SAN FRANCISCO—Mr. Edward Jessen, the longest serving Reporter of Decisions in the history of the California Supreme Court, will retire February 1 after 25 years of public service.
“Ed Jessen—who has been this court’s Reporter of Decisions for a record-breaking 25 years—has followed in the footsteps of other notables, including Bernie Witkin,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “As Reporter of Decisions, he helps this court and the Courts of Appeal efficiently issue accurate, accessible, and clear opinions, written consistent with the conventions set out in his handbook, the California Style Manual. Although the work of the reporter’s office has been accurately described as a quiet and backstage endeavor, it is indispensable to the appellate courts’ process of producing ‘documents of state’ that belong to the people and contribute to the rule of law. I have been privileged to know Ed as a man of integrity, honor, humor, and intelligence—and I speak for the entire appellate court family in saying that all of us will miss him greatly, and wish him the very best in his well-deserved retirement.”
As Reporter of Decisions, Mr. Jessen has been responsible for supervising the preparation and publication of California appellate court opinions in the Official Reports. These days, the work now includes the publication of more than 12,000 opinions a year on the judicial branch’s website. Appointed by the court, the Reporter ensures the editorial integrity of all such opinions from filing through publication, and reviews the accuracy of the editorial information included in the advance sheets and bound volumes.
“Ed Jessen has served with great distinction for a quarter of a century as California’s 24th Reporter of Decisions,” said former Chief Justice Ronald M. George. “His knowledge, professionalism, and ability to handle an enormous workload under strict time limits have served the justices of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal in an exemplary manner, to the additional benefit of the trial courts and the bar. We are all greatly indebted to Ed and his staff for enhancing the quality of the opinions rendered by California’s appellate courts.”
Before joining the Supreme Court, Mr. Jessen worked at Bancroft Whitney Company in San Francisco for over 16 years, including most recently as a Managing Editor. He received a J.D. degree from Golden Gate University Law School in 1972, and a B.A. degree from University of Santa Clara in 1969. No replacement has yet been named.