A declaration of war? + CJA Survey Results

Posted on April 7, 2011


Bring it on!

Godzilla has been rumored roaming around the halls of the legislature, sticking a peek into Calderon’s office. He is alleged to be wearing the familiar face of Curtis Child. Calderon can be expecting the JC/AOC position on AB1208.

Apparently, a position statement will be released at any time now by the JC/AOC opposing AB1208, which most felt was to be expected. No negotiations with the rest of the Judicial Branch, just a mad grab to preserve the power they have thoroughly abused over the years.

It sounds like the JC/AOC feels they can kill this thing. That they believe there is neither the willpower, nor the momentum to move this important piece of legislation along. We believe that AB1208 is essential in the preservation and more effective utilization of taxpayer funds. What others believe just adds to the picture of why passing AB1208 is essential.

It is poor form for our Chief Justice to declare war on the legislation without so much as directly meeting with the opposition over the legislation. Her lack of political prowess is becoming more increasingly evident every day, given that this bill fills a hole left unfilled by some flimsy, alterable rule of court.

However, if this is the path she chooses, bring it on.


Hot off the presses: It was no surprise whatsoever that the push question ended up being a push question.


(April 7, 2011)                                                              Contact:  Hon. Keith D. Davis


                                                                                          (909) 945-4460


      Stan Bissey

                                                                                          Executive Director

                                                                                          (415) 263-4600

877 JudICIAL OFFICERS Respond to CJA Survey

877 members (34%) of the California Judges Association (CJA) responded to the 2011 Membership Survey issued by the organization last week. In just five days, CJA members (active, retired, and subordinate judicial officers) responded to five questions about the current state of branch governance and provided over 120 pages of comments.

“The judges of California have shared and will no doubt continue to share their individual and collective desire to see that the judicial branch is governed wisely.” said CJA President Judge Keith D. Davis (San Bernardino). “This dialogue could not come at a more important time. Our members are providing thoughtful and provocative ideas and CJA is proud to be the conduit for this conversation and why for over 82 years CJA remains The Voice of the Judiciary.”

Beyond the large number of comments, CJA members provided answers to specific questions on the issue of branch governance. The survey found that 53% of CJA members who responded are generally or somewhat dissatisfied with the current governance of the branch while 34% were generally satisfied or somewhat satisfied.  Further, 62% are generally or somewhat dissatisfied with the Judicial Council’s oversight of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and 33% are generally or somewhat satisfied. CJA also asked members their opinion on Assembly Bill 1208 — the Trial Court Rights Act of 2011 and of those who responded, 48% were generally or somewhat supportive the Bill while 45% were generally or somewhat opposed to the Bill. Also, 80% of those who responded indicated that they would prefer that judicial branch governance remain within the judicial branch itself and not become a function of external political processes.

The CJA Board is scheduled to discuss the results at their April 8th Board meeting in Indian Wells and will continue to tabulate responses specific to each CJA representational district with results ideally before the association’s Legislative Day Board meeting in Sacramento on June 6th.


Raw Results of the survey

  1. I.    With respect to judicial council governance of judicial branch affairs, I am

 28.98%                         253    Generally satisfied        

14.43%                         126     Somewhat satisfied

 17.75%                         155     Somewhat dissatisfied   

35.28%                         308    Generally dissatisfied    

2.40%                           21     Need more information 

1.14%                           10    Don’t know / No opinion

Total Responses:       873

I.                With respect to Judicial Council oversight of the Administrative Office of the Courts overall, I am

19.24%                         164                   Generally satisfied

13.73%                         117                     Somewhat satisfied

16.43%                         140                   Somewhat dissatisfied

45.53%                         388               Generally dissatisfied

3.52%                           30                     Need more information

1.52%                           13                      Don’t know / No opinion

Total Responses:       852

III.             With respect to AB 1208 [the trial court bill of rights], my position is that I

41.95%                         360               Generally support the bill

6.75%                           58                     Somewhat support the bill

 4.66%                           40                     Somewhat oppose the bill

40.79%                         350                   Generally oppose the bill

5.24%                           45                     Need more information

1.51%                           13                     Don’t know / No opinion

Total Responses:       858

  1. IV.              With respect to the proposition that judicial branch governance should remain within the judicial branch itself, and not become a function of external political processes, I  

80.35%                         581                Generally agree     <– statistically improbable

3.87%                           28                     Somewhat agree

1.24%                           9                      Somewhat disagree

6.50%                           47                     Generally disagree

5.80%                           42                     Need more information

2.21%                           16                     Don’t know / No opinion

Total Responses:       723 

V.         With respect to Judicial Council oversight of the Court Case Management System [CCMS], I am

 9.28%                           78                    Generally satisfied

6.42%                           54                     Somewhat satisfied

13.45%                         113                   Somewhat dissatisfied

65.77%                         525                Generally dissatisfied

5.59%                           47                     Need more information

2.73%                           23                     Don’t know / No opinion

Total Responses:       840

 General demographic information

 72.97%             640                   Active Judge

4.44%               39                     Active Justice

6.49%               57                     Subordinate Judicial Officer

16.07%             141                   Retired Judge/Justice/SJO

Total:              877 

If Active, I am from a county with

 10.1%               74                     2-10 bench officers

18.95%             138                   11-40 bench officers

14.56%             106                   41-80 bench officers

56.31%             410                   80+ bench officers 

Total:              728

 My court

 37.19%             260                   uses one or more CCMS versions          

62.80%             439                   does not use any version of CCMS

Total:              699

I currently use, or have previously used, a version of CCMS in my courtroom

16.53%             127                   Yes

83.46                641                   No

Total:              768

More on this from the recorder.

More on this from Courthouse News.