Bench-Bar-Media Committee

The Bench-Bar-Media Committee was appointed by the Chief Justice in March 2008 to develop recommendations that will lead to the improvement of communications and working relationships among the three key stakeholders - judges, attorneys, and the press. Associate Justice Carlos R. Moreno (California Supreme Court) chaired this committee.

The committee's two-year term ended December 2010. The committee submitted a Final Report to the Judicial Council on December 13, 2011.

Strategies addressing the committee's purpose included:

  • Identifying and addressing the key issues affecting interactions among the three stakeholders;
  • Encouraging fair and accurate reporting;
  • Discussing and proposing recommendations on a variety of issues, such as the use of cameras in the court, media access to public records, appropriate interaction with internet-based media not aligned with traditional media, creation of local or regional bench-bar-media committees, and development of media outreach programs that would include all three stakeholders;
  • Eliminating unnecessary conflicts between the stakeholders without legal action, where possible, and improving the process of identifying and resolving those conflicts that require legal resolution;
  • Discussing the creation of local or regional committees to communicate with the media and/or the courts on urgent or sensitive matters affecting all three stakeholders;
  • Facilitating and encouraging the public and the media to learn about the judicial system (e.g., "law schools for the media"), and the judicial branch to learn about the media; and
  • Providing a forum for ongoing dialogue.

Committee Roster