California Court of Appeal, 1994-Present.
Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three, August 29, 1994 to present. Appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson.
Ventura County Superior Court, 1991-1994.
Judge of the Superior Court, County of Ventura, California, January 1991 to August 1994. Appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian.
In 1992, Judge Aldrich was instrumental in inaugurating Ventura County's Multi-Door Courthouse. Patterned after a 1976 concept of Prof. Frank Sander of the Harvard Law School, this program provides litigants with multiple modalities for early resolution of their disputes without trial. These modalities include arbitration, mediation, settlement conferences and other procedures allowing early intervention by the judge to attempt to effect settlement before the expenditure of time and expense of protracted litigation. This program still exists in Ventura with a success rate of over 40% settlements without trial.
In 1992 Judge Aldrich was the recipient of the "Trial Judge of the Year" award presented by the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association.
In 1992 and again in 1993 Judge Aldrich was selected as the "Outstanding Jurist of the Year" by the Ventura County Bar Association.
From 1992 to 1994 Judge Aldrich was Chair of the "Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee" for the Ventura Courts and was the founding Chair of the "Bench, Bar Media Committee". This committee was started by Judge Aldrich to promote better understanding between the judiciary, the bar and the media. He also chaired the "Fiscal and Budget" and "New Legislation and Rules Committees".
In February, 1993, Judge Aldrich, who is himself disabled, fulfilled his promise to a meeting of "Employment of Attorneys with Disabilities" to make California the first state in the nation to adopt a mechanism for persons with disabilities using California Courts to ask for and receive special accommodations permitting them greater access the our courts. In early 1993, he composed the original draft a measure that was adopted by the California Judicial Council in 1996 as Rule of Court 983.3, "Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities." Earlier, largely through the efforts of Justice Aldrich, a similar measure was adopted by the California State Bar Board of Governors.
California Court of Appeal, 1994 to Present.
Justice Aldrich was elevated to the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three in 1994 where he currently serves.
In 1994, Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas appointed Justice Aldrich as Chair of the Select Committee on Trial Court Coordination Implementation. The findings and recommendations of this "blue ribbon" commission were the precursor to Trial Court Unification that now exists in all counties in California. In 1996, Chief Justice Lucas appointed Justice Aldrich Chair of the Business Court Study Task Force. This committee was charged with investigating the desirability and the feasibility of establishing business courts in California.
In 1995, Justice Aldrich was instrumental in inaugurating the "Second District Appellate Settlement Conference and Mediation Program." Under the auspices of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, the program has recruited experienced appellate practitioners to act as mediators and settlement conference officers. As a result of this program, each year over 30% of pending appeals are being resolved before the time and expense of briefing and preparation of the appellate record.
In 1997, Chief Justice Ronald M. George asked Justice Aldrich to Chair the Complex Litigation Task Force for the California Judicial Council. This task force created a program to facilitate the management and disposition of all types of complex litigation (including complex business and tort cases) in the courts of California. Under the leadership of Justice Aldrich, the Task Force published a definitive "Deskbook on the Management of Complex Civil Cases" which has become the model against which other similar programs are evaluated by other state court systems across the nation. The Task Force formulated California Rules of Court and Standards of Judicial Administration to implement complex litigation programs in California courts and recommended statutory changes to the legislature. The committee also established 6 pilot programs in major urban centers in California including Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties. The Task Force in conjunction with the Center for Judicial Education and Research also created curricula to instruct trial judges in the most advanced case management techniques available to more efficiently handle complex civil cases. The goal of this project is to better serve the public by providing a fast, efficient and economical way to resolve complex civil disputes.
From 1998 to 2002, Justice Aldrich was appointed by the Chief Justice to the Judicial Council of California. The Judicial Council is the constitutionally created governing committee of the judicial branch of government charged with the operation and administration of all the courts in the state of California. During his tenure on the Judicial Council, Justice Aldrich served as Vice-Chair of the Policy Committee and he also served on the Executive Committee and the Rules and Projects standing committees.
Justice Aldrich chaired the Judicial Council's Civil and Small Claims Standing Advisory Committee, its Case Management and Delay Reduction subcommittee. In 1997 and again in 2003, Justice Aldrich Chaired the California Judicial Administration Conference. He chaired the Blue Ribbon Panel of Experts on the Fair and Efficient Administration of Civil Cases in 2003. This panel brought consensus among many competing legal constituencies to unify delay reduction standards to allow for faster and more efficient resolution of civil cases in the court system. In 2004, he chaired the Court Fees Working Group of the Judicial Council. This committee established uniform statewide filing fees to equalize and more equitably distribute filing fee revenue in each of the 58 counties in California.
Since 2004, Justice Aldrich has been chair of the Judicial Council's Court Security Working Group. This committee is composed of representatives from the courts, the legislature, security chiefs, the State Sheriff's Association, labor unions and the public. This committee has established uniform funding standards for court security throughout the state of California.
For the past 14 years, Justice Aldrich has been on the faculty of the B.E. Witkin California Judicial College where he teaches "Civil Settlement Techniques." This is an interactive class that is designed to enable even the novice civil judge to effectively conduct civil settlement conferences. The highlight of the course is an actual settlement conference conducted in front of the class with the actual lawyers and principals involved in the case participating. He has also taught and lectured to judges and attorneys in the United States and abroad.
HONORS AND AWARDS
Published in Best Lawyers in America, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989.
Published in California Lawyer Magazine, Sept. 1989, "A Sampling of California's Most Respected Lawyers".
Recipient of American Board of Trial Advocates California "Trial Lawyer of the Year" Award, 1990.
Recipient, Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association "Trial Judge of the Year" award, 1992.
In 1992 and 1993, named the outstanding jurist by the Ventura County Bar Association. The criteria for this rating were legal knowledge, legal scholarship, settlement skills, demeanor, efficiency, decisiveness, impartiality, integrity, courage, and reputation.
In February 2000, Justice Aldrich was featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal in an article entitled "L.A.'s Most Powerful Judges."
Justice Aldrich received the Chief Justice Roger J. Traynor Appellate Justice of the Year Award, for the year 2000, from the Consumer Attorneys of California.
In 2006, Justice Aldrich received the highest honor given by the California Judicial Council, the Jurist of the Year Award. The award was presented to Justice Aldrich for his extraordinary contributions to the California court system and for his dedication to the highest principles of the administration of justice statewide.
HONORARY LEGAL SOCIETIES AND ORGANIZATIONS
American College of Trial Lawyers, 1984 to Present.
In 1984, Richard Aldrich was inducted as a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers. Membership in this prestigious organization is by invitation only and is limited to the top two percent of trial lawyers in the United States as determined by its membership. He later served on the California State Committee of this organization for many years.
International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1988 to Present.
In 1988 he was inducted as a Fellow of The International Academy of Trial Lawyers. According to its bylaws, membership in the Academy is by invitation only and is limited to 500 lawyers in the United States.
American Board of Trial Advocates, 1975 to Present.
The American Board of Trial Advocates is a national organization of over 6,000 experienced trial attorneys with chapters in all 50 states. Membership is limited to only those attorneys who qualify by having tried at least 20 jury trials to a conclusion. Most members far exceed this number.
President, Los Angeles Chapter of The American Board of Trial Advocates, 1986; Vice President, 1985; Secretary, 1976; Chair California ABOTA, 1986, Los Angeles Executive Committee, 1981 to Present; National Board of Directors, 1987-1995; Chair of Civil Justice Committee, 1987-1991; National Chairperson Region 10, 1992-93, National Chair, Civil Justice Award Committee, 1992-93.
Member Emeritus, Board of Regents Loyola Marymount University, 2002-Present; Chair, Board of Regents LMU, 1999-2000, 2000-2001; Vice-Chair, Board of Regents LMU, 1997-1998, 1998-1999. From 2003 to 2006 Justice Aldrich served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers