Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Justices Miller, Hull Tapped to Head Judicial Council Committees
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye yesterday announced her selection of Court of Appeal Justice Douglas P. Miller to head the Judicial Council’s Executive and Planning Committee, and Justice Harry E. Hull to chair the Rules and Projects Committee.
Both assumed their positions on Friday, according to a release from the council.
Miller, who sits in Riverside on the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Div. Two, previously chaired the Rules and Projects Committee. He succeeds his Fourth District colleague, Justice Richard D. Huffman of Div. One, who headed the E&P committee for 14 years before stepping down June 30.
Hull, a member of the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, takes Miller’s former spot on the Rules and Projects Committee.
The chief justice said she has “long admired Justice Miller’s and Justice Hull’s collaborative skills” and was “look[ing] forward to working with them to guide California’s judicial branch during these extremely difficult economic times.”
Cantil-Sakauye called on everyone in the California court system will to welcome the justices to their new roles “with open arms and in the spirit of cooperation.”
‘Difficult and Challenging’
Miller said he was “honored to have been asked to serve in this capacity by the Chief Justice.” He acknowledged the courts “face difficult and challenging times,” and said he intends to visit with trial court leaders around the state so he can listen to their concerns in light of a $350 million reduction in state funding for the state courts for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
The justice insisted he is “committed to involving the judicial branch and the Judicial Council in solving the issues that confront us.”
Hull remarked that he “appreciate[s] the Chief Justice’s confidence in [his] ability,” and vowed to “make every effort to be an effective chair of the committee.”
In his new role, Hull said he said he plans to seek input from justices, judges, attorneys, and members of the public. “Our rules of court and judicial administration standards provide access to our courts, as do the Judicial Council forms,” he said, “so it’s very important that all voices are heard.”
Miller was appointed to the appellate bench in 2006 after having served in the Riverside Superior Court from 1995 to 2006, where he served as presiding judge.
He was a member the council’s Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee and vice-president of the California Judges Association in 2001-2002. He was also on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics and was chair of the Judicial Council’s Task Force on Judicial Campaign Conduct, which was a task force of the council’s Commission for Impartial Courts and developed recommendations on ethical and professional conduct by judicial candidates for the commission.
The justice was a member of the commission’s implementation committee, which is charged with implementing recommendations by the commission’s four separate task forces to improve judicial elections.
Miller has also served on the Bench-Bar Coalition since 2004 and the State Bar Commission on Access to Justice since 2008. He has been a member of the Continuing Judicial Studies Program Education Committee since 2007. From 2004 to 2006, he served on the Judicial Council as a trial court voting member; his term ended when he was named to the appellate court. He was appointed to the council in 2010 for a three-year term.
Hull was appointed to complete the term previously held by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye when she served on the Court of Appeal, effective through Sept. 14, 2011, and is slated to serve a new three-year term through Sept. 14, 2014.
He began his judicial career in 1995 when he was appointed to the Sacramento Superior Court. In late 1997, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal and was confirmed in early 1998.
Hull has served on the council’s Appellate Advisory Committee since 2008 and is a former member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions and the Task Force on Jury Instructions, Civil Subcommittee. In addition, he currently chairs the Third Appellate District’s Appellate Mediation Committee.
The Judicial Council has come under fire recently, with critics accusing the agency of being too insular, undermining debate or dissent, and failing to properly supervise its administrative arm.
The Executive and Planning Committee is one of five internal committees of the Judicial Council. It sets the agenda for the council’s meetings, develops the council’s strategic plan for the judicial branch, directs the nominations process for vacancies on the council and its advisory committees, and oversees specific advisory committees and task forces.
The Rules and Projects Committee oversees the development and approval of the California Rules of Court, the California Standards of Judicial Administration, and Judicial Council forms.
In other news, it was announced that the Judicial Council meeting scheduled for July 15 has been postponed to July 22 to allow additional time to study the cuts in court finding made by the newly enacted state budget.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company