Whiskey For My Men, Beer for My Horses

Posted on April 27, 2012


But of course JCW is a member of “AOC Users – All”. The head office wants us all to understand we’re all AOC Users. You’re not an “AOC Colleagues – All”. You’re not “AOC-Employees – All” No. Each and every one of us is addressed in the crystal palace email as AOC Users.

Users – (noun)

1. A person that uses.

2. A drug addict.

In that spirit, we would like to announce the elimination of referring to you as Human Resources and let you know you’re now an Administrative Service.


In digital purgatory you will find a speshul individual that a whole lot of people feel lots of love for.  Soon we will be able to cross out Mr.LARTD himself, Ernesto Fuentes. The only reason they hired Bluto in the first place was to learn more sadistic ways of ridding the AOC and trial courts of employees. Of course, taking the helm at the HR whip will be none other than Curt Soderlund who in the processes will be giving  Trial Court Administrative Services a reason to exist. At his side? Sofaman himself, Mr. Ken Couch. We’re still moving pawns on a board here but at least we’re doing something.

This goes out to you Ernie from all of your coworkers and friends at the AOC.


From: Patel, Jody
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2012 11:56 AM
To: AOC Users-All
Subject: HR Division Restructuring


As we continue to make organizational changes to manage budget reductions and implement efficiencies, I’m writing to advise you of a change relating to our human resources function. Effective May 1, 2012, the AOC’s Human Resources (HR) Division will be realigned as a unit and merged with Trial Court Administrative Services as the Administrative Services Division. With this change, Ernie Fuentes, who has served as HR Director, is leaving the AOC.

The Administrative Services Division will be led by Curt Soderlund. Curt’s years of HR experience in state government and at the local court level will directly benefit HR’s service functions. Ken Couch, HR’s Assistant Director, who has been with the agency since 2007, will continue to serve as assistant director in the realigned division structure.

The hiring freeze in place since 2008, employee attrition, and two cycles of the voluntary separation incentive program in the current fiscal year have disproportionately affected HR staffing. This realignment will enable us to maintain core HR services for the trial and appellate courts, as well as internally within the AOC, while creating efficiencies and savings.

This approach is consistent with AOC division consolidations and related executive management reductions of the past year, specifically division mergers to create the Court Programs and Services Division, the consolidation of regional offices, and the reduction of three director positions.

Curt and I will be meeting with the HR management team and the entire HR staff to discuss the specifics of this change, answer questions, and listen to feedback.

Even though this restructuring effort is necessary, I know that it’s difficult and unsettling. Your support is critical to our effectiveness in dealing with the current challenges. I want to reiterate my goal of placing the AOC on a more stable footing for the future. The guiding principle for this organizational realignment is to ensure that we are in the best possible position, functionally and fiscally, to meet our core responsibilities. The Chief Justice and the Judicial Council will receive the recommendations of the Strategic Evaluation Committee (SEC) in the next six to eight weeks. However, with the significant budget reductions in this and the next fiscal year, it is incumbent on AOC executive leadership to be proactive in identifying savings and implementing efficiencies. When the SEC recommendations are received and considered by the council, the agency will be in a better position to address next steps.

I will continue to share as much information as possible with you in the coming weeks. The directors and Curt and I thank you for your sustained commitment to the AOC and our mission of improving the administration of justice in California.

Jody Patel
Interim Administrative Director of the Courts
Judicial Council of California – Administrative Office of the Courts
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102-3688
415-865-4275. FAX 415-865-4244, jody.patel@jud.ca.gov
“Serving the courts for the benefit of all Californians”