Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, January 19, 2024


Page 8




Keith Koyano

Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 115


“Both are exceptional candidates and will make good judges,” one Los Angeles Superior Court judge says of Deputy District Attorneys Christmas Brookens and Keith Koyano,” adding:

“Quite frankly, I wish I didn’t have to choose between the two!”

Another judge declares:

“That is a very tough one. I endorsed both. I worked with and supervised both deputy district attorneys when I was a calendar deputy in the Compton court.

“I have also had the pleasure of Ms. Brookens appearing in my court in Long Beach.

“Christmas is a hardworking, tenacious advocate. She is an effective prosecutor, kind, courteous and respectful of the court. The jurors love her for her charm.

“Keith is somewhat more low keyed. He is equally hard working and tenacious. He is obsessive in his dedication to serving the People’s interests to prosecute, as well being fair and just to those whom he prosecutes. He is likewise an able and effective prosecutor.

“Both Christmas and Keith would make fine additions to the court as Superior Court judges. Both are even keeled and present as kind, courteous and professional. I just regret that only one may win.”

We share that sentiment.


ere are some other comments by judges of the county’s trial court:

“Deputy District Attorney Christmas Brookens is one of the best Deputy District Attorneys that has appeared before me. Ms. Brookens is very intelligent. She speaks multiple languages; she has great oratory and written skills. She has tried some of the most complex criminal trials successfully. As a trial attorney, she can connect to the victims, witnesses, and jurors because she is authentic. Most importantly, she has integrity, she is humble, she shows respect to the judges, judicial staff, opposing counsel, and her colleagues. In turn, she is respected by judges, judicial staff, opposing counsel, and her colleagues. Because of her trial background, her fairness, compassion, strong work ethic, and patience, she is extremely well qualified to be a judge and will be an asset to the Los Angeles Superior Court. As for Deputy District Attorney Keith Koyano, he is a good deputy district attorney who will make a good judge, but Christmas Brookens is by far the better choice for office 115.”

“I know Mr. Koyano both professionally and personally. His work ethic is strong, he is smart and he has a balanced, low key but firm personality—it will suit him well on the bench.”

“Worked with Keith Koyano. He will be a credit to the bench.”

“I worked with Ms. Brookens 17 years ago when she was a new-hire in the DA’s office. She is very likeable and hard-working, from what I recall.”

Neither candidate has received an office performance evaluation since George Gascón became district attorney on Dec. 7, 2020. Those evaluations were formerly made annually. Under Gascón’s predecessor, Jackie Lacey, Brookens and Koyano each received high ratings and plaudits in the reports.


e know of nothing of a negative nature about either candidate. Both are highly qualified for the office they seek, and we would like to see each on the bench. But we regard joint endorsements as silly, in essence constituting no endorsement.

Two years ago, we endorsed Koyano in a six-way race. There were articulable reasons for favoring him over the others, which we set forth. He’s our choice again, but this time, based on no objective criteria. It is simply our impression that he would preside over a courtroom in a more effective manner than his rival.

Brookens is on a list of persons recommended by a Los Angeles Superior Court judges’ committee for election as court commissioners. We are hopeful that she is elected by the judges and performs so ably in a judicial role as to induce the governor to appoint her as a judge.

We wish, as we have expressed in the past, that judicial candidates ran as a pack, in the same manner as would-be members of political-party central committees. This year, there were eight open seats and 23 candidates. Under our proposal, the eight contenders with the most votes would each be elected.

That would not necessarily mean that the eight best candidates would win. Voters would still be hampered by a lack of knowledge of the respective credentials of judicial candidates and be influenced by the ring of their names and by their ballot designations, gender and ethnicity. But it would at least eliminate the circumstance of two exceedingly worthy aspirants—such as Brookens and Koyano—seeking the same specific seat with only one of them possibly gaining election.

Anyway, that’s not the system. Nor is another we have suggested, in vain, under which only the most- qualified electors would participate in judicial elections, in light of their specialized knowledge and particular interest: members of the State Bar and the judiciary.

We applaud the service and the attributes of both Brookens and Koyano but, based strictly on gut instinct, endorse Koyano.


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