Telecommuting Lawyers KCRA 3 – Mike Leury and a reminder from ACJ

Posted on July 19, 2012

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First up this evening is a news story about telecommuting lawyers from a few of our favorites, KCRA Channel 3, Mike Leury and Judge Marianne Gilliard of the Alliance of California Judges.

A note to the AOC’s Ministry of Truth : Judge Gilliard’s delivery is going to have you all pining for your jobs.

Link: Telecommuting State Lawyers work far away from California

Link: ACJ Comment to the SEC report

July 19, 2012
Dear Members and Others,
This will be your last reminder to submit your comments in support of the SEC recommendations. The deadline is this Sunday. You can easily submit your comment by emailing to invitations@jud.ca.gov.

Please know that your silence will be construed as acquiescence to the status quo.

Although today a member of the Judicial Council’s Executive and Planning Committee described the comments favoring immediate implementation of all SEC comments as merely a “significant” number of the total thus far received, the press tally (and ours) shows quite the opposite.  Please see the included article from the Courthouse News Service.  We note also that the AOC can’t seem to stay out of the public comment process they are supposed to be fairly administering, instead giving press access to favored comments like the one we pointed out to you earlier this week by administrator Aikman.

We invite you to visit the Council website and see for yourself the overwhelming response in support of immediate implementation of the recommendations. Every judge must weigh in. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do so as well.

Finally, we include the comment submitted by the Alliance of California Judges, as well as a short and to the point comment submitted  by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dohi, who accurately describes the “survey fatigue” we are all experiencing. Judge Dohi’s comments follow the Courthouse News article below below; the comment from the Alliance is attached as a pdf.

We thank those who have taken the time to participate and we thank in advance those of you who will respond by the Sunday deadline.

Directors, Alliance of California Judges

________________________________

Courthouse News Service
7/18/2012
Huge Majority of Judges Support Pushing On With Drastic Reform
By MARIA DINZEO
     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – With a comment period closing this weekend, more than 90% of the respondents are in favor of pressing ahead with reforms that would pare down and rein in the central bureaucracy of California’s courts.
“Please implement immediately all of the SEC recommendations forthwith,” wrote Judge David Brown from San Diego. “This dilly-dallying is unacceptable. Show some leadership — you are destroying the judiciary as directly as the budget. To borrow a phrase from advertising — just do it.”
As of Wednesday, 153 out of 168 comments, mostly from judges, support immediate action from the Judicial Council to adopt the recommendations of the Strategic Evaluation Committee, a group of judges appointed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to review how the Administrative Office of the Courts operates.
The committee’s scathing report was unveiled last month, but the Judicial Council voted to delay implementation of the proposed reforms, much to the vexation of judges up and down the state. They have flooded the Judicial Council’s online public comment box with exhortations to cut the AOC’s workforce, eliminate unnecessary divisions and ensure that the agency serves the courts, not its own purposes.
“In more than twenty years as a superior court judge, I have observed with concern, disappointment, and disgust the creation and growth of the AOC into an unresponsive, unnecessary, and irresponsible organization purportedly supervised by a feckless and equally irresponsible Judicial Council,” wrote Judge Robert Perry in Los Angeles. “The AOC is more than just an embarrassment. It is a travesty.”
Some Judicial Council members had expressed concern that a restructuring of the bureaucracy would harm people who depend on its services. They also worried about feelings hurt by the report’s blunt language. The council ultimately voted to call for public comment before moving forward.
But the resulting flood of comments showed a judiciary weary of surveys and studies, and ready to get moving. The words “immediately” and “urgently” are common, as is the phrase “without further delay.”
Presiding Judge Suzanne Kingsbury of El Dorado County, one of the SEC report’s authors, wrote, “Every program and service offered by the AOC provides a benefit to some constituency. In the process of receiving comments about the SEC report, I am certain that the beneficiaries of these programs and services will implore the Judicial Council not to implement any reductions or eliminate any programs.”
“However, when courtrooms are shut down and clerks’ offices hours dramatically scaled back, no one benefits,” she wrote. “The AOC simply cannot be all things to all people, particularly in light of the current economic crisis. The Judicial Council cannot avoid making these tough decisions.”
The result of a year’s worth of research and interviews, the report highlighted many criticisms judges have held about the agency’s wasteful spending, generous hiring and telecommuting policy while courthouses were closing and laying off staff and its bungling of a massive statewide IT project for the courts. It also found the bureaucracy had hid information about its finances and the number of workers it employs.
Comments come from judges and commissioners all over the state, some retired, and many with over 20 years of bench experience.
“Please learn the lesson. Implement all recommendations. Preferably, yesterday,” wrote Judge Joseph Hurley of Alameda County Superior Court.
“The people who work at the AOC are not subject to re-election challenges every 6 years, as we are,” wrote Judge Ryan Wright of Ventura County Superior Court. “We have to answer to voters for decisions made by people who are not accountable to us. That is an incredibly difficult position to be in. The SEC recommendations … need to be immediately embraced and implemented.”
“The AOC has grown way too large, is management heavy and has lost its way,” wrote Judge Ariadne Symons from Santa Cruz. “I agree completely, based on my personal dealings with the AOC, that the members appear to believe they control the judges and tell them what to do, rather than support the judges in performing their functions.”
“I am deeply concerned about the lack of transparency, the lack of prudent fiscal decisions and many of the other items highlighted by the report,” Symons continued. “Please note my strong support of the recommendations set forth in the report and my belief that they should be implemented immediately.”
Judge David Lampe in Kern County said the AOC’s steady incursion into the running of the courts undermines judicial constitutional authority, an erosion that can be stopped with swift and wide-sweeping reform.
“Unless this substantial reduction takes place, we are in grave danger of losing the heart of what it means to be a judge,” wrote Lampe. “The value of our system lies in the idea that every judge is an independent decision-maker and an independent constitutional officer, deciding cases with courage, and with a careful view of the law.”
“The current situation is at odds with this traditional view of justice,” Lampe continued. “In addition to appearing to sanction efforts for full administrative control of the court system and fostering an insular organizational mentality, the AOC and Judicial Council subtly and increasingly appear to be moving in the direction of extra-constitutional authority over judicial decision-making, outside the process of normal appellate judicial review.”
Lampe has often articulated the constitutional basis for reining in the bureaucrats, and he is a director of the Alliance of California Judges, a reform group among California’s judiciary.
He said that judges are pressured into a type of group-think through mandatory, centrally controlled instruction of judges and doubtful legal opinions from the bureaucracy’s legal counsel.
“As judges are pressured to blindly accept the AOC’s view of the law, and of the proper resolution of conflicts, we move ever closer to a judicial system where substantive law is interpreted and applied not by independent judges, but by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who control those judges, and whose actions are beyond pubic view, and beyond appellate review.”
Only a handful of comments diverged from the mainstream view that the SEC’s report should be immediately implemented, and most come from groups other than the trial judges, such as the official lawyers organization in California and the National Center for State Courts.
One individual who commented is Alexander Aikman, a retired court administrator from Eldorado County. “Many judges do not have the background in management policy and experience that will produce the best solution,” he wrote.
In a follow-up interview, Aikman said, “However bright and committed to being a judge and to the branch working effectively the judges may be, they don’t have the whole picture.”
Illustrating the conflict between the appointed bureaucrats and elected judges, Aikman challenged the position of Kingsbury, the presiding judge in Eldorado County – the very court where he had worked.
“Kingsbury spent 55 weeks studying this,” he said in reference to her membership of the reform committee. “I can understand why she would support it, but I don’t think it’s the right answer. All I’m asking the council to do is stop and recognize that different senior management will make a difference.”
Revealing the depth of the politics surrounding the battle over control of the courts, Aikman sent an email to news reporters in California this week, offering his views and explaining that he had obtained the email addresses from the Administrative Office of the Courts. In turn, the Alliance sent out a newsletter this week warning of a campaign to slow down reform through the very argument made by Aikman.
“There appears to be a campaign afoot to delay implementation of the SEC recommendations by claiming that nothing should be done until a new executive director is selected,” said the newsletter. “This is the same misguided thinking that has placed us in our current position. Judges, not bureaucrats, need to be in charge.”
The move by the Judicial Council to scrutinize the SEC’s reform proposals and hold them up for a long comment period was itself subjected to attack.
“This ‘rolling public comment’ process does nothing to restore the credibility of the Council or its purported subordinate entity, the AOC,” wrote Judge Maryanne Gilliard of Sacramento Superior Court. “Instead it perpetuates the reality that the Council is unwilling or incapable to oversee a bureaucracy that has long since taken control.”
Judge Michele McKay McCoy of Santa Clara Superior Court speculated that the recommendations would never be adopted, pointing out that it took legislative action to halt the Court Case Management System, a half-billion-dollar IT project excoriated by the legislature and the state auditor for its cost overruns, mismanagement and ultimate failure.
“The reasons for each recommendation are clearly set forth in the SEC’s report, and borne out by the bitter experience of every sitting judge in the state. Unfortunately I have no expectation whatsoever that any of the SEC’s recommendations will be implemented,” said a skeptical McCoy. “All of the failures of the Judicial Council to control the AOC have been pointed out in the past by other reports and other audits, and all have been ignored.”
“It took an act of the legislature to stop the AOC from pouring more of the taxpayers’ dollars down the rat hole which is the CCMS. It will take another act by the legislature to end the bloated bureaucracy which is the AOC,” she concluded. “The Judicial Council clearly has no interest in the subject.”
The deadline for commenting on the SEC is July 22.
_______________________________
 
PUBLIC COMMENT OF JUDGE DOHI

Forgive the testiness of this response. I’m suffering from survey fatigue. I’ve been asked for my opinion about AOC governance by the Strategic Evaluation Committee, by the California Judges Association, by my own court (twice), and now by the E&P Committee. I wonder why I bother answering. Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen survey answers critical of the AOC diluted with bogus “push” questions (as was the case with the 2011 CJA survey), distorted by court leaders (which is what almost happened to the recent Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee vote), or flat-out disregarded (which is what happened to the overwhelmingly negative comments about CCMS from the large-county trial court IT experts surveyed by the Bureau of State Audits in 2011). And I’ve seen just about everything that comes from the Alliance of California Judges get dismissed out of hand, even though the ACJ speaks for more than 400 of us. But I’m afraid that if I don’t send in a response to this latest call for input, my silence will somehow get tallied as a vote for the status quo or for “slow reform.”

 

I’m voting against the status quo. I’m voting against “slow reform.” I’m urging the rapid adoption of every recommendation in the SEC report, especially the first four.

 

The sad, obvious truth is that the AOC has captured the institution it was meant to serve, with catastrophic results. The centralization of judicial administration, far from bringing us the vast economies of scale its architects promised, has instead yoked the entire branch to a series of disastrous policies which have drained our coffers and sapped our credibility with the other branches of government. CCMS—a half-billion-dollar folly, flawed in its conception, garbled in its design, botched in its execution—is only the most conspicuous example. By failing to provide any meaningful oversight and literally letting the AOC set its agenda, the Judicial Council allowed the AOC to mushroom into the mega- bureaucracy it is today: an agency which features needless scholars in residence and lawyers telecommuting from overseas; which has a house media organ that wastes money on pro-AOC news stories and steadfastly ignores dissenting voices; which stonewalls any attempt at reform; which lobbies the Legislature against positions supported by many, if not most, of the state’s bench officers; which can’t even give us a ballpark figure as to how many people it employs. Bringing the AOC to heel is Job One—which is exactly what the SEC report says in Recommendations 4-1 and 4-2.

 

Other commenters have pointed to the good works of the Education Division/CJER to justify a go-slow approach to AOC reform. A lot of dedicated people work for CJER. I use their materials all the time. But our court just laid off its juvenile traffic referees. Those bench officers handled 77,000 citations last year. (Alexandra Zavis and Ashley Powers, “An L.A. County court for young offenders closes,” Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2012.) We’ve cut back on court reporters for many civil proceedings, which means that poorer litigants are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to appealing adverse rulings. If we could have saved some of those jobs on the front lines by redirecting AOC funding, even funding for judicial education, we should have done it. Hearing cases is our business. Support functions, including judicial education, simply have to take a back seat to line operations.

 

So here we are: hamstrung in the performance of our duties by budget constraints; hemorrhaging talented clerks, referees, and reporters; deeply divided among ourselves; and politically enfeebled by our stubborn refusal to heed calls for reform, even when forcefully delivered by the Legislature with a blunt axe to our budget. A group of well- regarded judges has given us an incisive, insightful, and comprehensive blueprint for reform, a blueprint a year in the making and commissioned by the Chief Justice herself. We can embrace this report. We can send a message to the Legislature and to the public that we own up to the mistakes of the past and that we commit ourselves to making drastic changes. Or we can dither. We can ignore our own advice. If we don’t wholeheartedly adopt the SEC recommendations—and soon—we are taping a giant “Kick Me Harder” sign to our backs and dancing directly in front of the Legislature’s shod right foot. More to the point, we are not doing right by the people we serve. In the words of Elvis Presley: A little less conversation, a little more action, please.

 

Thanks for the opportunity to be heard.

 

GREGORY DOHI

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT 

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT

Click on the more to see all current SEC comments

 

Hon. B. Scott Silverman, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Phyllis Shibata, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. C. Edward Simpson, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Jon Takasugi, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Charlaine F. Olmedo, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. F. Dana Walton, Superior Court of Mariposa County

Hon. W. Kent Hamlin, Superior Court of Fresno County

Mr. Todd Barton, Superior Court of Kings County

Hon. Darrell Mavis, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Dorothy Shubin, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Richard A. Stone, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. James B. Copelan, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Russell Kussman, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John S. Adams, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Mike Camacho, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Helios J. Hernandez, Superior Court of Riverside County

Hon. Gus Gomez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Harvey A. Silberman, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Zaven V. Sinanian, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. David J. Cowan, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Legal Services of Northern California, by Mr. Gary F. Smith

California Trial Courts Consortium, by Ms. Mary Beth Todd and Ms. Tania Ugrin-Capobianco

Hon. Louise Halevy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Allen Sumner, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Salvatore T. Sirna, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Superior Court of San Franciso County, by Hon. Katherine Feinstein

Hon. Emma Castro, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Mina D. Fried, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Council of California County Law Librarians, by Mr. Christopher Christman

Hon. Eugene Balonon, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Bar Association of San Francisco, by Ms. Kelly M. Dermody

Hon. Richard Pacheco, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. H. Jay Ford, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Margaret S. Henry, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Julian W. Bailey, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Robert Martinez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John Murphy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Larry Errea, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Gregory Keosian, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. William McTaggart, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Nancy Pogue, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Susan K. Weiss, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Marshall Rieger, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Dennis W. Carroll, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Elizabeth Munisoglu, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John Fisher, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael Raphael, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Allen J. Webster, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Debra Losnick, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Shelly Torrealba, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Anthony Jones, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Cynthia A. Zuzga, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Cheryl Chun Meegan, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Robert J. Trotten, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John J. Garaventa, Superior Court of Tehama County

Hon. Robert Kawahara, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Anthony J. Mohr, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Annemarie G. Pace, Superior Court of San Bernardino County

Hon. Dudley W. Gray, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Robert Tafoya, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. James Bianco, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Frank Johnson, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Richard Adler, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Brian C. Walsh, Superior Court of Santa Clara County

Hon. Kathryne Anne Stoltz (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Public Law Center, by Mr. Kenneth W. Babcock

Hon. John B. Ellis, Superior Court of Solano County

Mr. Douglas G. Denton, Administrative Office of the Courts

Hon. Jack P. Hunt (Ret.)

Hon. John W. Green, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Daniel S. Murphy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Scott Gordon, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael P. Linfield, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Christopher Marshall, Superior Court of San Bernardino County

Hon. Elia Weinbach, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John M. Pacheco, Superior Court of San Bernardino County

Hon. Bruce E. Mitchell, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Howard J. Schwab (Ret.)

Mr. John A. Clarke, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Gordon S. Baranco, Superior Court of Alameda County

Hon. Thomas M. Maddock, Superior Court of Contra Costa County

Hon. Brian C. Yep, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Robert Willett, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Randolph M. Hammock, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Robert J. Schuit, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Thomas C. Rogers, Superior Court of Alameda County

Hon. Michelle Williams Court, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Daniel J. Healy, Superior Court of Solano County

Ms. Patricia Banks, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Douglas V. Mewhinney (Ret.), Superior Court of Calaveras County

Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, by Mr. Kenneth Krekorian

Hon. Jane Godfrey, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Nancy Newman, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John Kralik, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Charlotte J. Orcutt, Superior Court of San Joaquin County

Hon. Richard Kirschner, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kenneth G. Pritchard, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Lewis A. Davis, Superior Court of Contra Costa County

Superior Court of Los Angeles County, by Hon. Lee S. Edmon

Hon. Brian Hoffstadt, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. J. Stephen Czuleger, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Roger L. Lund, Superior Court of Ventura County

Hon. Charles W. McCoy, Jr., Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Martin L. Herscovitz, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Claudia Silbar, Superior Court of Orange County

Mr. Charlie Clausen, Superior Court of Sacramento County

OneJustice, by Ms. Linda S. Kim

Hon. Robert Harrison, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Gerritt Wood, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Ralph W. Dau, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kelvin D. Filer, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Yolanda Orozco, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Leslie A. Swain, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Donna F. Goldstein, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Superior Court of Santa Clara County, by Hon. Richard J. Loftus, Jr.

Hon. Richard J. Loftus, Jr., Superior Court of Santa Clara County

Hon. John C. Lawson II, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Patricia M. Schnegg, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Ms. Tina M. Burkhart

Mr. Richard Drooyan

Hon. Richard A. Bennett (Ret.), Superior Court of Napa County

Hon. Mitchell Block, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. David Milton, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Larry P. Fiddler, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Laurie D. Zelon, Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven

Hon. H. Chester Horn, Jr., Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Gary Y. Tanaka, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Adolfo Corona, Superior Court of Fresno County

Hon. Douglas G. Carnahan, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Derek D. Johnson, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Michael L. Stern, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. David Szumowski, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Christian Gullon, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Dorothy B. Reyes, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Sharon Miller, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Dennis E. Mulcahy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Carolyn B. Kuhl, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Ms. Cynthia Carillo, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney, Superior Court of San Francisco County

Hon. David Fields, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. George Berenson, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Laura Laesecke, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kevin Brown, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Roy Delgado, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. William G. Willett, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Bert Glennon, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Mark Mooney, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Norman P. Tarle, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Jose A. Rodriguez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Rita Miller, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. James M. Steele, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

California Judges Association, by Hon. David M. Rubin

Hon. Bobby W. McNatt, Superior Court of San Joaquin County

Hon. Brenda F. Harbin-Forte, Superior Court of Alameda County

Note to Judge Harbin-Forte: Welcome to California. You’re not in Mississippi anymore.

Hon. Martin Gladstein, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael McCartin, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Gary Mullen (Ret.)

In my 22 plus years as a judge (retired) I have seen the AOC evolve from a helpful, useful and well run state agency into  one that is unresponsive, arrogant, and supremely wasteful of the public’s money.

Hon. Daniel Ramirez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Leslie G. Landau, Superior Court of Contra Costa County

California Commission on Access to Justice, by Hon. Ronald B. Robie

Perennial suck-up and judicial council insider – assisted in orchestrating the state bar response. Hear those crickets?

Hon. Andrew P. Banks, Superior Court of Orange County

The Chief assured all of us that the SEC Committee report would be ” the bible” for AOC evaluation and reform.How is it that the Council could fail to adopt even the modest proposal of Judge Wesley at the last Council meeting? Staying with the Chief’s analogy of the Report being “the bible” for reform, I ask this question: Did Moses bring down the Ten Commandments and then put them out for public comment before their adoption?

Hon. Laura Ellison, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Ronald A. Mayo (Ret.)

Hon. Derek Hunt, Superior Court of Orange County

Over time (I have been on the bench for 15 years) the prominence of the AOC seems to have grown enormously, but without its producing anything of value to the courts that I can identify. In fact, when I am obliged to think of the AOC at all, I think of the scandal – there is no other word – of the misadministration of its budget to the disadvantage of the court system in general.

Hon. Richard R. Romero, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

If we do not fix this problem ourselves, the legislature–properly–will fix it to our detriment.

Hon. Christine Moruza, Superior Court of Alameda County

Mr. Fred Stetson

JCW: The study that is likely being commissioned by the AOC will arrive at a predetermined result. If you want a truly independent study, have Los Angeles Superior Court commission the study. In countless cases we can illustrate where a court worker was able to deliver a project for a small fraction of the price the AOC and the facilities management unit and their unlicensed contractors quoted. We disagree with Mr. Stetson and believe that a facilities managers and staff are required to man the buildings and do the light stuff. There should be an organizational structure to escalate projects into that require design, construction and engineering but by no means should contractors be in charge of running the courts. It did not work in Iraq, it does not work in Afghanistan and it results in substantial deferred maintenance and operations due to sky high captive pricing.   

Of particular attention of how stellar your model of delivery of world class services actually works, I give Mr. Stetson this little tidbit from Judge Hunt in San Joaquin County.

http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/SP12-05_HuntD.pdf

“San Joaquin County Superior Court has always been one of, if not the most underfunded of the State’s 58 courts. The same duct tape still holds down the carpet in the judicial secretary’s office as it did when I arrived over 17 years ago. During that time, one of the four elevators in our main courthouse has stopped working, with no repair date projected. We still have one of the highest case loads per bench officer. There is no way to count how many times proposals to increase the number of judges here have been traded away in Sacramento or San Francisco for some other political lollipop. To some degree, I believe this is because historically, our local court hasn’t “made nice” politically with the AOC and administrative staff.”

JCW is going to be opening up a satellite in San Joaquin County next month and give some special attention to San Joaquin because we’re concerned about the plight of San Joaquin Courts in general.

Hon. Nancy Shaffer, Superior Court of Sonoma County

Hon. John Conley, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Lyle M. MacKenzie, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Jan Levine, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Just. Ouch.

Ms. Deborah Ricketts, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Thank you Ms. Deborah Ricketts, we really appreciate you stepping up to the plate. 🙂

Alliance of California Judges, by Hon. David R. Lampe

Mr. Alan Kidder

Thank you Mr. Alan Kidder, we really appreciate you stepping up to the plate. 🙂

Hon. Faye D’Opal, Superior Court of Marin County

Sucking up for a spot on the Judicial Council?  Talking points? Really? At this point I believe your aspirations, views and interpretation of the California constitution make you un-electable to a democratized judicial council and quite possibly as a judge. 

Hon. Kathryn Solorzano, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Leslie E. Brown, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

“In our efforts to distinguish the judicial branch of government from the others, which find themselves the target of such vehement public backlash, we can ill afford to endorse the typical “government” practice of engaging in illogical and impractical actions, such as commissioning a self-analytical review of ourselves and, then, summarily rejecting it by “sending it to committee for further review” when we are challenged by the conclusions reached in that self-initiated process.

We should stand up, and be the adults in the room, by asserting leadership in government by accepting our self-identified shortcomings and moving forward expeditiously in resolving the problems that confront us. To do otherwise simply casts us in the same dim light as other parts of “government” that the public, rightly and vocally, disfavors.”

Hon. Laurie M. Earl, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. James L. Compton, Superior Court of Kern County

Ms. Ruth Zawodny, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Ms. Christa Beebout, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Ms. Kelly Sullivan, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Elizabeth R. Feffer, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Thomas Trent Lewis, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Bernard J. Garber, Superior Court of San Joaquin County

Hon. Michael Gaffey, Superior Court of Alameda County

Hon. Michelle R. Rosenblatt, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Joseph A. Brandolino, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John L. Flynn III, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Douglas C. Boyack (Ret.)

Hon. Loren McMaster (Ret.)

Hon. Barbara A. Kronlund, Superior Court of San Joaquin County

Hon. Elisabeth Sichel, Superior Court of Riverside County

Hon. Thomas Hollenhorst, Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Div. 2

Ms. Mary Foord, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Theresa Canepa, Superior Court of Contra Costa County

Hon. Timothy M. Fall, Superior Court of Yolo County

Hon. Steven R. Van Sicklen, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Wayne R. Parrish, Superior Court of Mariposa County

Hon. Delbert Oros, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Janet M. Frangie, Superior Court of San Bernardino County

Hon. Gary D. Hoff, Superior Court of Fresno County

Hon. Dean Stout, Superior Court of Inyo County

Hon. James K. Hahn, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Burt Pines (Ret.)

Hon. David Downing, Superior Court of Riverside County

Hon. John Martin, Superior Court of San Bernardino County

Hon. Daniel B. Goldstein, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Kenneth Barr, Superior Court of San Barnardino County

The State Bar of California Council on Access & Fairness, by Ms. Teri Cannon

Hon. John P. Kennelly, Superior Court of Sierra County

Hon. Charles R. Brehmer, Superior Court of Kern County

Mr. George Ferrick

Hon. Wendy G. Getty, Superior Court of Solano County

Hon. George Genesta, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John K. Stewart, Superior Court of San Francisco County

Hon. Paul Marigonda, Superior Court of Santa Cruz County

Hon. Wayne R. Ellison, Superior Court of Fresno County

Ms. Julie Jackson, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Anne-Christine Massullo, Superior Court of San Francisco County

Hon. Steve White, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Pamela Smith-Steward, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Bruce F. Marrs, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Juan Carlos Dominguez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Diana Wheatley, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. William Pounders (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Roger Ito, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Janet Kintner (Ret.)

Hon. Helen I. Bendix, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Gregory A. Dohi, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Lance Ito, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Ms. Janet Davis, Superior Court of Amador County

Hon. Craig Phillips, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Robert L. Hess, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Stephen A. Marcus, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Legal Aid Association of California, by Ms. Julia R. Wilson

Hon. Don Christian, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. David C. Brougham, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Legal Aid of Marin, by Mr. Paul S. Cohen

Hon. Paul Bacigalupo, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Anthony M. Peters, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Rocky L. Crabb, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Harry S. Kinnicutt, Superior Court of Solano County

Hon. Kay Tsenin, Superior Court of San Francisco County

Hon. James McFetridge, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Matthew J. Gary, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Lesley Green, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Members, CJER Governing Commitee, by Hon. Ronald B. Robie

Hon. Michael Johnson, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. John H. Reid, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kevin C. Brazile, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Harold J. Mulville, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Arthur M. Lew, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Roger K. Warren (Ret.)

Hon. Steven M. Hall, Superior Court of San Mateo County

Hon. Ariadne Symons, Superior Court of Santa Cruz County

Hon. Julia Craig Kelety, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Brian Petraborg Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Hayden Zacky, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Victor Martinez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Matthew P. Guasco, Superior Court of Ventura County

Hon. Mary Lou Katz, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Sean P. Dowling, Superior Court of Nevada County

Hon. Gary T. Friedman, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Gilbert M. Lopez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. William Highberger, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. William C. Ryan, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Shari Silver, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Colette Humphrey, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Susan Lopez-Giss, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Joseph Hurley, Superior Court of Alameda County

Hon. Stanford E. Reichert, Superior Court of San Bernardino County

Hon. Michael Savage, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Michelle McKay McCoy, Superior Court of Santa Clara County

Hon. Wade Olson, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Ryan Wright, Superior Court of Ventura County

Hon. Joel M. Wallenstein, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Deborah L. Sanchez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Leslie Dunn, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Thomas C. Falls, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Robert A. McSorley, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Lance Ito, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Donald J. Sullivan, Superior Court of San Francisco County

Hon. James B. Pierce, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Stefanie George, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. J. Eric Bradshaw, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Steven Kleifield, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. George Miram, Superior Court of San Mateo County

Mr. Frederick R. Bennett, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Peter Meeka, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Robert J. Perry, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Laura Hammes (Ret.), Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Andria K. Richey (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Brett C. Klein (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. James D. Otto, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Steven M. Lachs (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Sidney Chapin, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Donald Currier, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Suzanne N. Kingsbury, Superior Court of El Dorado County

Hon. Maryanne Gilliard, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Walter Croskey, 2nd District Court of Appeal

Hon. Hugh Walker, Superior Court of Alameda County

Hon. Gail R. Feuer, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Linda K. Lefkowitz, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Edward B. Moreton, Jr., Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Joseph S. Biderman, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Lauren Weis Birnstein, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Gerald Rosenberg, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. James Kaddo, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Mark S. Arnold, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Victor E. Chavez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael Kenny, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Michael Karl Kellogg, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Lisa C. Schall, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Joseph E. DiLoreto, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael Dellostritto, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Harvey Giss, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael Sweet, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Marjorie Koller, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Elizabeth A. Grimes, 2nd District Court of Appeal

Hon. Leland B. Harris, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Terry A. Bork, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Lorna H. Brumfield, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Steven Blades, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Mr. Alexander B. Aikman

Hon. Jeffrey M. Harkavy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Geanene Yriarte, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kevin McCormick, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Steven M. Katz, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Greta Curtis Fall, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Denise de Bellefeuille, Superior Court of Santa Barbara County

Hon. William C. Ryan, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kathleen A. Kennedy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Edmund Willcox Clarke, Jr., Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Rolf M. Treu, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Charles A. Wieland, Superior Court of Madera County

Hon. Stephen Pfahler, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Mr. Michael Roosevelt, AOC, Center for Families, Children and the Courts

Hon. Michael B. Lewis, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. David R. Lampe, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Frederick Rotenberg, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Jeffrey G. Bennett, Superior Court of Ventura County

Hon. Cory Woodward, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Thomas S. Clark, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Lester E. Olson (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Daniel S. Lopez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Leland H. Tipton, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Patrick Marlette, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Robert A. Dukes, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Candace J. Beason, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kathleen M. White, Superior Court of Yolo County

Hon. Dan Thomas Oki, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Herbert J. Exarhos, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Jon Stuebbe, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Michael G. Bush, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Jaqueline Stern, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Brett London, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Alan S. Rosenfield, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Ronald L. Bauer, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Ernest Sawtelle, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Mildred Escobedo, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. David G. Brown, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Carla M. Singer, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Kenneth C. Twisselman II, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Michael Duggan (Ret.)

Hon. Julie Conger (Ret.), Superior Court of Alameda County

Hon. Michael Latin (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Runston Maino, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Earl H. Maas III, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Bobbi Tillmon, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Superior Court of San Mateo County, by Hon. Beth Labson Freeman

Hon. Louis Etcheverry, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Charles E. Horan (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Mark Tansil, Superior Court of Sonoma County

Hon. Richard D. Huffman, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal

Hon. William Barry, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Karen Nudell, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Donald S. Kennedy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Curtis E. A. Karnow, Superior Court of San Francisco County

Hon. Lauren Weis Birnstein, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Written comments received for June 21-22, 2012, Judicial Council Meeting