SAN FRANCISCO—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye today announced the appointment of five Judicial Council members, 30 members of the newly established Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, and 12 members to a new Task Force on Trial Court Fiscal Accountability.
“We’re at a critical juncture in the judicial branch,” said the Chief Justice. “We are struggling to reverse huge budget cuts to the branch at the same time we are building on the initiatives we’ve introduced in the last three years. These appointments reflect the arrival of emerging leaders within the branch as well as the retention of those seasoned leaders who have been instrumental in reorganizing and restructuring the Judicial Council and its administrative agency, the Administrative Office of the Courts. We still have a lot of work to do, and I’m thankful—and proud—that these judges and court administrators are willing to take on the considerable effort involved in providing access to justice.”
The five Judicial Council members include three new members: San Diego Superior Court Judge David M. Rubin, Inyo Superior Court Presiding Judge Dean T. Stout, and Charlene Ynson, Court Administrator/Clerk of the Fifth District Court of Appeal. Their three-year terms begin September 15, 2013; Judge Rubin and Judge Stout will be voting members. Two current Judicial Council members—San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth K. So and Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge James E. Herman—will become advisory, non-voting members for three years when their current terms end in September.
Sacramento Superior Court Presiding Judge Laurie M. Earl will chair the newly created Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, which consists of 15 presiding judges and 15 court executives. As part of its restructuring, the council decided at its business meeting on April 25 that the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee would become a standing council advisory committee. The committee will begin work on July 1. Its overall responsibility is to provide input on the trial court budget process and to propose recommendations to the Judicial Council on trial court funding consistent with council goals. Judge Earl currently serves as chair of the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee and this last year led a budget subcommittee that helped create a new equitable funding methodology for the trial courts.
The new Task Force on Trial Court Fiscal Accountability will build on the considerable work of the Trial Court Funding Workgroup, which was created by the Chief Justice and Governor Jerry Brown to evaluate progress on state trial court funding. Chaired by Santa Clara Superior Court Presiding Judge Brian Walsh, the task force will focus on implementing the recommendations of the Funding Workgroup and furthering the work initiated by Judge Earl’s budget subcommittee. The task force will review and recommend to the Judicial Council the adoption of uniform standards and procedures and operational efficiencies consistent with the goals of the Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997.
“The new members of the council, the committee, and the task force will bring considerable expertise to the Judicial Council,” said Appellate Justice Douglas P. Miller, who chairs the council’s Executive and Planning Committee, which reviews nominations to the council and its advisory committees. “The Chief Justice looks for diversity of viewpoints, experience, and background when making appointments. She also looks for those who have a broad perspective on access to justice, which ensures that the Council and its advisory committees will serve the public’s interest throughout the state.”
According to the state Constitution, the Chief Justice chairs the Judicial Council and appoints one other Supreme Court justice, three justices from the courts of appeal, 10 trial court judges, two nonvoting court administrators, “and any other nonvoting members as determined by the voting membership of the council.” Members serve three years, and new council members begin serving in September. The State Bar’s governing body appoints four members, and the state Senate and Assembly each appoint one member. The council currently has 11 advisory members.