Judge Laurie Earl

Term Served: Sept 2012–Sept 2013

portrait judge earlHon. Laurie M. Earl
Presiding Judge, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Membership: Advisory member, appointed by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

Internal Committee: Rules and Projects Committee
Council Liaison to: Courts of Sutter and Yolo Counties; AOC Judicial Council Support Services




Judge Earl served as the court’s assistant presiding judge for a two-year term starting in 2010, and was elected presiding judge starting Jan 1, 2012. Judge Earl began her legal career in 1989 as an assistant public defender in Sacramento County and in 1995 joined the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office as a deputy district attorney. During her career as a prosecutor, Judge Earl worked in a number of divisions, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and homicide. In 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her the senior assistant inspector general for California. Assigned to the newly created Bureau of Independent Review, Judge Earl was the Northern California regional supervisor in charge of the independent review of internal affairs investigations at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Judge Earl’s alma mater, Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, honored her as Alumnus of the Year this year and in 2005. The Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association named her Judge of the Year in 2010. Judge Earl is a member of the Judicial Council’s Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee and that group’s Executive Committee, as well as the Trial Court Presiding Judges/Court Executives Advisory Committees’ Joint Rules Working Group. She chairs the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee’s working group on court reconciliation and is a member of the Trial Court Budget Working Group.

As chair of the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee, she served as a non-voting member of the Judicial Council. In Sept 2013, Judge Brian Walsh became chair of the committee and joined the council.


As part of the Judicial Council’s efforts to increase communication and transparency and promote accountability, council members serve as liaisons to the 58 trial courts and to the major service units of the Judicial Council staff. Members with updates present their reports at Judicial Council meetings, bringing fresh perspectives on the issues and challenges facing the judicial branch.

Liaison Report on San Luis Obispo, Apr  2016
Judge Buckley reports on his visit to San Luis Obispo Superior Court. San Luis Obispo is located on the coast, north of Santa Barbara and south of Monterey. It has a population of just over 275,000 and covers 3600 sq. miles. The judicial allocation is 13 judges and two commissioners. They currently have 3 judicial vacancies and they are all being covered by assigned judges, a program critical to the court. The court was second on the list for a new courthouse in the early 2000, they are now 50. Proposition 47 has had a tremendous impact on the court, and has put a strain on the court’s limited resources. Judge Buckley reports that the court is happy with their new case management system.

Sutter County Superior Court liaison report
Apr 25 2013

Yolo County Superior Court liaison report
Mar 5, 2013
In a lunchtime visit, Yolo Superior Court judges asked Judge Earl about the Trial Court Funding Workgroup, funding methodology, and the charges of various committees and subcommittees working on funding issues. The Yolo judges also suggested that Judicial Council staff working on advisory groups that deal with trial court issues should visit trial courts to learn more about operational issues. The judges also requested more online training via Skype or videoconferencing.

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