As a judge I run my courtroom “by the book,” because everyone needs to know that we follow the law, hold everyone accountable, and let the facts and law determine outcomes — not politics.
I don’t coddle criminal defendants. I don’t coddle defense attorneys. I don’t coddle prosecutors. I treat everyone with respect and require that everyone in my court follows the rules.
Perhaps some find my insistence on professionalism and strict adherence to the law refreshing. Perhaps some find it difficult to deal with. I find it essential because at the core of our mission at the Superior Court is making sure everyone in this city respects the law. Everyone needs to know if they break the law there will be consequences. And they need to know that any outcome in a court of law is based on an absolute respect for, and adherence to, our laws.
After long service as a litigator with strong experience in the courtroom and working on complex legal issues I was proud to be appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Gavin Newsom. For many years I have been deeply involved in the community, serving on the Board and as Board Chair of the California Pacific Medical Center as we worked to dramatically expand healthcare, particularly to previously underserved communities. I have served as a Board Member at the American Conservatory Theater, where I worked to expand access to arts and culture citywide. As a member of the Board of Grace Cathedral I worked to bring a values-based education to pre-school students from all income levels.
As someone who has experienced crime — I understand the frustration many feel about safety in our city. As a Black man who grew up in a largely white neighborhood in the Midwest, I have also felt the personal sting of being treated unfairly. I believe the answer to lowering crime, and lifting up every community, is absolute fairness before the law.
I am deeply honored that my judicial campaign has already earned the support of so many others who believe that the law always comes before politics, such as former justice Anthony Kline, Judge Vaughn Walker, ten former presidents of the Bar Association of San Francisco, nearly 30 sitting judges and justices (to date), Reverend Dr. Amos Brown pastor of Third Baptist Church, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Labor Council and hundreds of others.
I graduated from the University of Michigan in the honors program and then Harvard Law School. I have nearly 30 years of legal experience, and served in our local state bar helping to vet candidates for judicial positions.
This experience, and my lifetime of experiences, taught me that we all are safer, and our city is stronger, when we all have a deep respect for the law — and judges who make sure we always follow the law. That’s what I do in my courtroom — which I am proud to run absolutely “by the book.”
Read why the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board stands with Judge Patrick Thompson: