Culture & Criticism Since 2003
“You’re right when you say early San Mateo County was the wild-west with an anything goes attitude. It stayed that way until some of those frist [modern-era] DAs set out to change things….”
(The late Jim Fox in a November 2019 telephone conversation with John Aiello, while this book was being formulated. Fox served as District Attorney in San Mateo County from 1983-2011.)
A Higher Calling: A Review of the Judges and Lawyers Who Shaped the San Mateo County Courts, written by California poet and journalist John Aiello, will be released on August 15th. A Higher Calling, published by the San Mateo County Historical Association, provides the first comprehensive review of the judges and attorneys who shaped the San Mateo County bar and bench. A historical overview of early San Mateo County and its six courthouses, juxtaposed with profiles of the early bench, launches the study. This review of the county’s early days then segues into a series of interviews with an array of the judges and lawyers who propelled the modern bar forward. The final section of the book serves as an appendix, listing every judge to ever sit in the county’s courts, along with photographs and short biographical capsules. A Higher Calling culminates with an Epilogue by current San Mateo County District Attorney, Steve Wagstaffe, who reflects on the legal landscape of one of California’s most storied regions from the perspective of an attorney whose father started practicing there in 1940.
For information and to order, contact the San Mateo County Historical Association at email@example.com or by telephone at (650) 299-0104.