SAN FRANCISCO—Retired Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Leonard P. Edwards, a nationally known expert in juvenile and family law, has agreed to serve as a volunteer at the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). As a volunteer, he will provide training for California judges and technical assistance to court personnel working in juvenile and family law.
In addition to this volunteer work for the state’s courts, Judge Edwards will work outside of California as an educator, trainer, and consultant.
“I am pleased that Judge Edwards is volunteering his talents during a time of severe budget cuts,” said Interim Administrative Director of the Courts Jody Patel. “At the same time, I’m not surprised, as he has dedicated his entire professional career to improving outcomes for children and families. The state’s judicial branch depends, in part, on the kind of volunteer ethos demonstrated by Judge Edwards and other judges like him, both retired and active.”
Until recently, Judge Edwards served for six years as Judge-in-Residence at the AOC’s Center for Families, Children & the Courts. During his tenure as AOC Judge-in-Residence, Judge Edwards visited courts in all 58 of California’s counties, responding to judges, attorneys, and stakeholders on issues relating to families and children. He also consulted with trial court judges to design specialized curricula for family and juvenile courts.
Before joining the AOC, Judge Edwards served for 26 years as a judge in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, sitting as a domestic relations judge and as a juvenile court judge. During his judicial career, Judge Edwards founded the Juvenile Court Judges of California, the Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council, the Child Advocates of Santa Clara County, and Kids In Common. In addition, Judge Edwards was president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in 2002–2003.
Judge Edwards has taught at the University of Santa Clara Law School, Stanford Law School, and the California Judicial College. He has provided judicial trainings in over 47 states and 11 foreign countries and written widely, including a recent book, The Role of the Juvenile Court Judge: Practice and Ethics. Judge Edwards has received numerous awards, including the 2004 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence.