, behind the elevated bench, holding the gavel, everybody wins.”

Doug Monds is a winner.  He deserves your support.  The primary election for the 36th District Court is Tuesday, August 7, 2012.  Be sure to get to the polls and vote.  Be sure to select Doug Monds.

For more about Doug Monds go to: http://www.dougmondsforjudge.com/

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