SAN FRANCISCO—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye today announced the appointment of Ms. Carin T. Fujisaki as Principal Attorney to the Chief Justice. Ms. Fujisaki, who has served the Supreme Court of California since 1990, assumes the position formerly held by Beth J. Jay.
“Carin is a prime example of the wealth of legal talent and the dedicated public servants who staff our Supreme Court. Carin brings 25 years of high court experience to her new role, as well as years of experience in the legal community at large. I am very grateful to Carin for taking on this new challenge,” commented Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye. “I look forward to the benefit of her wise counsel and keen intellect as we address the issues facing both our own court and the judicial branch as a whole.”
Ms. Fujisaki began her career with the Supreme Court as an Attorney on its Civil Central Staff, preparing conference memoranda addressing petitions for review in civil matters. She then served as a Staff Attorney in the chambers of Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter for more than twenty years, assisting in the drafting and review of calendar memoranda and opinions in a wide array of civil, criminal, and administrative law matters. Following Justice Baxter’s recent retirement, Ms. Fujisaki served on a transitional basis as a Managing Attorney, working closely with Frank A. McGuire, Court Administrator and Clerk of the Supreme Court.
“It is a great honor and privilege to have been selected by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye as her Principal Attorney, to provide her with counsel and advice on administrative and policy issues, and to serve as the Supreme Court’s liaison to bodies such as the State Bar of California, the State Bar Court, and the Commission on Judicial Performance,” said Ms. Fujisaki. “I look forward to supporting the Chief Justice’s Access 3D and civic engagement initiatives, contributing to improvements in the administration of justice in the judicial branch, and increasing access to justice for all Californians. Finally, I would like to congratulate my predecessor, Beth Jay, who served with great distinction as Principal Attorney for over 30 years and has been a tremendous asset to me during my transition to my new role.”
Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Ms. Fujisaki was employed for several years as a Litigation Associate with the law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Robertson & Falk, where she handled complex civil litigation matters and litigated pro bono cases with the American Civil Liberties Union. Before that, she was a Research Attorney for Judge Raymond D. Williamson, Jr., and Judge Lucy K. McCabe in the Law and Motion Department of the San Francisco Superior Court.
For the entirety of her career, Ms. Fujisaki has been active with local bar associations, most recently in mentoring law students and new attorneys. Her other activities include past service on the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and on bar association judicial candidate review committees. Since 2003, she has served on the Board of Directors of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she has been actively involved on a number of committees and currently heads the Board of Directors as Chair.
Ms. Fujisaki earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1985 from UC Hastings, where she was an Associate Editor of the Hastings Law Journal and received a UC Hastings 1066 Foundation Scholarship. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree (magna cum laude) in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a coxswain for UCLA’s Varsity Women’s Crew team, she received the Outstanding Athlete Award in 1981, and later that year she coxed the gold medal winning women’s rowing team at the United States National Sports Festival. Ms. Fujisaki lives in Walnut Creek with her husband, Pablo Haz, and they have two children, Siena and Griffin.