Attorney wants to be judge |

Attorney wants to be judge

Mary Muse has been an attorney for 24 years, is the mother of seven children and wants to become the next Superior Court judge in Office One of El Dorado County.

Her opponent in the upcoming Nov. 5 run-off election is acquaintance Doug Phimister, who captured 16,690 votes in March — 1,468 less than Muse’s 18,158. Andrew Woll received a little less than 5,000 votes. Even though the judge’s office is in Placerville, the judge can be assigned to cases at El Dorado County Superior Court at South Lake Tahoe.

Muse, who has lived in El Dorado County for about 30 years, has held a variety of positions besides attorney and mother. She is a board member with the El Dorado Union High School Board, a board member with the Boys and Girls Club and sits as a judge for the Teen Court Program in Placerville.

“I’ve learned the community’s needs,” Muse said. “It takes all of us working together to make a difference. You learn to respect humanity by being involved with others.”

She was a research attorney from 1978 to 1987 which gave her background in criminal, civil, property and family law. Before she graduated from McGeorge School of Law, Muse, 52, received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

“I’m not a one-trick pony,” she said.

For 23 years, she and her family have owned a vacation home at Tahoe. Every Thanksgiving the clan drives to Tahoe for a big gathering.

Muse’s mother was a judge and her father an attorney. Out of 10 brothers and sisters, seven decided to pursue a legal career.

As part of her campaign strategy, Muse and supporters knock on the doors of constituents.

“It started in January,” she said. “I’ve lost 10 pounds walking. One of the most amazing things is I was petrified of doing this, wondering what to say to people. I realized I don’t have to say much of anything. People want to talk on their impression of the court system or whatever. I don’t say much except to introduce myself.”

Muse intends to support and expand the court’s programs. In particular, Muse noted the Case Appointed Special Advocate program, which provides the judge with independent information regarding the needs and situations of abused and neglected children, that she would like to expand.

Even though Muse garnered the most votes in March, she was expecting to win. Asked if she altered anything in her campaign since March, Muse answered with a resounding no.

“Nothing other than a stronger belief in myself that I’m the correct person for the job,” she said.

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