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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election

Los Angeles County Superior CourtCandidate for Judge, Seat 20

Photo of Wendy Segall

Wendy Segall

Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles
592,102 votes (53.37%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Provide equal access to justice for all.
  • Provide a fair opportunity to be heard.
  • Exercise fairness, impartiality and balance in well-reasoned judicial decisions.



Profession:Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, Grade IV, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office (1995–current)
Criminal Defense Attorney, Law Offices of Wendy Segall (1993–1995)
Associate Attorney, Danials, Baratta and Fine (1992–1993)


New York University School of Law Master of Laws (LL.M.), Taxation (1991)
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Juris Doctor (J.D.), Law (1990)
Boston University Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Business Administration (1985)

Community Activities

Mentor, Motivating Our students Through Experience (MOSTe) (2008–current)
Proctor, Los Angeles County Teen Court (2017–current)
Member, California Narcotics Officers’ Association (2001–current)
Member, Mexican American Bar Association (2016–2017)
Member, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (2004–2011)



  • Extensive legal experience in civil, criminal defense and prosecution.
  • Career public prosecutor with 23 years of service.
  • Endorsed by over 120 Superior Court judicial officers, elected officials, labor unions and law enforcement.
  • Exercise fairness, impartiality and balance in judicial decisions.




Before being hired by the District Attorney’s Office in 1995, I worked in a civil law firm and practiced criminal defense. I have been a Deputy District Attorney for 23 years. As a Grade IV, I am currently assigned to the Healthcare Fraud Division, where I am responsible for prosecution complex multi-million dollar white collar fraud cases. Between 2008-2016, I was the sole prosecutor assigned to the Target Crimes Division's Stalking and Threat Assessment Team (STAT). The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office formed STAT for the purpose of vertically prosecuting stalking and criminal threat cases.  In addition to prosecuting these highly-specialized and unique cases, I assist outside law enforcement agencies in investigating, analyzing and prosecuting cases.  I also engage in community outreach including law enforcement training and advocacy group lectures.  My cases ranged from high profile celebrity stalking, judicial threats, cyberstalking and domestic violence stalking, to murder and sexual assault arising out of stalking activities.


In the course of my employment I have been responsible for all facets of prosecution including: the filing of misdemeanor and felony charges; running felony and juvenile calendars; conducting preliminary hearings; writing and arguing pretrial motions; interviewing witnesses, victims and their families; responding to active crime scenes; providing guidance to law enforcement, fellow deputies and the community; creating trial notebooks and exhibits; and conducting misdemeanor, felony and juvenile trials.  I was first assigned to felony preliminary hearings and trials at the Van Nuys court from 1995 to 1996.  I was then assigned to the Pasadena Juvenile court for one year.  I was subsequently transferred to felony preliminary hearings and trials at the Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Airport courts from 1997 to 2001, during which time I spent one year as the preliminary hearing supervisor. Between 2001-2008, I was assigned to the Major Narcotics Division where I prosecuted complex cases involving wiretap investigations, gangs, multi-count, multi-defendant conspiracies, methamphetamine manufacture and Drug Endangered Children (DEC) for seven years. 




I have known that I would be an integral part of the legal profession for as long as I can remember.  As a trial lawyer, I have developed a strong affinity for the courtroom and the work that is done there every day.  Representing the public continues to satisfy my need to contribute to the judicial system.  In this sense, being a judge would be much more than the natural progression of a career based on my commitment to public service.  It would also be the realization of my lifelong passion of becoming an impartial decision-maker in the pursuit of justice.  As a judge, I will be dedicated to serving the community by providing equal access to justice through fair, timely and efficient resolution of all cases. It is my goal to run a court where the parties receive equitable treatment in every case, without exception.  I will measure my success by both my own standard of justice, as well as by the parties’ understanding that each side was given a fair hearing.  While I do not expect everyone to be pleased by my decisions, I will do everything to make sure that they leave knowing those decisions were well-reasoned and just.





Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Over 100 Los Angeles Superior Court Judges
  • The Honorable Steve Cooley, Former Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • The Honorable Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Council President

Organizations (3)

  • East Area Progressive Democrats
  • Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA)
  • The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Elected Officials (1)

  • The Honorable Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Councilmember

Individuals (127)

  • The Honorable Carlos Moreno, California Supreme Court Justice and Ambassador to Belize (retired)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Mila Kunis
  • Dr. Drew Pinsky
  • Commissioner Mark Zuckman
  • Judge Hayden Zacky
  • Judge Geanene Yriarte
  • Judge Mark Windham
  • Judge Stacy Wiese
  • Judge Lauren Weis Birnstein
  • Judge Fred Wapner
  • Judge Laura Walton
  • Judge David Walgren
  • Judge Rob B. Villeza
  • Judge Michael Villalobos
  • Judge Robert Vanderet
  • Judge Craig Veals
  • Judge Michael Tynan
  • Judge Susan Townsend
  • Judge Sergio Tapia
  • Judge Gustavo Sztraicher
  • Judge Leslie Swain
  • Judge Paul Suzuki
  • Commissioner Lisa Strassner
  • Judge Teresa Sullivan
  • Judge Richard Stone (retired)
  • Judge David Stuart
  • Judge William Sterling
  • Judge Kevin Stennis
  • Judge David Sotelo
  • Judge Douglas Sortino
  • Judge Kathryn Solorzano
  • Judge Michael Schultz
  • Judge Norm Shapiro
  • Judge Teri Schwartz
  • Judge Keith Schwartz
  • Commissioner May Santos
  • Judge Stephanie Sautner (retired)
  • Judge Jose Sandoval
  • Judge Shellie Samuels
  • Judge Valerie Salkin
  • Judge William Sadler
  • Judge William C. Ryan
  • Commissioner Alan Rubin
  • Judge Gerald Rosenberg
  • Judge Ronald Rose (retired)
  • Judge Craig Richman
  • Judge Stuart Rice
  • Judge Marsha Revel
  • Judge C.H. Rehm (retired)
  • Judge Julian Recana
  • Judge Connie Quinones
  • Judge Roy Paul (retired)
  • Judge Michael Pastor
  • Judge Benny Osorio
  • Judge Charlaine Olmedo
  • Judge Michael O'Gara
  • Judge Ricardo Ocampo
  • Commissioner Elizabeth Munisoglu
  • Judge Serena Murillo
  • Judge Russell Moore
  • Judge Craig Mitchell
  • Commissioner Barbara McDaniel
  • Judge Hilleri Merritt
  • Judge Darrell Mavis
  • Judge Stephen Marcus
  • Judge Teresa Magno
  • Judge Katherine Mader
  • Judge Michael Latin (retired)
  • Judge Roberto Longoria
  • Judge George Lomeli
  • Judge Elizabeth Lippitt
  • Judge Bernie LaForteza
  • Judge Renee Korn
  • Judge Shannon Knight
  • Judge Steven Kleifield
  • Judge Andrew Kim
  • Judge Karla Kerlin
  • Judge Michael Kellogg
  • Judge Bernard Kamins (retired)
  • Judge Upinder Kalra
  • Judge Ray Jurado
  • Judge Michael Jesic
  • Judge Maral Injejikian (retired)
  • Judge Eleanor Hunter
  • Judge David Horwitz (retired)
  • Judge James Horan
  • Judge Lynne Hobbs
  • Judge David Hizami
  • Judge Martin Herscovitz
  • Judge Eric Harmon
  • Judge Mark Hanasono
  • Judge Christian Gullon
  • Judge Scott Gordon
  • Judge Hank Goldberg
  • Judge David Gelfound
  • Judge Elden Fox (retired)
  • Judge Larry Fidler
  • Judge Alison Estrada
  • Judge Drew Edwards
  • Judge Leslie Dunn (retired)
  • Judge Gregory Dohi
  • Judge Halim Dhanidina
  • Judge Andrea Davalos
  • Judge James Dabney
  • Judge Huey Cotton
  • Judge Andrew Cooper
  • Judge Lisa Hart Cole
  • Judge Debra Cole
  • Judge Sean Coen
  • Judge Ronald Coen
  • Judge Amy Carter
  • Judge Deborah Brazil
  • Judge David Brougham
  • Judge Joseph Brandolino
  • Judge Beverly Bourne
  • Judge Terry Bork
  • Judge Kathleen Blanchard
  • Judge James Bianco
  • Judge Mark Arnold
  • Dominick Rivetti, Former Chief of the San Fernando Police Department; Former Chief of the Los Angeles County District At
  • Eric Perrodin, Former Mayor of Compton
  • Ron Ingels, La Verne Police Chief (retired); Past President of LA County Police Chiefs Association; Former Board of Dire
  • John J. Duran, Former City of West Hollywood Mayor
  • Thomas O’Brien, Former United States Attorney

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County (3)

What criteria are most important for voters to use in evaluating judicial candidates?
Answer from Wendy Segall:


Although voters do not get enough information about whom to vote for in judicial elections, there is very little discussion about what kind of information the electorate should receive when voting for judges. The American Bar Association has recommended the following eight criteria for evaluating candidates for state judicial office: integrity; legal knowledge and ability; professional experience; judicial temperament; diligence; health; financial responsibility; and public service. Practically speaking, I believe the most important criteria are: educational and professional background; variety of legal disciplines; courtroom experience; jury trials; judicial temperament and demeanor; character; impartiality; community outreach; judicial, elected official, individual, and association endorsements; and judicial philosophy.


How can courts and judges better assure that all people have adequate access to legal help and the legal system?
Answer from Wendy Segall:


The justice gap—that is, the gap between legal needs and services available—has the greatest implications for the United States’ most vulnerable populations. On the civil side, people of color, women, immigrants, the elderly, people with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people are more likely to live in poverty and more likely to need legal assistance. Claiming protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act, for example, often requires, at a minimum, legal advice, and at most, litigation.


In the criminal system, too, those who cannot afford an attorney are at a disadvantage—even with the constitutional right to representation. Defendants with publicly appointed attorneys are more likely to be detained before trial as well as more likely to be jailed. Making justice equal for all Americans must be a priority.


Courts, judges and others also have roles to play. Judges should exercise their discretion to appoint attorneys more often and ensure that defenders have the opportunity to give the best defense possible. Courts can simplify legal processes and promote access to justice technology—such as educational applications—to make it easier for individuals to navigate the legal system on their own. Bar associations, law firms, and law schools can increase pro bono contributions and enact policies to improve access to legal services.


Additionally, issue advocacy organizations working to protect and advance the interests of the people that the justice gap most affects—those living in poverty, people of color, women, immigrants, the elderly, people with disabilities, and LGBT people—must begin to address and prioritize access to justice. Equal access to legal representation in the justice system is critical to ending poverty, combating discrimination, and creating opportunity.


Most defendants are held in County jail before trial because they are not able, due to low income or homelessness, to secure bail imposed by the Court at their arraignment.  Does California’s system of imposing bail on defendants need reform?  If so, what would you recommend?
Answer from Wendy Segall:


California’s system of imposing bail on defendants was in dire need of reform. Today, that bail system has fundamentally changed; if a court finds a defendant does not have the financial ability to pay the bail, the court is obligated to consider less restrictive alternatives to continued confinement in jail.


In his 1979 State of the State address, then Governor Brown called the California bail system an unfair "tax on poor people [who] languish in the jails of this state even though they have been convicted of no crime. Their only crime is that they cannot make the bail that our present law requires." He urged the Legislature to find "a way that more people … can be put on a bail system that is as just and as fair as we can make it." The Legislature ignored him.



In her 2016 State of the Judiciary Address, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, told the Legislature it cannot continue to ignore “the question whether or not bail effectively serves its purpose, or does it in fact penalize the poor.” Questioning whether money bail genuinely ensures public safety or assures arrestees appear in court, the Chief Justice suggested that better risk assessment programs would achieve the purposes of bail more fairly and effectively.


In Re: Kenneth Humphrey, decided on January 25, 2018, fundamentally changed the bail system in California. The ruling involved Jeffrey Humphrey, 63, a retired shipyard worker and lifelong drug addict. He was charged with mugging a 79-year-old man who uses a walker and lives in the same apartment building. Humphrey slipped into the victim's room, threatened to put a pillow case over his head, was given $2, stole another $5 and lifted a bottle of cologne.


His bail was assessed at $350,000. The standard 10% fee to a bail bond agent would have cost $35,000. Humphrey was incarcerated for months pending trial.




The appellate court unanimously ruled that "by setting bail in an amount it was impossible for [Humphrey] to pay," it in effect amounted to a violation of "due process protections" guaranteed by the Constitution. The justices said the suspect was entitled to a new bail hearing at which the court must consider "his ability to pay" and "nonmonetary alternatives to money bail."




A court may not order pretrial detention unless it finds either that the defendant has the financial ability but failed to pay the amount of bail the court finds reasonably necessary to ensure his or her appearance at future court proceedings; or that the defendant is unable to pay that amount and no less restrictive conditions of release would be sufficient to reasonably assure such appearance; or that no less restrictive nonfinancial conditions of release would be sufficient to protect the victim and community.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


Because a judicial election is nonpartisan and apolitical, I believe it would be inappropriate to describe my political philosophy. Each person who takes the oath of judicial office, should not consider their pollical views in any way when addressing cases, controversies or issues that come before them. They should address each case on its own merits without any regard for their own political or religious philosophy. As a judicial officer, I will faithfully follow and enforce the laws of the United States and the State of California as proposed by the Legislative Branch, approved by the Executive Branch, and interpreted by the Appellate and Supreme Courts.


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