Strategic Evaluation Committee

(3:42) Council Accepts SEC Report

Commissioned: March 29, 2011—June 23, 2012

Chair: Judge Charles Wachob, Placer County Superior Court

Purpose: directed by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to conduct an in-depth review of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the administrative arm of the California Judicial Council.

Status: The Judicial Council’s Executive and Planning Committee presented its recommendations based on the SEC report to realign the AOC. Implementation of those recommendations are now underway.

(1:03:01) Full Presentation

Final Report: presented to the Chief Justice on May 25, 2012 and presented to the Judicial Council on June 21.

June 21, 2012
Audio: Chief Justice's remarks, public comments and SEC presentation of the final report (122 min) presented to the Judicial Council 

The committee is comprised of retired and sitting justices and judges and others from outside the branch. Representatives from the trial courts come from large courts such as Los Angeles, medium-sized courts such as Merced and small courts, such as El Dorado.
  • Chair: Judge Charles Wachob, Placer County Superior Court
  • Judge Verna A. Adams, Marin County Superior Court
  • Judge Angela M. Bradstreet, San Francisco County Superior Court
  • Judge Judith Chirlin (Retired), Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Assistant Presiding Judge Ronald M. Christianson, San Bernardino County Superior Court
  • Presiding Judge Sherrill A. Ellsworth, Riverside County Superior Court
  • Judge Ramona Joyce Garrett, Solano County Superior Court
  • Presiding Judge Suzanne N. Kingsbury, El Dorado County Superior Court
  • Judge Brian L. McCabe, Merced County Superior Court
  • Judge William A. MacLaughlin, Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Judge William Pangman (Retired), Sierra County Superior Court
  • Judge Donald Shaver (Retired), Stanislaus County Superior Court
  • Judge Richard K. Sueyoshi, Sacramento County Superior Court
  • Assistant Presiding Judge Charles D. Wachob, Placer County Superior Court

Advisory Members:
Mr. David Caffrey (Retired), Cabinet Secretary, Deukmejian Administration; Deputy Chief of Staff, Wilson Administration
Ms. Diane Cummins (Retired), Chief Fiscal Policy Advisor to Senate Pro Tem, Chief Deputy Director of Finance, Wilson Administration
Ms. Mary C. McQueen, President, National Center for State Courts
Mr. James Tilton (Retired), Secretary, California Department of Corrections

Liaison to Chair and SEC:
Ms. Jody Patel, Interim Administrative Director of the Courts

The Chief Justice appointed the Strategic Evaluation Committee in March 2011 “to conduct an in-depth review of the Administrative Office of the Courts and its organizational structure to promote transparency, accountability,” and “efficiency in providing services to the courts." 


Mar 29, 2011, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye Names Strategic Evaluation Committee Members (news release)

May 1, 2011, the SEC becomes effective. Administrative Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland of the Third Appellate District Court of Appeal in Sacramento serves as Chair.

May 2-3, 2011, the committee held its first meeting. 

July 2011, the committee met again and formalized and distributed more than 3,500 surveys to every state judicial officer, including retirees within the past 5 years. Surveys were also sent to the appellate districts, CEOs, and directors, unit managers and staff of the AOC, including retirees within the past 5 years. 

Aug 2011, the committee recommended that the position of the Administrative Director of the Courts, established by voters in 1960, be retained.  

Jan 10, 2012, committee chair Justice Arthur Scotland submitted this progress report to the chief justice. 

Jan 27, 2012, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye accepts the resignation of Justice Arthur Scotland as chair of the SEC (news release). Assistant Presiding Judge Charles D. Wachob of the Superior Court of Placer County and Presiding Judge Brian L. McCabe of the Superior Court of Merced County assume leadership of the committee as Chair and Vice-Chair.

Feb 2012, Justice Douglas Miller, chair of the Judicial Council's Executive and Planing Committee presented this update  (2:34) to the Judicial Council stating the SEC's plans to deliver its final report in April 2012.

Mar 5, 2012, the SEC submits its final report to the chief justice news release.

Mar 2012, the chief justice requests from the Interim Administrative Director of the Courts a status update on changes currently and already implemented at the AOC since her swearing in as chief justice in Jan 2011 news release. The status report is available here.

June 21, 2012, the Judicial Council accepts the report of the SEC and posts it for public comment for 30 days (news release)

© 2018 Judicial Council of California