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LUCAS QUICKLY WINS RESPECT ON BENCH COURT: Santa Clara County Superior APPOINTED: Dec. 19, 2002, by Gov. Gray Davis BORN: May 9, 1954 LAW SCHOOL: Boalt Hall School of Law, 1979 PREVIOUS JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: None It didn’t take Patricia Lucas long to learn the ropes. She has been a member of the Santa Clara County Superior Court bench for less than four years but already Lucas has made a deep impression on the bar community. In a recent informational survey conducted by the local bar association, “procedurally solid,” “listens well” and “excellent judicial temperament” were typical of South Bay attorneys’ responses about the judge. “There were literally no negative comments,” said Geniveve Ruskus, an attorney with Lakin Spears who leads the Santa Clara County Bar Association’s family law executive committee. “She is doing a tremendous job,” Ruskus said. Lucas’ boss, Presiding Judge Alden Danner, would agree. He tapped Lucas last month to be the new head of family court. Her first day in the position was officially Sept. 1. Applying for a judgeship hadn’t even been on Lucas’ radar when a friend on the Santa Clara bench quietly began “recruiting” her for the job in 2000. “He planted a seed that grew,” Lucas remembered. Then a partner with Mountain View’s Fenwick & West, Lucas at first resisted the thought of leaving the private sector, where she had made a name for herself as a successful civil trial attorney. After graduating from Boalt Hall School of Law, Lucas joined Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, then moved to Brown & Bain before landing at Fenwick to specialize in employment and IP litigation. As head of the firm’s litigation group, Lucas’ career was soaring. It was the tech boom. Lucas had been with Fenwick for nearly a decade. She was good at what she did and was well-liked. But then Sept. 11 happened, and suddenly the veteran trial attorney said she started to rethink what she really wanted out of her life. “You can’t wait forever to do the things that are important to you,” Lucas reflected during a recent interview in her courtroom chambers in downtown San Jose. Shortly after, Lucas began the long judicial application process. She was eventually appointed to the superior court bench in December 2002 and sworn in two months later. “I was disappointed and delighted,” Fenwick Chairman Gordon Davidson said of Lucas’ decision to leave the firm. “Pat was a great leader of our litigation group � she relished going to trial,” Davidson recalled, but “you could just see by the light in her eyes how much she wanted to be a judge.” Lucas, 52, acknowledges that these last 3 1/2 years have been a “big change, but it’s just such a great job.” “When you are a [litigator] there is nothing like winning,” Lucas said. As a judge, though, “all you care about is getting the right result.” After stints in misdemeanor and civil departments, Lucas landed in family court, where she has, by all accounts, thrived. “It is hard. It is hard because of the breadth of the law you must know,” Lucas explained. “There is a lot to learn. There is a lot to do.” Attorneys, however, seem to think the judge has found a good niche for herself. “Judge Lucas is the smartest person in the room,” says San Jose solo David Sussman. “She knows everyone in the courtroom respects her, and thus she spends her energy ensuring that everyone else feels she respects them,” Sussman added. Rita Patterson, a partner with Hammer & Jacobs, calls Lucas a hard worker, professional and smart. Patterson offers one warning, though: The judge “doesn’t suffer fools gladly � you’d better come prepared.” Lucas echoes Patterson’s words, adding also that lawyers better not try to talk over each other in her courtroom. “She keeps control over her courtroom,” said Lynne Yates-Carter, a San Jose solo. “I think she comes across as a very concerned and caring individual.” Lucas found herself having to adjust to family court. She was in familiar territory when she was on the civil and even, in some respects, the misdemeanor calendar. She had spent more than two decades on the other side of the courtroom bench and knew quite well how things worked. Her current assignment was different. “It’s very tough,” Lucas said. “There is an intensity and a sadness here. Family court is really very personal because it’s about people’s livelihood. “I am making very important decisions in the lives of real people all day long.” Clearly, she cares. This much is evident by the stacks of case files lining her desk. Attorneys say she juggles a hefty weekly workload but always seems to know each case inside and out, as if it were the only item on her platter. “She is excellent on the rules of evidence,” said Yates-Carter, who has appeared before Lucas on numerous occasions. “I really do enjoy her. � I think she is a strong addition to family court.” You can order past judicial profiles of more than 100 Bay Area judges here or by calling 415-749-5523.

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