The News Behind The News - It's Worse Than You Think!
The News Behind The News
It's Worse Than You Think!
I have just received word from former Attorney Brad Henschel, who covered the word from inside the judicial system on information not revealed within the below news article about the financial situation within the state courts of California. I have known Brad for 33 years.
What's that squawking I hear? Hmmm, I believe it's the sound of vultures gather'n nearby!
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: The Judicial Ship Taking On Water & Leaning To The Left Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 04:56:31 -0800 (PST) From: Brad Henschel <crusaderjd@...> To: Ron Branson <VictoryUSA@...>
Ron - the situation is far worse than is stated in this article. I attended a State of the Court event given by the Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding and Asst. Presiding judges.
They informed me that:
1. LA County handles 29% of cases statewide.
2. LA County Superior Ct. will have to lay off 500-600 employees due to lack of funds.
3. LA County Superior Ct. will have to reduce the amount of courtrooms used for limited jurisdiction cases [these are cases over the Small claims amount and under $25K].
4. IF the tax initiative on the Nov. ballot doesn't pass, more cuts will be needed.
5. In Riverside soon no civil cases will be able to be heard due to the criminal caseload, even with the new DA who replaced Pacheco to reduce the flow of criminal cases into court.
6. The new case management case computer program isn't available and some measures are being used to stopgap IT issues with the court.
7. I asked why the court doesn't use the same program used in federal courts. It was claimed that LA County has more cases than all the federal courts and so that program can't handle such a large numbers of cases. [Even though my friend, Asst Presiding Judge David Wesley, said this to me, I just can't believe that is true.]
8. Things are going to get worse for courts from a funding point of view.
9. Pro pers are pouring into the courts as fewer and fewer attorneys are available, or are affordable to the middle class, especially in bankruptcy and family law, but are using legal document preparers, but those preparers can't give legal advice, so the paperwork is usually defective and slows the courts down quite a bit.
- Brad Henschel, JD
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The Judicial Ship Taking On Water
And Leaning To The Left
"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:" Matthew 12:25
Editorial: Bill by dissident judges overreachesPublished: Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6EThe Legislature should not meddle in the internal affairs of the judiciary. A bill headed to a vote in the Assembly on Monday would do exactly that, and should be rejected.California's judicial branch has been battered by the recession, like the rest of state government. Trial courts have taken the brunt of the beating. They lost $350 million in the current state budget cycle. This is on top of nearly $300 million in cuts absorbed over the last five years. Courtrooms have been closed temporarily, and hundreds of court employees laid off.Some beleaguered judges blame the Administrative Office of the Courts, which they see as profligate and out of touch. They also have turned their anger at the Judicial Council, which sets policy for courts statewide.Assemblyman Charles Calderon, a Whittier Democrat, is pushing a bill, Assembly Bill 1208, on behalf of a secretive group of judges called the Alliance of California Judges and the Service Employees International Union, which represents courthouse employees. Alliance leaders say they represent 400 judges, but won't reveal names, claiming that the jurists might suffer retribution.Calderon's bill would shift funding authority away from the Judicial Council and require that state funds be allocated by formula to the county trial courts instead. Some of the judges' criticism of the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Judicial Council is legitimate, but this measure goes too far.Fifteen years ago, landmark legislation transformed the judiciary from a county-based system to a statewide system. It was the right thing to do.A jumble of different procedures and rules that changed from county to county was made uniform. Access to justice became more equal, whether litigants filed their divorce papers in Yolo or San Francisco, or their lawsuit in Sacramento or Riverside, or faced criminal charges in Modoc or Los Angeles counties.The power of the purse resides with the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, who heads the Judicial Council, most of whose members the chief justice picks.But critics say that under the new statewide structure, too much money was siphoned from the core functions of the trial courts to pet projects of the Judicial Council.Dissident judges were particularly incensed when a statewide court computer project ballooned from its original estimate of $290 million to $1.9 billion.Despite real problems, the overall structure of the court system is fundamentally sound.To alter it by returning more autonomy to county courts would be a mistake. And most people who practice regularly in California courtrooms know that. Opposition to AB 1208 includes 44 of 58 presiding judges of the county courts.Defense attorneys oppose the bill, as do plaintiffs' lawyers and an organization that represents big business interests that are targets of lawsuits.These interests fiercely oppose each other in courtrooms, but are united in their opposition to this bill. Lawmakers must not ignore that.Calderon introduced his bill as Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye was taking the reins of the state judiciary. She has made an effort to meet with the dissidents – difficult, given the fact that alliance judges chose to keep their membership secret.Nonetheless, Cantil-Sakauye has placed some alliance judges who have revealed their identities on state court committees. She has surveyed every presiding judge in the state to get feedback on what they think are the problems. She says she is working to implement their recommendations.Dissident judges need to let those steps take hold. They should not let the Legislature meddle with the judicial branch's independence.