Wednesday, April 7, 2004
Former State Bar President Named to Judicial Council
By DAVID WATSON, Staff Writer
Santa Barbara attorney James E. Herman, the immediate past president of the State Bar of California, has been named by the bar to serve on the Judicial Council of California.
Herman was selected by his former colleagues on the Board of Governors at the board’s meeting in Los Angeles last month, a State Bar spokesman said yesterday. He replaces another former board member, Tom Warwick of San Diego, who is leaving after completing a three-year term on the Judicial Council.
The council is the policymaking body of the state courts. It has 21 voting members and six advisory members and is chaired by Chief Justice Ronald George.
The State Bar appoints four voting members, who serve staggered three-year terms. Herman’s term will begin Sept. 15 and his is the only appointment to be made this year by the State Bar.
Herman said yesterday his work with the Administrative Office of the Courts and the council on the court funding crisis during his year as State Bar president led him to apply for the council position. He described himself as a “committed fan of the importance of the third branch of government.”
“That’s something that’s drawn me to this work,” Herman said.
The court system is again “facing huge difficulties relative to the budget” this year, Herman explained, adding that while he hopes his experience will be of value to the council in that area he will be happy to work on other issues as the need arises. His experience serving on the Board of Governors taught him not to rely too heavily on advance expectations about what a public service position will involve, Herman said.
“I’m really a team player and I’m going to see what work there is to do,” he declared. “I will come to the council and contribute what I can.”
Herman, of Reicker, Pfau, Pyle, McRoy & Herman, was born and grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and first moved to California as a member of the Air Force studying Chinese at the Defense Department’s language institute in Monterey. He was introduced to Santa Barbara as a student at the University of California’s campus there, and graduated in 1971.
He later worked for Disney in Florida, handling light and sound for music acts like Cat Stevens. Then he returned to California to attend law school at California Western School of Law in San Diego, earned his degree in 1975, then earned a master’s of law degree from New York University School of Law in 1976.
He worked for eight years as a Los Angeles deputy public defender and then joined his current firm. He is married to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Denise de Bellefeuille.
The other State Bar appointees to the Judicial Council are Los Angeles lawyer Rex S. Heinke of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Century City attorney David J. Pasternak of Pasternak, Pasternak & Patton, and Santa Clara County Counsel Ann Miller Ravel.
The chief justice appoints 14 judicial officers—one associate justice of the Supreme Court, three justices of the Court of Appeal, and 10 trial court judges—to the council. About a third of those terms expire each year, and the council is currently soliciting nominations for those positions.
The nomination deadline is May 5, and a spokesperson for the council said the chief justice will announce his choices in early June.
One member of the council is appointed by each house of the state Legislature. By tradition those appointments go to the chairs of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees.
The six advisory members are named by the California Judges Association and state court administrative agencies.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company