Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Friedman, Taking CJA Helm, Calls on Judges To Build ‘Relationships’ With Legislators
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry B. Friedman, who served four terms in the state Assembly before being elected to the bench, has marked his installation as president of the California Judges Association by calling on his colleagues to build “personal relationships” with legislators.
Friedman was sworn in Saturday by Chief Justice Ronald M. George as annual conventions of the CJA, judicial branch officers, and the State Bar of California were held at the San Diego Marriott.
Friedman said that under his leadership the CJA, in “partnership” with the California Judicial Council, would build a “sophisticated statewide legislative outreach program, one that is based on personal relationships.”
The jurist, who turns 56 tomorrow, served in the Assembly from 1986 until 1994, the year he was elected to an open court seat. Such personal connections, he said, are needed to create support for creating more judgeships, making changes in Article VI of the state constitution to provide a secure basis for judicial branch funding, and ending the two-tier retirement system under which judges who took office after September 1, 1985 must work longer and be older to qualify for full retirement benefits.
Judges, he asserted, have many opportunities through their work and through social, religious and charitable activities to form the kind of personal relationships that can get them a hearing in the Legislature.
Citing his own legislative experiences, Friedman said such relationships are the “most powerful and effective way to influence legislation.” He promised to create what he described as a “grassroots advocacy network” of judges to exert such influence.
“Our agenda begins with the vigorous protection of the independence of the judiciary,” Friedman told an audience that may have exceeded 300 at some points during a two-hour joint installation and awards ceremony which also included the swearing-in of new State Bar President James O. Heiting.
Friedman also said that better courthouse security would be a priority of his term in office.
“We will not wait for another tragedy,” he said. “We need more protection now.”
Friedman did not address the call Heiting had issued earlier in the program for a court-issued card which would enable attorneys to avoid the courthouse lines for scanning by metal detectors that have become commonplace around the state.
In introducing Friedman, outgoing CJA President John M. Mize called Friedman “doggedly persistent,” adding:
“He will be a magnificent leader of the judges association for the coming year.”
Friedman was chosen for the leadership role by the members of the CJA Executive Board.
Before being elected to the Assembly in 1986, Friedman, who was born in Pasadena, was a staff attorney with the Western Center on Law & Poverty for two years an executive director of Bet T’zedek Legal Services for eight years. While with Bet T’zedek he oversaw an increase in the agency’s staffing from three to 50.
Friedman won a judgeship after a hotly contested, high-spending runoff campaign. He spent his first seven years on the bench in juvenile court, serving as supervising judge of the dependency courts and later as presiding juvenile court judge.
He currently hears a civil calendar in Santa Monica.
He chaired the Juvenile Court Judges of California, and has served on the CJA board since 2003. Before joining the board, he wrote articles for the association’s journal on judicial-legislative relations and on judicial elections.
He is a graduate of UCLA and Boalt Hall and has been an adjunct professor at Loyola, UCLA and USC law schools.
Also sworn in on Saturday were San Diego Superior Court Judge Joan Lewis —-for a second term—and Fresno Superior Court Brad R. Hill as vice presidents and San Diego Superior Court Judge Lisa Guy-Schall as secretary-treasurer.
Lewis has served on the San Diego Superior Court since 1998 and was a civil litigator before joining the bench. Hill was appointed to the Fresno Municipal Court in 1991 and elevated to the Superior Court in 1998, serving as presiding judge from 2003 to 2004. He has also served on the Judicial Council.
Guy-Schall, a former deputy district attorney, was a San Diego Municipal Court judge from 1985 until 1989, when she was elevated to the Superior Court. She has held a variety of assignments, including supervising criminal judge in Vista, and currently heads the court’s Rules Committee.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company