I read the obituary of Frank Hoover ("Judge Hoover, who championed 'drug court,' compassionate justice in Bakersfield, has died," Sept. 3) and I would like to reveal an incident that attests to his desire for people to have both an understanding of and appreciation of the importance of the law in a democracy.

In the 1980s, I was the teacher coach for the mock trial team at Foothill High School. It is a competition that tests the students' knowledge of the legal process and the rules of a trial. My co-coach Julie Zisk and I scheduled to visit his courtroom to view a case underway.

At the end of the trial, Judge Hoover invited the team of 15 students into his chambers. There he gave them a lesson on the judicial process. He then invited us to come back to do a scrimmage between our defense and prosecution teams. To one of our lawyers who was bilingual, he spoke to him in fluent Spanish. With his characteristic use of levity, he guided the students through trial proceedings.

Upon leaving his courtroom, one of the students said to me: "I want to be a judge like him."

Harry Love, Bakersfield