San Francisco June 1, 2010 - Chief Justice Ronald M. George today announced the appointment of 10 members to the Judicial Council of California, the administrative policymaking body of the California courts.
Four appointees were named to three-year terms as voting members of the council effective September 15, 2010. They are Justice Douglas P. Miller, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two; Presiding Judge Ira R. Kaufman, Superior Court of Plumas County; Judge James E. Herman, Superior Court of Santa Barbara County; and Judge Burt Pines, Superior Court of Los Angeles County.
In addition, Presiding Judge Stephen H. Baker, Superior Court of Shasta County, was appointed to complete the term of Judge Dennis E. Murray, Superior Court of Tehama County, who is expected to retire from the bench in the next several months.
Four appointees were named as advisory members of the council. They are Presiding Judge Mary Ann O'Malley, Superior Court of Contra Costa County; Judge Teri L. Jackson, Superior Court of San Francisco County; Judge Robert J. Moss, Superior Court of Orange County; and Chief Executive Officer Alan Carlson, Superior Court of Orange County.
All advisory members were appointed to three-year terms effective September 15, 2010, except for Judge O'Malley, who will serve one year, first as an advisory member through December 31, 2010, and then as a voting member to complete the year.
The State Bar Board of Governors appointed Los Angeles attorney Edith R. Matthai to a three-year term as a voting member. She is one of four State Bar representatives who serve on the council.
Chaired by the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council consists of 14 judicial members appointed by the Chief Justice, 4 attorney members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors, 1 member from each house of the Legislature, and 11 advisory members. The Administrative Director of the Courts serves as secretary to the council.
Established by the state Constitution in 1926, the Judicial Council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice in the nation's largest court system. Short biographies of the appointments follow.
Justice Douglas P. Miller, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two, was appointed to the appellate bench in 2006 and served in the Superior Court of Riverside County (1995–2006), where he was both presiding judge and assistant presiding judge (2001–2004). He is experienced in judicial branch issues related to the budget, court administration, and judicial education.
Justice Miller chairs the Judicial Council's Task Force on Judicial Campaign Conduct, which developed recommendations on ethical and professional conduct by judicial candidates for the Commission for Impartial Courts. He also is a member of the commission's implementation committee, which is charged with implementing recommendations by four separate task forces to improve judicial elections. Justice Miller has served on the Bench-Bar Coalition since 2004, the State Bar Commission on Access to Justice since 2008, and the editorial board of California Courts Review since 2005. He has been a member of the Continuing Judicial Studies Program Education Committee since 2007. From 2004 to 2006, he served on the Judicial Council as a trial court voting member; his term ended when he was named to the appellate court. Justice Miller's appointment to the council is for a three-year term as a voting member.
Presiding Judge Stephen H. Baker, Superior Court of Shasta County, was appointed to the bench in 2003. He served as assistant presiding judge (2005–2008) and will complete his term as presiding judge at the end of 2010. His judicial assignments have included family law, probate, and criminal law. From 2005 through 2008 he served in the Superior Court Appellate Division. Before joining the bench, Judge Baker practiced law for 17 years, specializing in employment/labor law and civil litigation. He also performed the duties of an administrative hearing officer and presented employment law seminars to a variety of public and private entities.
Judge Baker has served on the council's Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee since 2008 and is a member of its executive committee. In addition, he is the trial court presiding judge member of the Judicial Branch Leadership Development Curriculum Committee. He is a recent member of the Trial Court Budget Working Group, Limited Court Closure Working Group, and Task Force on Judicial Recruitment and Retention, one of four task forces of the Commission for Impartial Courts. He also has past experience on the council's Court Technology Advisory Committee (2005) and the Science and the Law Education Committee (2007–2009). Since 2006, Judge Baker has been an active member of the Bench-Bar Coalition and was recently elected to its executive committee. Judge Baker's appointment to the council is for a one-year term as a voting member. He will complete the term of Judge Dennis E. Murray, Superior Court of Tehama County, who is anticipated to retire from the bench in the next several months.
Presiding Judge Ira R. Kaufman was appointed to the Superior Court of Plumas County in 1998. He is serving his second term as the court's presiding judge (2001–2003 and 2005–present). He is a former president and vice-president of the California Judges Association (2006–2008). Before his appointment to the bench, he was engaged in private law practice for 24 years in Los Angeles and Plumas Counties.
Judge Kaufman is currently serving a third term on the council's Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee (2005–2010) and has participated on its executive committee (2005–2006). He also served on the Rural Courts Education Committee for three years (2003–2006). He was an advisory member of the Judicial Council (2007–2008) and served on the council's Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee during his initial term. Judge Kaufman's appointment to the council is for a three-year term as a voting member.
Presiding Judge Mary Ann O'Malley, Superior Court of Contra Costa County, was appointed to the bench in 1998 and was elected presiding judge in 2008. She began her legal career as a law clerk for the District Attorney's Offices in San Francisco and Contra Costa Counties (1983–1985). She later served as deputy district attorney for Contra Costa County, where she prosecuted a number of high-profile homicide cases (1985–1998).
For the past year, Judge O'Malley has been an advisory member of the Judicial Council, chairing the council's Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee and the Presiding Judges Trial Court Budget Working Group. She also chairs the Limited Court Closure Working Group. In addition, she has served on the Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions, the Public Access Rule of Court Working Group, and the Judicial Recruitment and Retention Working Group. She is an instructor at the B. E. Witkin Judicial College, New Judge Orientation, and the Continuing Judicial Studies Program for the Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) and serves on the CJER Criminal Law Education Committee and Criminal Law Curriculum Committee. Judge O'Malley's appointment to the council is for a one-year term as an advisory member through December 31, 2010, when her term as presiding judge expires, and then as a voting member.
Judge James E. Herman was appointed to the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County in 2005 and has served as presiding judge of the juvenile court since 2008. He joined the bench with more than 20 years of experience in private law practice, specializing in complex commercial litigation. He was a deputy public defender in Riverside, San Diego, and Santa Barbara Counties for 7 years (1976–1984). A former president of the State Bar of California (2002–2003), Judge Herman served on the State Bar's Board of Governors (1998–2003) and chaired and served on the bar's Judicial Nominations and Evaluation Commission Review Committee (JNE) for 3 years (1999–2002). He has professional experience as a lecturer and writer for numerous legal and academic institutions, bar groups, and community groups on a variety of legal topics. He is a member of the California Commission on Access to Justice and the Pro Bono Commission.
Judge Herman participates on the Judicial Council's Court Technology Advisory Committee and as liaison to the Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee. His past committee experience includes membership on the Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee (2005–2006) and the Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants (2004–2005). He was a lawyer member of the Judicial Council (2004–2005) and served on the Rules and Projects Committee during his initial term. Among other honors and awards, Judge Herman has received the Judicial Council's Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award (2004). He also serves on a number of California Judges Association committees, including the executive committee. His appointment to the council is for a three-year term as a voting member.
Judge Teri L. Jackson was appointed to the Superior Court of San Francisco County in 2002, where she presides over criminal trials and preliminary hearings. Before her appointment, she worked for a San Francisco law firm, specializing in complex litigation, employee defense, real estate, trade secrets, and white-collar defense trials before state and federal courts (1997–2002). For more than 15 years, she was a prosecutor for the San Francisco District Attorney's Office (1984–1997) and the San Mateo County District Attorney (1981–1984). As assistant district attorney for San Francisco, she managed homicide, domestic violence, and misdemeanor trials. Since 2006, Judge Jackson has served as an adjunct law professor at Hastings College of the Law, providing instruction on trial advocacy.
In 2007, Chief Justice George assigned Judge Jackson to a special team of judges that helped reduce the heavy backlog of criminal cases in the Superior Court of Riverside County. She is a current member of the Judicial Council's Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions and has served as a seminar leader of the New Judge Orientation program, part of the minimum education requirements for all California judicial officers. In 2008, Judge Jackson was the recipient of the Madam C. J. Walker Pioneer Award. She earned recognition in September 2007 from the National Council of Negro Women and in 2006 received the A. Philip Randolph Institute's Rosina Tucker Award. Judge Jackson's appointment to the council is for a three-year term as an advisory member.
Judge Robert J. Moss, Superior Court of Orange County, was appointed to the bench in 2002 and served as presiding judge of the court's appellate division from 2008 to 2009. His current assignment is general civil matters. Judge Moss chairs the court's Technology Committee and also serves on the court's Employee Appreciation Committee, Rules and Forms Committee, and Public Outreach Committee. For six years, he served on the court's Executive Committee. From 2006 to 2007, Judge Moss served as vice-president of the California Judges Association's executive board. Before his appointment to the bench, he was in private law practice for more than 28 years and was founding partner of his law firm.
In 2007, Judge Moss received the Jerold S. Oliver Award from the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association for his expertise on the court's unlimited civil panel. In 2005, he received the Judge of the Year Award from the Orange County chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Judge Moss is a current member of the Judicial Council's Appellate Advisory Committee and Civil Law Curriculum Committee. He also served on the council's Civil Law Education Committee (2008–2009) and the Judicial Technology Education Committee (2004–2007). Judge Moss's appointment to the council is for a three-year term as an advisory member.
Judge Burt Pines, appointed to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in 2003, has had a diverse career as an attorney, government official, and judge. Before his appointment to the bench, he served as Judicial Appointments Secretary to Governor Gray Davis, advising the Governor on all appointments to the trial and appellate courts (1999–2003). As City Attorney of Los Angeles, he headed an office responsible for representing the city in all legal matters and prosecuting misdemeanor offenses within the city (1973–1981). Judge Pines was in private law practice for 24 years, specializing in complex civil litigation and administrative law, and also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Judge Pines is a member of the Bench-Bar Coalition and has served on the Judicial Council's Working Group on Judicial Pay and Benefits. He also served on the council's Judicial Service Advisory Committee (2004–2005). He is currently a member of the superior court's executive committee and chair of the Legislature Relations Committee of the California Judges Association. In 2000, he was selected as the Metropolitan News-Enterprise's Person of the Year for his contributions to the justice system. Judge Pines's appointment to the council is for a three-year term as a voting member.
Mr. Alan Carlson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Superior Court of Orange County. He has served in court administration since 1976 and has worked in several California courts, including Alameda County (1980–1983), Monterey County (1983–1989), and San Francisco City and County (1993–2000). His immediate past positions were president and San Francisco director of the Justice Management Institute (2002–2008, 2000–2002, respectively) where he conducted analyses, research, and evaluation projects for states and local jurisdictions. He was the assistant director of court services and manager of the Trial Court Special Projects Unit for the Administrative Office of the Courts (1989–1993) and was a staff attorney for the National Center for State Courts (1976–1980).
Mr. Carlson is a member of the council's Court Executives Advisory Committee (2008–present) and also serves on the Trial Court Budget Working Group and Electronic Access Working Group (2008–present). Past committee experience includes the Family Court Services Advisory Committee, Trial Court Funding Task Force Oversight Committee, Court Profiles Advisory Committee, and Task Force on Jury Implementation. He is a former advisory member of the Judicial Council (1987–1988). Mr. Carlson's appointment to the council is for a three-year term as an advisory member.
Edith R. Matthai, attorney at law, pursues a private practice specializing in the defense of lawyers in malpractice actions, the defense of judges facing disciplinary actions, and business litigation. She has worked extensively to reform court administration, serving on many task forces and committees with representatives of the plaintiff and defense bars to improve rules and procedures. Ms. Matthai is a co-author of Matthew Bender's Practice Guide: California Pretrial Civil Procedure and the matching Practice Guide: California Civil Discovery. She is a past-president of the California Defense Counsel (2007) and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (2001). She served as president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (2005–2006) and the Los Angeles chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (2008). She is a member of the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (2007–2010) and is chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers Professional Liability (2007–2010).
Ms. Matthai's Judicial Council experience includes service on the council's Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions since 2007. She was named a member of the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame by the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California in 2008 and received the Champion of Justice award from Loyola Law School in 2006. The State Bar Board of Governors named Ms. Matthai to the attorney's seat on the council for a three-year term as a voting member.
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