Monday, July 30, 2012
Retired Superior Court Judge Jahr to Head AOC
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
The Judicial Council of California Friday named retired Shasta Superior Court Judge Steven Jahr as the new administrative director of the courts.
The Administrative Office of the Courts, which has more than 800 employees and which Jahr will now oversee, said in a release that the council had unanimously chosen Jahr, 63, to succeed William C. Vickrey, who retired last year. He will assume the role Oct. 8, and will work with interim Director Jody Patel on the transition, the AOC said.
He becomes the state’s fifth Administrative Director since the office was created in 1960.
The appointment comes after a six-month nationwide search by a Judicial Council committee. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said she was “enormously pleased that Judge Jahr has agreed to accept this critical position.”
Jahr said in a statement:
“I look forward to working with the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council, judges, court executives, and employees of the courts and the [AOC]. I think I bring a unique perspective to my new role. As a judge, I’ve worked in criminal and civil matters, as well as family law....As a former presiding judge, I know and appreciate that taking care of the administrative side of a courtroom helps make a judge succeed....I have been in public service during much of my career, and I look forward to continue serving the public in my new role.”
Third District Court of Appeal Justice Harry Hull, who chaired the search committee, said of the selection:
“After reviewing candidates from all over the country, we eventually found the very best candidate in our own backyard. Judge Jahr is well known and well liked by many judges throughout the state. I’m happy that my colleagues on the Judicial Council felt the same way our committee members did.”
Jahr is a Berkeley native who attended Pasadena public schools, UC Santa Barbara, and Hastings College of the Law, from which he graduated in 1974. He practiced law in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Redding before becoming a judge.
He was appointed by Shasta County supervisors in 1986 to the Anderson Justice Court, on which he served until the justice courts were consolidated to form the Shasta County Municipal Court in 1988. Jahr served as presiding judge of that court for several months prior to being elevated to the Superior Court in 1991 and was the presiding judge of that court from 1993 through 1995, then served as judge of the coordinated municipal and superior courts in 1996.
On a statewide level, in addition to years of faculty service for the state’s judicial education programs, Jahr served as a board member and vice president of the California Judges Association. Immediately before his retirement in 2009, he was appointed by Chief Justice Ronald M. George to the Commission for Impartial Courts.
In the mid-1990s during the period of transition from county to state trial court operations funding, he chaired the Task Force on Trial Court Funding and the Trial Court Budget Commission.
In 1997, Jahr was named Jurist of the Year by the Judicial Council. The next year, he was appointed as a member of the Judicial Council, where he also served as chair of the council’s Rules and Projects Committee.
He also has served on working groups overseen by the Judicial Council, including the Emergency Response and Security Task Force and the Probation Services Task Force.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company