Two attorneys face off in judicial race

One local attorney claims to be the missing club in the county’s judicial golf bag — another says he’s all the clubs put together.

The one divisive difference between Don Franchi and Jerry Nastari in their race for a San Mateo County Superior Court Judge seat Tuesday is that Franchi says the county needs a specialist and Nastari says it needs a utility player.

The county’s presiding judge rotates its 26 judges to various assignments biannually so that all can accrue experience in a variety of cases — from criminal to probate to juvenile, among others, Nastari said. But Franchi said that, though he is versatile, he’s willing to stick to one assignment for longer than a two-year term — as needed in the county. Right now, he said, the county needs a consistent presence in family law, a subject he says needs long-term attention.

“I have experience in family and children issues and have assisted hundreds of domestic violence victims,” Franchi said. “Family law is such a complex arena … if they needme there, I’m willing to stay there.”

The two candidates were raised in San Mateo and are veteran attorneys in the county, but Nastari has the edge on endorsements. All 26 of the county’s current judges have pledged support for Nastari, a feat he said is a first in the county.

Franchi, who says he threw his name into the election “after the judge’s support was already locked up,” says he also has wide-reaching support in the community.

“I got into the race because I thought the issues were a lot more important than who is supporting you,” Franchi said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Don Franchi

Age: 44

Former offices: None

Residence: San Mateo

Occupation: Court attorney/facilitator

Jerry Nastari

Age: 48

Former offices: None

Residence: Cupertino

Occupation: Trial attorney/arbitrator

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