Hon. James E. Herman Judge, Superior Court of Santa Barbara County
Current Term: Sept 15, 2013–Sept 14, 2016 Membership: Non-voting, advisory member, appointed by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye Prior term served: Sept 2010–Sept 2013, voting member, appointed by Chief Justice Ronald M. George
Internal Committees: Technology Committee, Chair; Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee Council Liaison to: Superior Courts of Kings, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties; AOC Office of Governmental Affairs.
Judge Herman was appointed to the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County in 2005 and is currently serving as the assistant presiding judge. He joined the bench with more than 20 years of experience in private law practice, specializing in complex commercial litigation. He was a deputy public defender in Riverside, San Diego, and Santa Barbara Counties for 7 years. A former president of the State Bar of California (2002–2003), Judge Herman served on the State Bar’s Board of Governors and chaired and served on the bar’s Judicial Nominations and Evaluation Commission Review Committee (JNE) for 3 years. He has been a lecturer and writer for numerous legal and academic institutions, bar groups, and community groups on a variety of legal topics. He is a member of the California Commission on Access to Justice and the Pro Bono Commission. Judge Herman chairs the council’s Technology Committee, is vice chair of the Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee and serves as liaison to the Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee. His past committee experience includes membership on the Court Technology Advisory Committee (2007-2010), Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee (2005–2006), and the Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants (2004–2005). He was a lawyer member of the Judicial Council (2004–2005) and served on the Rules and Projects Committee during his initial term. Among other honors and awards, Judge Herman has received the Judicial Council’s Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award (2004). He also has served on a number of California Judges Association committees, including the executive committee.
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 major units in the Administrative Office of the Courts. Each member’s liaison reports at Judicial Council meetings bring fresh perspectives on the issues and challenges facing the judicial branch.
Judge James Herman reports on the Superior Court of Ventura County June 27, 2014 Judge Herman notes that this court is known for its innovations and its collaborative courts, which serve as a model for other courts, but the lack of funding has the court struggling to deliver services. The court has reduced staff by 20 percent, while handling a 10 percent increase in filings.