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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 2.812. Requirements for court appointment of an attorney to serve as a temporary judge

(a) Experience required for appointment and service

The presiding judge may not appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge unless the attorney has been admitted to practice as a member of the State Bar of California for at least 10 years before the appointment. However, for good cause, the presiding judge may permit an attorney who has been admitted to practice for at least 5 years to serve as a temporary judge.

(b) Conditions for appointment by the court

The presiding judge may appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge only if the attorney:

(1)Is a member in good standing of the State Bar and has no disciplinary action pending;

(2)Has not pled guilty or no contest to a felony, or has not been convicted of a felony that has not been reversed;

(3)Has satisfied the education and training requirements in (c);

(4)Has satisfied all other general conditions that the court may establish for appointment of an attorney as a temporary judge in that court; and

(5)Has satisfied any additional conditions that the court may require for an attorney to be appointed as a temporary judge for a particular assignment or type of case in that court.

(c) Education and training requirements

The presiding judge may appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge only if the following minimum training requirements are satisfied:

(1)Mandatory training on bench conduct and demeanor

Before appointment, the attorney must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours' duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(a) approved by the court in which the attorney will serve. This course must be taken in person and be taught by a qualified judicial officer.

(2)Mandatory training in ethics

Before appointment, the attorney must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours' duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(b) approved by the court in which the attorney will serve. This course may be taken by any means approved by the court, including in-person, by broadcast with participation, or online.

(3)Substantive training

Before appointment, the attorney must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course on the substantive law in each subject area in which the attorney will serve as a temporary judge. These courses may be taken by any means approved by the court, including in-person, by broadcast with participation, or online. The substantive courses have the following minimum requirements:

(A)Small claims

An attorney serving as a temporary judge in small claims cases must have attended and successfully completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours' duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(c) approved by the court in which the attorney will serve.

(B)Traffic

An attorney serving as a temporary judge in traffic cases must have attended and completed, within the previous three years, a course of at least 3 hours' duration on the subjects identified in rule 2.813(d) approved by the court in which the attorney will serve.

(C)Other subject areas

If the court assigns attorneys to serve as temporary judges in other substantive areas such as civil law, family law, juvenile law, unlawful detainers, or case management, the court must determine what additional training is required and what additional courses are required before an attorney may serve as a temporary judge in each of those subject areas. The training required in each area must be of at least 3 hours' duration. The court may also require that an attorney possess additional years of practical experience in each substantive area before being assigned to serve as a temporary judge in that subject area.

(D)Settlement

An attorney need not be a temporary judge to assist the court in settlement conferences. However, an attorney assisting the court with settlement conferences who performs any judicial function, such as entering a settlement on the record under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6, must be a qualified temporary judge who has satisfied the training requirements under (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this rule.

(E)The substantive training requirements in (3)(A)-(C) do not apply to courts in which temporary judges are used fewer than 10 times altogether in a calendar year.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2009; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Requirements for retired judicial officers

Commencing five years after the retired judicial officer last served in a judicial position either as a full-time judicial officer or as an assigned judge, a retired judicial officer serving as a temporary judge must satisfy all the education and training requirements of this rule. However, a retired judicial officer serving as a temporary judge in a small claims case must satisfy all the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 116.240(b) and the rules in this chapter before serving in the case.

(Subd (d) adopted effective January 1, 2009.)

(e) Additional requirements

The presiding judge in each court should establish additional experience and training requirements for temporary judges beyond the minimum requirements provided in this rule if it is feasible for the court to do so.

(Subd (e) relettered effective January 1, 2009; adopted as subd (d) effective July 1, 2006.)

(f) Records of attendance

A court that uses temporary judges must maintain records verifying that each attorney who serves as a temporary judge in that court has attended and successfully completed the courses required under this rule.

(Subd (f) relettered effective January 1, 2009; adopted as subd (e) effective July 1, 2006.)

(g) Application and appointment

To serve as a temporary judge, an attorney must complete the application required under rule 10.744, must satisfy the requirements prescribed in this rule, and must satisfy such other requirements as the court appointing the attorney in its discretion may determine are appropriate.

(Subd (g) relettered effective January 1, 2009; adopted as subd (f) effective July 1, 2006.)

Rule 2.812 amended effective January 1, 2009; adopted as rule 243.13 effective July 1, 2006; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007.

Advisory Committee Comment

The goal of this rule is to ensure that attorneys who serve as court-appointed temporary judges are qualified and properly trained.

Subdivision (a). If a court determines that there is good cause under (a) to appoint an attorney with less than 10 years of practice as a temporary judge, the attorney must still satisfy the other requirements of the rule before being appointed.

Subdivision (b). "Good standing" means that the attorney is currently eligible to practice law in the State of California. An attorney in good standing may be either an active or a voluntarily inactive member of the State Bar. The rule does not require that an attorney be an active member of the State Bar to serve as a court-appointed temporary judge. Voluntarily inactive members may be appointed as temporary judges if the court decides to appoint them.

Subdivision (c). A court may use attorneys who are not temporary judges to assist in the settlement of cases. For example, attorneys may work under the presiding judge or individual judges and may assist them in settling cases. However, these attorneys may not perform any judicial functions such as entering a settlement on the record under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6. Settlement attorneys who are not temporary judges are not required to satisfy the requirements of these rules, but must satisfy any requirements established by the court for attorneys who assist in the settlement of cases.

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