Smokin’, Smokin’ Comments and News of a Strike by San Francisco Superior Court

Posted on July 16, 2012



They. Mean. Business.

Judicial Council Watcher heartily supports the rank and file court workers of San Francisco Superior Court  and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 in their fight against the death star. Unfortunately, the management of San Francisco Superior Court, like it or not is going along for the ride. Enjoy and in your mind and your heart, hope that they are victorious.

In our mind, this action is far less about the managers and judges of San Francisco Superior Court and more about the gross mismanagement and obfuscated finances of the Administrative Office of the Courts, that obscure little agency that burns a half billion dollars worth of judicial branch budget per year when you consider their actual budget and all the clawbacks. No one has been successful in exposing the waste of the AOC in all of its grandiose so we’re hopeful that in taking on the AOC, SEIU1021 is victorious. I think we all know this all about far more than a 5% pay cut. This is about what the AOC should and should not be engaged in. This is about the money they burn that never gets to the trial courts. This is about lavish benefits being bestowed on about 30 people that need to be canned. This is about 400 people across the street that are making greater than a hundred grand making work for themselves while our courts crumble. This is about $1,900.00 per square foot taj mahals to justice., $2500.00 lightbulbs, zombieware vaporware that cost you your jobs and nearly $600 million – and it didn’t make your job any easier. And much, much more.

It appears the State Bar’s effort is beginning to trickle in mostly from legal aid societies, paid mouthpieces that are dependent on an AOC that spreads out the cash, hitting the proper talking points like good little AOC soldiers. Access, diversity and fairness. If they only knew <i>or paid attention</i>…… Ignorance is bliss. 

And now for some smokin’ comments…..

Judge Kay Tsenin perfectly describes the borglike assimilation fear that many judges share in displeasing the mighty AOC

Judge Matthew Gary who properly asks why we are letting everyone else second-guess the SEC committee with public comment

I can recall then Chief Justice George making a public off-hand comment that those of us who opposed court closure were concerned only about our own paychecks. The arrogant, insular, attitude at the top was both offensive and wrong. That attitude continued.

Judge Stephen Hall

I would strongly urge that decision makers on the Judicial Council and at the AOC take a deep breath, step back, and then re-read the SEC report with an objective eye. No one likes to be criticized, but the content of the SEC report is a fair and accurate reflection of where things stand now. Recent attempts to cosmetically or superficially change some things within the management and/or operational structure of the AOC are not going to hit the mark and address those key philosphical points contained within the findings made by the SEC. Attempts to make these quick fixes simply reinforce the beliefs held by some of some of those critical of the AOC and its current management scheme.

Judge Ari Symons

Judge Julia Craig Kelety  righteously compares CCMS to the hall toilet that doesn’t flush very well. LOL!!!!

Judge Sean Dowling makes a well reasoned argument well worth reading. My bet is he was a lawyer in a previous life. 😉

Judge William Ryan minces no words.

Judge Shari Silver asks some questions the we believe the chief justice should answer.

Judge Susan Lopez-Giss

It has become apparent that the OGC has morphed from a legal office to a policy organization, and that the head of that division has carved out for herself, without Council approval, a policymaking role. The SEC report documented this fact. As legal counsel to a governmental body, the OGC should not be producing publications, or establishing policy. It is OGC’s responsibility under the Rules of Court to provide advice, NOT ORDERS.

We’re not done with comments yet so if you have not done so, please submit your comments to