People who bring their pets everywhere they go…

Posted on February 14, 2012


“At this time the fasten seat belt light has been turned on due to some unexpected turbulence. Please return to your seats and fasten your seat belts for your safety and the safety of others. Thank you and thanks for flying the Hindenberg.”

You probably recall the relationship between Dorothy and her dog Toto. In Jody’s case, her dog is named Curt Soderlund. She never goes anywhere without him.


From: Patel, Jody
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 4:06 PM
To: AOC Users-All
Subject: Executive Office Update


I know that last week’s announcements raised questions about next steps for the AOC.  During this interim period, I will do my best to provide answers and keep everyone informed in a timely way.   Following meetings with Ron and Chris, the directors and I met this afternoon to discuss transition and continuity issues for the organization.  I want to advise you of two additional changes and a planned briefing session.

My appointment as interim director has created a service gap for the leadership of the regional office. This is a critical time for continuity of services and communication with local court leadership. I, therefore, feel fortunate that Chris Patton has agreed to step in as Regional Administrative Director (RAD), while continuing to have a role in assisting with Executive Office activities. Chris has been a fantastic partner for me as a fellow regional administrative director and for Ron as Interim Chief Deputy Director.  To have a leader and judicial administrator of her caliber willing to shift gears once again to meet this unexpected need is invaluable for me, the AOC, and the courts.

With this change for the RAD position, Curt Soderlund has agreed to take on the role of Interim Chief Deputy Director. Curt and I have worked together for more than 20 years.  He served with me as Assistant Regional Administrative Director for the Northern/Central Regional Office before his appointment as Director of the Trial Court Administrative Services (TCAS) Division in 2008. Like Chris, Curt’s trial court executive experience and his strong working relationships with court leaders will be extremely helpful during this time. I truly appreciate his support. Curt will continue to have executive oversight of TCAS, while three seasoned managers will maintain day-to-day operations for the administrative and fiscal operations services provided to the trial courts.

This Thursday, the executive team and managers and supervisors will come together, in person and by phone, for a briefing with me and several members of the Judicial Council, including the chairs of the Trial Court Presiding Judges and Court Executives Advisory Committees.  In addition to discussing priorities that include staying on track with budget issues for the branch as well as our reorganization process, we will address questions from the management team so that they can share more information with you in person. After April, we will also be rescheduling the all-staff meetings, where there will be further opportunity for in-person discussions.

Today I had the opportunity to walk around a little and talk with some staff at the San Francisco office.  I was able to share with them, and want to share with you, that I will be relocating to San Francisco during this interim period so that I can be available at our headquarters.  I also heard loud and clear that sharing whatever concrete information we can as soon as it’s available will go a long way toward alleviating anxiety.

I want to reiterate my commitment to supporting the vital work of the AOC, and working with the directors to address current challenges that will place our organization on a solid footing for when a permanent appointment is made to the administrative director position. I welcome everyone’s support for these efforts.

Thank you.


Jody Patel

Interim Administrative Director of the Courts

Judicial Council of California – Administrative Office of the Courts
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California 94102
916-263-1333, FAX 916-263-1966,

“Serving the courts for the benefit of all Californians” 


This is the trial courts under AOC management…

Any Questions?


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