Monday, June 26, 2006
Judge Kays Elected President of California Judges Association
By TINA BAY, Staff Writer
Solano Superior Court Judge Scott L. Kays has been elected president of the California Judges Association for the 2006-2007 term.
Kays, 55, was chosen last Wednesday by the group’s Executive Board at its meeting in Sacramento, and will succeed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry B. Friedman on October 8.
Other officers selected for the 2006-2007 term were Plumas Superior Court Judge Ira R. Kaufman and Orange Superior Court Judge Robert Moss, who will serve as vice presidents, and Orange Superior Court Commissioner Barry S. Michaelson, who will act as the group’s secretary-treasurer.
“I’m very pleased and honored to have the opportunity to serve as CJA’s president,” Kays told the MetNews Friday.
“This is a very exciting time for judges and commissioners around the state with the issues that are presented right now before the court. A big issue for the CJA that will continue throughout this year, next year and probably beyond is the issue that’s been identified by discussions on mandatory judicial education: the role of the CJA in participating in the formulation of the governance structure of the judiciary,” the judge said.
Kays added that his priorities as president will include continuing the CJA’s outreach to the Legislature on issues important to the judiciary, and continuing the CJA’s efforts with the Judicial Council to deal with compensation and benefits issues for judges and commissioners. Specifically, he said, the CJA will remain involved in the reform of the judicial retirement system and in ensuring that judges’ salaries are “appropriate.”
In addition, Kays said the group will continue to work with the Judicial Council on the issue of new judgeships.
“We support the Legislature in its efforts to add new judgeships to the California judiciary. This is a key issue because of the obvious need for judges in the state of California.”
Kays, a member of CJA’s Executive Board since 2004, chaired the organization’s Court Administration Committee and has served as board liaison to the Compensation and Benefits Committee.
As incoming president, he said his primary message to his colleagues is “that the CJA will remain a strong and independent voice for the judges and commissioners in California, and that its mission to represent their best interests and to make known to both the public and Legislature and Judicial Council what their concerns are will remain a key part of the CJA’s focus.”
Appointed to the court in 1997 by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, Kays currently sits on civil assignment in Solano County and is serving a one-year term as presiding judge of the county’s Appellate Department. His experience on the bench includes terms as presiding judge of the court from 2002-2003 and supervising judge of the county’s civil and family divisions.
Prior to his appointment, Kays spent 21 years in private practice concentrating in civil litigation, family law, probate and governmental law, and served as a judge pro tem and as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association.
Kays, a Republican, received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UC Irvine and earned his law degree from Hastings College of the Law. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1976.
He will be the second president to hail from Solano County following Judge William C. Harrison, who served in 2000-2001.
“I’m pleased to be the second judge from Solano County to hold this position. Judge Harrison did an excellent job during his time as president, and I hope that I can also make a solid contribution to the CJA and make sure it remains a strong voice for its membership,” Kays said.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company