To the students of UCSB: My name is James Rigali, and I am asking for your vote for Santa Barbara Superior Court judge. This is a countywide runoff election; I came in first place in the March election, but did not win by enough votes to permanently take the bench. I hope this letter will give you the information you need to vote for Rigali for judge.

Since winning the March election, I have served as Judge Pro Tem. This service has been a good chance to test the waters and see if I can make a good judge. I have done well and received good reports from court staff, attorneys and citizens that have appeared before me.

The record will reflect that I have the superior academic training required for the position. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and both a Juris Doctor and a Master of Business Administration degree from Santa Clara University. I am proud that Santa Clara University is accredited by the American Bar Association. When I win, I look forward to going to “judges’ school,” which you smart voters require.

I currently am a partner in the law firm of Kirk and Simas, and I handle real estate litigation, trust and estate litigation, and family law matters. I also am the founder of the Gray Mediation Center, which resolves cases before they become lawsuits. I am an experienced attorney with good courtroom skills. I am a past Northern Santa Barbara County Bar Association President and am endorsed by a past State of California Bar Association President.

Nobody knows more than the judges about what it takes to be a judge and I am proud to have the largest group of criminal and civil judges endorsing me in this race. The 12 judges endorsing me represent over 150 years of South County, North County, retired and active service on the bench. Additionally, the judge handling the Michael Jackson criminal trial has given me his endorsement.

You also may find it probative of my worthiness for the position to note that Santa Barbara County is indeed “United in Support of James Rigali for Judge.” The mayors of Santa Barbara, Solvang, Buellton and Santa Maria, and council members from Guadalupe and Carpinteria also endorse me.

The last time we had a judicial election, the voters elected a deputy district attorney. For the sake of balance on the bench, the UCSB voters should join with the rest of the county voters and elect someone from the private sector.

Please do e-mail us with your questions at or plan to come to the Rusty’s Pizza Parlor on Storke Rd. on Nov. 1, the eve of the election, to find out just why you should vote for James Rigali for Superior Court judge.

Thanks for your time and attention. By golly, vote Rigali for judge! I look forward to being your public servant. Please come by to see me in my chambers and to remind me that all judges are servants of the people.

James Rigali is a candidate for Santa Barbara Superior Court judge.