My book is a "poetic diary" meaning that it is a journal of my life written in poetry!! I have always written poems as a sort of therapy and emotional outlet to reflect on my days' experiences. I,luckily, decided to date the poems as they were written and through my book they chronicle my life's experiences of leaving to go to college, matriculating in a new/challenging environment, experiencing friendships and disappointments! My poetry was particularly helpful in getting me through the rigors of law school by serving as an inspirational reminder that I can make it! Once I began my adult life, you will see how the poems change in style and substance to reveal my thoughts on politics,family,life ,racism, love, the joy of my accomplishments and the valleys of my troubles. Yet, through it all, I was able to reach a pinnacle of my legal career in obtaining an appointment as a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court ! My poems speak for themselves, the photographs speak for themselves and my book speaks for me!
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kelvin D. Filer, was “born, raised, and educated in Compton, California!”
Judge Filer insists on emphasizing that he is from Compton because, historically, we tend to hear only negative things about the city. His message is not one of “look at me”—rather to tell the students and young people in Compton that if I made it, so can you!
After graduating from Compton High School in 1973, he went to the University of California at Santa Cruz where he majored in politics, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977 while graduating with “college honors” (the top 30 students at Stevenson College). While at UCSC he was a member of the Black Student Alliance for four years and was a member of the Basketball Club for three years. He subsequently received his Juris Doctorate degree from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1980.
In 1980, Judge Filer started practicing law as a Deputy State Public Defender for two years. It was during this period that he argued and won a landmark case before the California Supreme Court in 1980. The case was People v. Taylor (1982) 31 Ca1.3d 488—a unanimous decision holding that criminal defendants have a right to wear civilian clothing—“the garb of innocence” during their trials. In 1982 he opened his own private law practice in his hometown of Compton, California, and maintained a general criminal/civil practice “vith an emphasis on criminal defense work.
In July 1993, he became a commissioner for the Compton Municipal Court and later served as a Superior Court Commissioner after unification of the courts in 2000.
On August 8, 2002 Governor Gray Davis appointed him as a judge of the Superior Court in Los Angeles. He, of course, asked that his assignment remain in Compton. He currently presides over a long cause felony trial court.
Kelvin has been very active in legal and community activities. He was elected to the board oftrustees for the Compton Unified School District in 1981 and served for three terms.
Judge Filer serves as a member of the National Bar Association, American Bar Association, California Judges Association, Superior Court Judges Association; life member of the NAACP, California Association of Black Lawyers, and the John M. Langston Bar Association. Additionally, he has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Compton Chamber of Commerce since 1984.
He works very closely with the youths of the community by participating in the Courthouse Interchange program as a presenter/lecturer at Compton High School. He also serves as a Judge for the Teen Court Program at Jordan HighSchool and Compton High School.
A member of First United Methodist Church, in Compton, Kelvin has two beautiful daughters—Brynne and Kree. He is a die-hard Lakers fan who enjoys music, movies, and playing basketball. He regularly writes poetry and also holds a patent for an invention—“Filers Flavored Filters”—which are specially flavored coffee filters that will produce gourmet/flavored coffee from brewing regular ground coffee.