Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Page 3


Judicial Council Approves Education Requirement for Appellate Justices, Staff


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Judicial Council of California Friday approved minimum education requirements for justices, clerks/administrators, managing attorneys, supervisors, and staff of the California Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

Meeting in San Francisco, the 28-member council approved similar minimum education requirements for management and other employees of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The AOC noted in a press release that this is the first time that comprehensive education requirements have been adopted for the state appellate courts and the AOC, and follow last year’s adoption of education rules for the state trial courts.

Chief Justice Ronald M. George hailed the rules in a statement released by the AOC.

“The rules adopted today underscore the importance of continuing education programs to help ensure the professional excellence of our judiciary,” he said. “The Administrative Presiding Justices of the Courts of Appeal are to be commended for their proposal to make the minimum education requirements mandatory in their courts. The Supreme Court agreed to adopt similar requirements.  All state appellate courts, as well as the AOC, will benefit from the new program, as will the public at large.”

The rules adopted Friday mandate continuing education for the justices unlike the rules adopted last year for trial court judges, which made their continuing education an “expectation.” The council’s original proposal would have made continuing education mandatory for trial judges, but the rulemaking body backed down in the face of intense opposition from the trial bench.

In other actions, as reported by the AOC, the Judicial Council:

•Approved the allocation of $74.744 million in fiscal year 2007-2008 funding to cover trial court operating expenses, staff compensation, and other costs. The trial courts’ allocation also includes $12.373 million for the most under-resourced courts as identified by the AOC’s Resource Allocation Study.

•Approved the development of budget proposals for fiscal year 2008-2009 for the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Judicial Council, and California Judicial Center Library.

•Approved policy recommendations related to the revenue distribution of civil assessments imposed by the trial courts and the standardization of aspects of civil assessment programs statewide. The council also approved an allocation plan to address a growing revenue shortfall by apportioning the reduced revenues to trial courts based on their share of the beginning statewide base budget each fiscal year.

•Revised its Payment Policies for Contract Court Interpreters. Effective immediately, the compensation rates for contract court interpreters in all four regions of the state will be $282.23 per full-day or $156.56 per half-day.  The previous rate was $265 per day or $147 per half day.

•Approved the publication of revisions and additions to the California Civil Jury Instructions, which were first published in 2003 and last revised in April 2007. The proposal includes revisions to six punitive damages instructions and two Fair Employment and Housing Act instructions, and a new series of instructions on unlawful detainer.

•Accepted an interim report by California Supreme Court Justice Carlos R. Moreno on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care, which he chairs. The commission is scheduled to present its final report and recommendations next year.


Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company