The boondogglers relent….. for the time being…

Posted on May 2, 2013


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May 1, 2013

Dear Members and Others:

We attach an article by Daily Journal reporter Paul Jones regarding the apparent demise (again) of the disgraced CCMS project. The Alliance recently highlighted a questionable maneuver by branch leaders that would have resulted in the deployment of much of the V4 project as originally contemplated by the AOC.

After we issued a member email commenting on the verbal gymnastics employed by the Chairman of the Judicial Council’s IT Committee, who attempted to characterize this expansion of CCMS as “maintenance” and suggested an apparent willingness to obtain a legal opinion justifying the action, the Alliance received a communication from a Judicial Council member which included this concession:

“I agree that calling this request ‘maintenance’ was clearly inappropriate. It’s clearly not “maintenance.”

We ask then: Why did not a single member of the Judicial Council — including non-voting members — question or challenge Judge Herman’s characterization of this obvious expansion as “maintenance”? The Alliance can provide an informed opinion on this. It is because “speaking with one voice” trumps everything. That is why it is essential that we democratize the Judicial Council.

The Alliance once again calls on the Chief Justice to support democratization, either by a constitutional amendment changing the composition of the Council or by simply allowing some or all of her 15 appointees to be elected by the judges of this state. It is obvious to those who follow our leaders’ actions that dissent is discouraged. One need only listen to a Council meeting to witness the blind allegiance of the appointed members of the Council and see that every vote is a foregone conclusion. Unless and until the makeup of the Council changes, expect more of the same.

Finally, we will continue to closely monitor the CCMS project. We are not yet convinced that it is dead.


Alliance of California Judges

Daily Journal

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Request to modify court case management software shelved

By Paul Jones

A request by San Diego and Ventura County superior courts for the Administrative Office of the Courts to modify their electronic case management systems resulted in a minor outcry by a group of dissident judges last week, but the judicial branch’s technology committee head now says the plan won’t go forward.

The Alliance of California Judges, a group of judges who were instrumental in advocating to end the expensive software upgrade project, cried foul, arguing that the Legislature had banned future spending on the system.


“It is truly bewildering that … branch leaders believe it is prudent to revive and expand on a computer project that has done irreparable harm to the judicial branch,” according to an email by the Alliance to its members last week. “Clearly this does not help to make the case for additional funds for the courts.


(This line is not a part of the article) Judge James Herman of Digital Purgatory fame:

“Had we reached that point where a good business case could be made for going forward with expanding case types for these two courts, we would have gotten a legal opinion from our own legal services offices … and we would have gone to the office of governmental affairs to communicate with the Legislature” to determine if the spending was allowable.



 A note from JCW:

As the ACJ indicated, we too do not believe the CCMS issue is dead. Rather, on Monday night they did a lay of the political landscape and came to the realization of how much damage had been done by suggesting that more funds be flushed down the CCMS rathole. Like a lot of people looking at the record thus far, we view this change of heart as merely a delay tactic that the central politburo hammered out at the last minute after they heard how well received this news was in Sacramento.

The legislative reception of the news was confirmed by one of our own legislative contacts who characterized the proposed investment in V3 with this tidbit:  “They put Jasperson & Co on an inverted cliff face without ropes by spelling out what they would be doing with supplemental funding.”