Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, December 19, 2001


Page 1


Superior Court Mediator Selection Program Wins Award


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Los Angeles Superior Court’s electronic process for selecting neutral mediators and arbitrators has been recognized by the Judicial Council of California as a winner of the 2001 Ralph N. Kleps awards, the Administrative Office of the Courts announced yesterday.

FAME, or Find Arbitrator Mediator Electronically, is an automated selection process allowing users to review profiles of “neutrals” or randomly select them. The system can be accessed from the ADR office in the Central Courthouse or from a personal computer at

FAME was one of 11 programs selected from among 59 nominated this year. The awards will be presented at the California Judicial Administration Conference scheduled for Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 in San Francisco.

Court officials in charge of FAME were not available yesterday to comment on the award.

Other award winning programs were:

The Third District Court of Appeal’s Appellate Outreach Program, in which the justices meet with high school students, teachers, and the general public by day and with local attorneys at night in two-day programs throughout the sprawling, 23-county district.

Yolo Superior Court’s Unified Family In-Court Clinician program, which refers participants in family law disputes and their relatives to a therapist in private practice for mental health services;

Contra Costa Superior Court’s Children, Courts, and Arts Project, in which children involved in court proceedings created artistic displays for the family and juvenile court facilities;

San Joaquin Superior Court’s Court-Community Leadership and Liaison Program, in which trained representatives facilitate communication between the court and members of the minority and disabled communities;

Ventura Superior Court’s Homeless Court, which provides sentencing alternatives for homeless men and women charged with minor offenses;

Sacramento Superior Court’s Small Claims Electronic Filing Program, which allows claims to be filed using computers located in the courthouse, or the court’s website,

San Diego Superior Court’s F.O.C.U.S.—Finances, Operations, Customers, and Use of Staff—Program, an innovative program for collecting and reviewing court operations data;

Santa Clara Superior Court’s Juvenile Delinquency Domestic Violence/Family Violence Court, a version of domestic violence court dealing with abusive minors;

The collaborative Internet/Intranet program of the Sacramento and Amador superior courts; and

“Operation Leprechaun,” a one-day training session for employees of 11 Central California courts, held on St. Patrick’s Day and organized by the Stanislaus, San Benito, and Mariposa superior courts.

The Ralph N. Kleps  awards were initiated in 1991 in honor of the first administrative director of the California courts. The awards are given to programs which are deemed by the Judicial Council to be innovative, transferable to other courts, and to have improved the administration of the courts.

The AOC yesterday also announced the winners of the 2001 Distinguished Service Awards, which will also be presented at the administrators’ conference.

They are Jurist of the Year Daniel J. Kremer, presiding justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Div. One; Judicial Administration Award winner Michael Roddy, AOC regional director for the northern and central parts of the state; and Bernard E. Witkin Award winner William A. Fenwick, a Palo Alto attorney.

Kremer, presiding justice of Div. One since 1985, was honored for his chairmanship of the Task Force on Court Facilities, the AOC said in a statement. Roddy was honored for his work on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Jury Improvement and the Probation Services Task Force.

The Witkin Award is given to individuals who are not members of the judiciary but who have contributed to the courts of California. Fenwick, a founding partner of Fenwick & West, LLP, is a recognized expert in technology law and serves on the Court Technology Advisory Committee.

He was “recognized for helping to make technology an integral component of judicial administration and an everyday tool of judges, enabling them to carry out their mission of dispensing justice more effectively and efficiently,” the AOC said.


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company