SAN FRANCISCO—Twelve new Judicial Council members will officially take office September 15, 2012, including nine new members and three reappointments. Chaired by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the Judicial Council is the administrative policymaking body of state courts.
“About a third of the Judicial Council membership turns over each year,” said the Chief Justice. “This practice allows for broad representation on the council among branch leaders, promotes diversity, and brings a fresh perspective to our discussions and decision-making process. Together we do not represent one constituency or viewpoint. We represent all Californians, and our goal is to strive for equal access to justice for all.”
In addition, each year more than 400 judges and justices and representatives from justice system partners volunteer to serve on council advisory committees and task forces. These advisory groups are responsible for developing many of the ideas, proposals, and potentially branchwide policies that come before the council.
The new voting members on the Judicial Council are Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst, Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (reappointed as a voting member for a new three-year term); Judge James R. Brandlin, Superior Court of Los Angeles County; Presiding Judge Sherrill A. Ellsworth, Superior Court of Riverside County; Mr. James P. Fox, Attorney at Law (Retired); and Presiding Judge David Rosenberg, Superior Court of Yolo County. Judge Rosenberg currently serves as an advisory member.
The new advisory members are Presiding Judge Laurie M. Earl, Superior Court of Sacramento County; Judge Allan D. Hardcastle, Superior Court of Sonoma County; Judge Morris D. Jacobson, Superior Court of Alameda County; Presiding Judge Brian L. McCabe, Superior Court of Merced County; Ms. Mary Beth Todd, Court Executive Officer, Superior Court of Sutter County; Judge Charles D. Wachob, Superior Court of Placer County; and Judge Kenneth K. So, Superior Court of San Diego County. Judge So, a current voting member, has been reappointed to a one-year term as an advisory member.
Presiding Judge McCabe and Judges Jacobson and Wachob will fill new advisory positions approved by the Judicial Council in May 2012 to expand the geographical diversity of the council and gain input from a wide spectrum of judicial officers.
Created by the state Constitution and chaired by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, the Judicial Council consists of the Chief Justice, 14 judicial members appointed by the Chief Justice, 4 attorney members appointed by the State Bar Board of Governors, 1 member from each house of the Legislature, and 11 advisory members. The Administrative Director of the Courts serves as secretary to the council.