Thank you for visiting my site. Please take a few moments to read the sections below to learn more about me, my approach to the law, and public service.
Keith is a second generation Asian-American and a native Angeleno. His mother and father immigrated to the United States from different cultures but shared the American Dream – to seek better lives and futures. As individuals who arrived with only their good names and incredible work ethic, they shaped his integrity and morality, the most important character traits in a judge.
Keith’s multi-ethnic heritage – Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese – and experiences growing up in Los Angeles amidst the Cold War, a perceived Japanese industrial takeover, and the 1992 riots gave him insight into interactions of people from various backgrounds. These diverse beginnings taught him empathy and consideration he will show every person who appears before him.
Keith is unique in his experience with people suffering from substance addiction and the ongoing opioid crisis. In People v. Lisa Tseng, he personally interacted with surviving victims of addiction suffering the throes of unfettered prescription of controlled substances. He understands the balance between therapeutic prescription for gravely-ill patients and violation of professional medical duties exposing the public to risks of addiction.
Keith understands every person charged with a criminal offense is a human being with individual circumstances, and treats each with dignity. His respect fosters the trust of charged defendants and criminally liable witnesses alike, and facilitates leniency, immunity, and plea agreements that serve the interests of justice.
“Although I was in my worst [part of] my life due to the loss of my son, Keith demonstrated compassion, connected with me and my family, and [found] justice in a legal and professional manner.”
– Patty Pena, Mother of Adrian Santillan
Keith’s interest in serving the public came from his mother’s dedication to teaching at the Los Angeles Harbor College. She was eager to share knowledge with her students, especially those with humble resources, and, as an immigrant, urged Keith to take part as an American by fulfilling his civic duty as a juror.
After serving as a juror on a trial at the Compton Courthouse, he applied to law school in hopes of becoming a trial attorney. Keith attained his goal, beginning his career as a criminal defense attorney, and later becoming a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney.
“He has demonstrated compassion and empathy for others, sharp intellect, even temperament, and most importantly the ability to view both sides of a matter with impartiality.”
– Cedric M. Shen, Immigration Attorney