Even-tempered attorney ready to take the gavel | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Even-tempered attorney ready to take the gavel

When he was approached with the suggestion of running for Superior Court judge, private practice attorney Daniel Proud laughed and shrugged it off.

But after consideration, a discussion with his wife and receiving the most votes in March’s primary election, Proud finds himself in a Nov. 5 runoff against the second-highest prosecutor in the county.

All three open judgeships are in Placerville. Proud is running against Sean O’Brien, chief assistant district attorney, for Superior Court judge in Office 5.

“Well, I’ve been an attorney for 27 years,” Proud said from his Placerville office. “I think I’ve always had a desire for the position of judge and I think it’s an opportune time for me.”

Proud cites his experience and temperament for being the right candidate for the job. Proud said he tries civil, criminal, family and juvenile cases on a regular basis and keeps up with changes in the law.

“Mr. O’Brien is a fine man,” Proud said. “(But) he’s been a prosecutor for the past 12 years so he’s never tried anything but criminal for the past 12 years.”

Proud went to junior high school in Morocco. He has three grown children and a wife of 36 years. For two years, Proud sat as a pro tem judge and enjoyed the experience.

After graduating from high school in Burbank, Proud enrolled and received a degree from San Fernando State College — now California State University, Northridge — in 1972 with a bachelor’s in psychology. In 1976, Proud graduated from the University of San Fernando Valley College of Law.

Before and during law school, Proud was a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He worked in the jail, as a bailiff and worked patrol from 1971 to 1976. Proud believes the job gives him a unique perspective to the judgeship.

“I think that it does because I have firsthand experience on what correctional officers go through, what deputy sheriff’s on patrol go through,” Proud said. “It’s a tremendous responsibility and (requires a) great amount of restraint.”

After graduating from law school, Proud moved to El Dorado County. He worked briefly at a law office and then practically had his own office when a senior attorney became a judge and handed Proud all of his clients.

Proud has visions to make the court system more efficient by constructing an arraignment court at the jail, creating a place where attorneys and their clients can confer someplace other than in a busy hallway, and giving judges cases outside their preference.

Proud said he seldom gets mad. It is a characteristic the affable Proud believes makes him a better candidate.

“I think having an even temper is important for somebody sitting as a judge,” he said. “You’ve got a large caseload. You have to listen too often and too frequently. I’ve seen people lose their temper and get upset. It makes it uncomfortable for people to come in. There’s no place for that in the courtroom.”

— Contact William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com

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