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How Should California's Judges Be Educated After They Get On the Bench?

Should judges be required to attend mandatory continuing judicial education?  According to today's Daily Journal, two prominent judges, Thomas E. Hollenhorst and Julie Conger (scroll to fifth paragraph), don't think so.  California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, on the other hand, argues that judges should.  Presently, California's judicial education system is voluntary.  The two judges have threatened to resign from the California Judges Association Ethics Committee if the CJA does not oppose the change. 

The judges opposed to the change argue that the proposed mandatory system is "unnecessary, insulting and unconstitutional," according to a quote in the Daily Journal (no link provided because subscription required).  California, however, is in the definite minority (link is .pdf file) on this one:  75% of the 50 states had mandatory judicial education programs in 1995.  The incoming president of the California Judge's Association, Scott Keys, will have his hands full with the issue of mandatory judicial education.

In contrast to the system that applies to judges, California has a mandatory continuing legal education program for its lawyers.  We must rack up 12 hours of CLE each year, a total of 36 in three years.  The proposal for judges requires 30 hours in three years.

Should our judges be required to attend mandatory education classes?  What's your vote?

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, July 03, 2006 at 12:54 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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