Judge Terri Mockler is the latest appointee to the Contra Costa County Superior Court Bench.
As a public defender for over 29 years, Mockler was exposed to people from all walks of life with many different problems. She encountered both rural and urban poverty, and took pains to understand the myriad socioeconomic problems associated with poverty. In addition to the impacts of alcoholism, addiction and lack of education on her clients and their families, she witnessed the lack of access to information and resources that is rampant throughout much of American society.
Working in the criminal justice system for so many years, Mockler learned much about the human spirit, both from the viewpoint of the victim and the accused. While she struggled regularly with the misery in her cases, these difficult situations were tempered by her encounters with resilience and positive change. These experiences have taught her much about people and life in general, and they inform her approach to justice.
As a public defender, Mockler staunchly upheld the constitutional rights of her clients, but did not see them as saints or victims. She learned to appreciate and accept different viewpoints, and has come to understand that things are rarely as simple as they seem at first blush. These two skills – appreciating different viewpoints and evaluating situations through different prisms – allowed her to understand the plight of crime victims as well as the plight of criminal defendants.
Judge Mockler believes that after nearly thirty years of experience as an advocate in the justice system, she has developed the right balance of thoughtfulness, purpose, and compassion, and looks forward to this next iteration of her professional career.
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