Monday, November 4, 2006
Richard Aldrich Receives State Jurist of the Year Award
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Court of Appeal Justice Richard Aldrich of this district’s Court of Appeal has been honored by the Judicial Council as its Jurist of the Year.
Administrative Director of the Courts William C. Vickrey presented the award Thursday at the Summit of Judicial Leaders in San Francisco. The purpose of the award, the Administrative Office of the Courts said in a press release, is to “honor[ ] members of the judiciary for their extraordinary dedication to the highest principles of the administration of justice statewide.”
Aldrich, it was noted, “has worked to improve the access of self-represented litigants and persons with disabilities to the courts and was instrumental in establishing complex litigation courts in California.”
Aldrich, 68, has been a Court of Appeal justice since 1994, after having been appointed to the Ventura Superior Court in 1991. His judicial career followed 28 years in law practice, the last 20 as head of his own firm, specializing in civil litigation.
He was recognized as a leader in the field, heading the local chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates The Ventura County Trial Lawyer’s Association named him Trial Judge of the Year in his first year on the local bench.
The trial jurist honor was one of four Distinguished Service Awards presented on Thursday. The other recipients were Tressa Sloan Kentner and Patricia M. Yerian, who received the Judicial Administration Award, and John Hancock, the recipient of the Bernard E. Witkin Award.
The Judicial Administration Award “honors individuals in judicial administration for significant contributions to and leadership in their profession statewide,” the AOC said. Kentner, executive officer of the San Bernardino Superior Court “has been dedicated to enhancing public understanding of the courts and providing improved court services to Californians,” while Yerian, director of the Information Services Division of the AOC “has set broad new directions for judicial branch information technology.”
Hancock is president of California Channel, a public affairs television network that broadcasts governmental proceedings on cable television and the Internet.
The Witkin Award, which honors individuals outside the judiciary for their contributions to the courts, was given to Hancock for having “been instrumental in improving public trust in the courts by televising important cases argued by the California Supreme Court and broadcasting judicial branch events.”
Hancock, the AOC said, “has helped make California a national leader in public outreach programs.”
Thursday’s summit session also featured the presentation of the American Judicature Society’s Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence to Chief Justice Ronald M. George. That presentation was made at an evening event attended by Court of Appeal Justice Richard M. Mosk and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, among others.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company