Judge Baker was appointed to the bench in 2003 and has served as both assistant presiding judge and presiding judge. From 2005 to 2008, and from 2012 to present, he has served in the superior court’s appellate division. Judge Baker served on the council’s Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2010 and was a member of its executive committee. He has also served on the Court Technology Advisory Committee, the Trial Court Budget Working Group, and various committees and working groups focused on judicial branch leadership, judicial education, and public outreach. Judge Baker is a current member of the Bench-Bar Coalition and has served on its Executive Committee. In 2011, Judge Baker was elected by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators to serve a three year term on the Board of Directors for the National Center for State Courts. Before joining the bench, Judge Baker practiced law for 17 years, specializing in employment/labor law and civil litigation. He also served as an administrative hearing officer, and presented employment law seminars to a variety of public and private entities.
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 the major service units of the Judicial Council staff. Members with updates present their reports at Judicial Council meetings, bringing fresh perspectives on the issues and challenges facing the judicial branch.
Liaison Report on San Luis Obispo, Apr 2016
Judge Buckley reports on his visit to San Luis Obispo Superior Court. San Luis Obispo is located on the coast, north of Santa Barbara and south of Monterey. It has a population of just over 275,000 and covers 3600 sq. miles. The judicial allocation is 13 judges and two commissioners. They currently have 3 judicial vacancies and they are all being covered by assigned judges, a program critical to the court. The court was second on the list for a new courthouse in the early 2000, they are now 50. Proposition 47 has had a tremendous impact on the court, and has put a strain on the court’s limited resources. Judge Buckley reports that the court is happy with their new case management system.
Superior Court of Trinity County liaison report