Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 16

N

A. Judicial Duties in General

di
ci
C al
JB B
N ra
N nc
.c h
om N
ew

All of the judicial duties prescribed by law* shall take precedence over all other
activities of every judge. In the performance of these duties, the following
standards apply.
B. Adjudicative Responsibilities

(1) A judge shall hear and decide all matters assigned to the judge except those
in which he or she is disqualified.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE COMMENTARY: Canon 3B(1)
Canon 3B(1) is based upon the affirmative obligation contained in Code of
Civil Procedure section 170.
(2) A judge shall be faithful to the law* regardless of partisan interests, public
clamor, or fear of criticism, and shall maintain professional competence in the
law.*

Ju

ADVISORY COMMITTEE COMMENTARY: Canon 3B(2)


Competence in the performance of judicial duties requires the legal
knowledge,* skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary to
perform a judges responsibilities of judicial office. Canon 1 provides that an
incorrect legal ruling is not itself a violation of this code.
(3) A judge shall require* order and decorum in proceedings before the judge.

rn
i

al

et
w

A JUDGE SHALL PERFORM THE DUTIES OF JUDICIAL


OFFICE IMPARTIALLY,* COMPETENTLY, AND
DILIGENTLY

or
k

CANON 3

if
o

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42

(4) A judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors,


witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals in an official
capacity, and shall require* similar conduct of lawyers and of all staff and
court personnel under the judges direction and control.
(5) A judge shall perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice. A judge
shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, engage in speech, gestures, or
other conduct that would reasonably be perceived as (a) bias or prejudice,
including but not limited to bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, gender,
14

di
ci
C al
JB B
N ra
N nc
.c h
om N
ew

et
w

(6) A judge shall require* lawyers in proceedings before the judge to refrain
from manifesting, by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based upon race, sex,
gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation,
marital status, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation against parties,
witnesses, counsel, or others. This canon does not preclude legitimate
advocacy when race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability,
age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic status, political
affiliation, or other similar factors are issues in the proceeding.

(7) A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a
proceeding, or that persons lawyer, the full right to be heard according to
law.* Unless otherwise authorized by law,* a judge shall not independently
investigate facts in a proceeding and shall consider only the evidence presented
or facts that may be properly judicially noticed. This prohibition extends to
information available in all media, including electronic. A judge shall not
initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, that is, any
communications to or from the judge outside the presence of the parties
concerning a pending* or impending* proceeding, and shall make reasonable
efforts to avoid such communications, except as follows:

rn
i

Ju

(a) Except as stated below, a judge may consult with other judges. A judge
shall not engage in discussions about a case with a judge who has
previously been disqualified from hearing that matter; likewise, a judge
who knows* he or she is or would be disqualified from hearing a case shall
not discuss that matter with the judge assigned to the case. A judge also
shall not engage in discussions with a judge who may participate in
appellate review of the matter, nor shall a judge who may participate in
appellate review of a matter engage in discussions with the judge presiding
over the case.

al

or
k

religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital


status, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation, or (b) sexual harassment.

if
o

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42

A judge may consult with court personnel or others authorized by law,* as


long as the communication relates to that persons duty to aid the judge in
carrying out the judges adjudicative responsibilities.
In any discussion with judges or court personnel, a judge shall make
reasonable efforts to avoid receiving factual information that is not part of
the record or an evaluation of that factual information. In such
consultations, the judge shall not abrogate the responsibility personally to
decide the matter.

15

di
ci
C al
JB B
N ra
N nc
.c h
om N
ew

et
w

(1) A judge shall diligently discharge the judges administrative


responsibilities impartially,* on the basis of merit, without bias or prejudice,
free of conflict of interest, and in a manner that promotes public confidence in
the integrity* of the judiciary. A judge shall not, in the performance of
administrative duties, engage in speech, gestures, or other conduct that would
reasonably be perceived as (a) bias or prejudice, including but not limited to
bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, gender, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic
status, or political affiliation, or (b) sexual harassment.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE COMMENTARY: Canon 3C(1)
In considering what constitutes a conflict of interest under this canon, a
judge should be informed by Code of Civil Procedure section 170.1, subdivision
(a)(6).
(2) A judge shall maintain professional competence in judicial administration,
and shall cooperate with other judges and court officials in the administration
of court business.

(3) A judge shall require* staff and court personnel under the judges direction
and control to observe appropriate standards of conduct and to refrain from
manifesting bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, gender, religion, national
origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status,
socioeconomic status, or political affiliation in the performance of their official
duties.

rn
i

Ju

(4) A judge with supervisory authority for the judicial performance of other
judges shall take reasonable measures to ensure the prompt disposition of
matters before them and the proper performance of their other judicial
responsibilities.

al

or
k

C. Administrative Responsibilities

if
o

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43

(5) A judge shall not make unnecessary court appointments. A judge shall
exercise the power of appointment impartially,* on the basis of merit, without
bias or prejudice, free of conflict of interest, and in a manner that promotes
public confidence in the integrity* of the judiciary. A judge shall avoid
nepotism and favoritism. A judge shall not approve compensation of
appointees above the reasonable value of services rendered.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE COMMENTARY: Canon 3C(5)


Appointees of a judge include assigned counsel and officials such as
referees, commissioners, special masters, receivers, and guardians. Consent by
20

May 2011

Search website

Speaking up about judicial misconduct

Top Headlines
Opinion

By Janice M. Brickley

From the President

Highly publicized corruption scandals involving government officials

Janice M. Brickley

provide fertile ground for Monday morning pundits. They can also be a

Letters to the Editor

catalyst for education and positive change. Such is the case with the kids

MCLE Self-Study

for cash judicial corruption scandal in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. In

Attorney Discipline

an article published in the March Bar Journal, I discussed the

You Need to Know

Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Boards failure to follow through with a

Trials Digest
Public Comment

complaint concerning the judges involved in the scandal and what the California
Commission on Judicial Performance has done to ensure that its rules and procedures
are not susceptible to the failures that occurred in Pennsylvania. This article examines

Ethics Byte

the role of an attorney in exposing judicial corruption and abuse in the context of the

Contact Us

kids for cash scandal.

Marketplace
Archived Issues

Two former judges, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan, were charged with
federal crimes based on their participation in a scheme to close down a county juvenile
detention facility and contract for the placement of juveniles with for-profit facilities in
exchange for a secret finders fee of $997,600. Juveniles were sent to the private
detention facilities by Ciavarella at the same time both judges were accepting payoffs
from the owner of the facilities. Conahan pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering
and in February, Ciavarella was convicted by jury of 12 felony counts, including
racketeering, conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Both men are awaiting
sentence.
The Report of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, issued last
May, examines the circumstances that led to the kids for cash scandal, including the
role of attorneys who appeared regularly before Judge Ciavarella in juvenile court.
While these attorneys were not privy to Ciavarellas financial arrangement with the
owners of the detention facilities, they did know that Ciavarella had a zero-tolerance
policy that resulted in juveniles being sent to detention facilities in unprecedented
numbers. Under Ciavarellas zero-tolerance policy, juveniles were automatically sent to
out-of-home placement for certain offenses, such as fighting in school, without an
individual evaluation of the circumstances of the offense or the offender contrary to a
judges obligation to decide sentences on a case-by-case basis.
Attorneys who regularly appeared in Ciavarellas courtroom also knew that he routinely
adjudicated and sentenced juveniles who were unrepresented by counsel without
obtaining the required waiver of the right to counsel. In 2003, the statewide percentage
of juveniles who waived the right to counsel was 7.9 percent; in Ciaverellas courtroom
the attorney waiver rate was 50.2 percent. Similar gaps appear in the statistics
throughout Ciavarellas five-year reign in juvenile court.
A criminal prosecutor is not only an advocate but, as a representative of the sovereign,
has a duty to seek justice, which includes the responsibility of seeing that the defendant
is accorded procedural justice. (Berger v. United States (1935) 295 U.S. 78, 88 [79

Share

L.Ed. 1314, 1321, 55 S. Ct. 629]; County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (2010) 50
Cal.4th 35, 48.) Nowhere is this responsibility more important than in juvenile court.
Under the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Responsibility, prosecutors have an
ethical obligation to ensure that the accused has been advised of the right to counsel
and has been given the opportunity to obtain counsel. (See also American Bar
Association Model Code of Professional Conduct 3.8 (b) [a prosecutor shall make
reasonable efforts to assure the accused has been advised of the right to, and the
procedure for, obtaining counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain
counsel . . .].) Before accepting a waiver of the right to counsel from juvenile
defendants, Pennsylvanias Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure require a judge to
conduct on-the-record discussions or colloquies to ensure that the juveniles
understand the right they are giving up. (See also Faretta v. California (1975) 422 U.S.
806 [45 L.Ed.2d 562, 95 S.Ct. 2525]; Iowa v. Tovar (2004) 541 U.S. 77 [158 L.Ed.2d
209, 124 S.Ct. 1379].) Yet, prosecutors regularly witnessed Ciavarella deciding cases of
unrepresented juveniles without first engaging in the required colloquies but said
nothing. The Report of the Interbranch Commission concluded that the prosecutors
clearly abdicated their roles as ministers of justice and simply became passive observers
to the tragic injustices that were perpetrated against juvenile offenders.
Jonathan Ursiaks first assignment when he joined the public defenders office in 2007
was to represent juveniles in Ciavarellas court. On a regular basis, he observed
juveniles admitting to crimes and being sentenced without an attorney and without the
required advisements of rights by the judge and waivers from the juveniles. This was
not the only practice in Ciavarellas courtroom that troubled Ursiak proceedings were
abbreviated, psychological evaluation reports were not provided to him before the
hearing, juveniles were being sent to placement at an alarmingly high rate, the judges
zero-tolerance policy impeded the juveniles right to be heard, and, in general, the
public defender was not given an adequate opportunity to advocate for his clients.
When Ursiak reported his concerns to his supervisor, he was told the public defenders
office did not need more clients. Undeterred, Ursiak provided assistance to the Juvenile
Law Center of Philadelphia, which was investigating the suspected abuses in Luzerne
Countys juvenile court.
Ursiaks courage and persistence in reporting Ciavarellas improper practices should be
applauded. However, the silence of other attorneys who knew of the abuses in
Ciavarellas courtroom is disturbing. Had others reported the misconduct when it first
occurred, the abuses and corruption might have been abated years earlier saving
countless youthful offenders from a harsh and draconian fate suffered at Ciavarellas
hand.
According to the Interbranch Commissions report, no attorney practicing in Ciavarellas
courtroom ever filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board, the
agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct. Young
prosecutors recognized the inherent unfairness of Ciavarellas practices, but did not
know what to do or to whom to turn for guidance. Many defense attorneys who
appeared before Ciavarella were equally derelict. Public defenders and private attorneys
routinely witnessed Ciavarella violate the rights of juveniles, including their own clients,
yet most took no action. The Interbranch Commission found that these attorneys
clearly abdicated their responsibility to zealously defend their clients and to protect
their due process rights. At a bare minimum, the commission concluded, they
should have contacted their supervisors in the Public Defenders Office and the local bar
associations or notified the appropriate judicial or attorney disciplinary organizations.
Many factors can deter an attorney from reporting judicial misconduct indifference,
fear of retaliation, inexperience, ignorance. During its investigation, the Interbranch
Commission found that some attorneys did not know how or where to report judicial

misconduct. The commission encouraged Pennsylvanias Judicial Conduct Board to


partner with the Pennsylvania Bar Association to create and implement programs to
educate attorneys and the public on the existence of the judicial disciplinary board and
on how to report judicial misconduct. The commission also recommended that the
Judicial Conduct Board revise and update its Website to provide clear, simple
directions for filing complaints. In California, the Commission on Judicial Performance
works with the State Bar to provide information concerning the process for reporting
judicial misconduct. The commissions website offers user-friendly instructions on how
to file a complaint of judicial misconduct, as well as information on what constitutes
judicial misconduct.
As tragically illustrated in the kids for cash scandal, those in the legal community
share a mutual responsibility to take action when faced with abuses of judicial
authority. Indifference and inaction hurts not only the individual targets of the
misconduct but the reputation and integrity of the bar and the judiciary.
Janice M. Brickley is Legal Advisor to Commissioners at the California Commission
on Judicial Performance.

Copyright 2015 The State Bar of California

Contact Us|
Archived Issues|
Notices|
Privacy Policy

Site Design by Duuplex

270

More

Next Blog

Create Blog
Sign In

Sacramento Family Court News


Investigative Reporting, News, Analysis, Opinion & Satire
HOME

TEMPORARY JUDGE CONTROVERSY

TANI G. CANTIL-SAKAUYE
ABOUT SFCN

3rd DISTRICT COA CONTROVERSY

ATTORNEY MISCONDUCT

CONTACT FAMILY COURT NEWS

SOURCE MATERIAL ARCHIVE

Terms & Conditions

RoadDog SATIRE

Privacy Policy

SHORTCUTS TO POPULAR
SUBJECTS AND POSTS

TEMPORARY JUDGE CONTROVERSY

Sacramento Superior Court Family Law Division


Operates as RICO Racketeering Enterprise, Charge
Whistleblowers

JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT

(72)
JUDGE PRO TEM
(51)
ATTORNEY MISCONDUCT

(37)

Sacramento Family Court News Exclusive Investigative Report


This special investigative report is ongoing and was last updated in October, 2015. Hyperlinks throughout this
report link to original source material including whistleblower leaked documents, records obtained under
public records law, public court documents, and our previously published articles with hyperlinks to source

KICKBACKS
(33)
FLEC
(28)

material.

PETER J. McBRIEN
(26)

The family court division of Sacramento Superior


Courtis controlled and operated by an illegal parallel
government structure made up of several judges and
local divorce attorneys who also work as temporary
judges, according to allegations and document leaks
by court employee whistleblowers andwatchdog
groups.

ARTS & CULTURE


(23)
CHILD CUSTODY
(23)
ROBERT SAUNDERS
(22)
SCBA
(22)

The shadow government is without the same


transparency and accountability required of
legitimate Judicial Branch agencies, and meets
thelegal definition of a criminal racketeering
enterprise, whistleblowers charge.

CJP
(21)
JAMES M. MIZE
(21)
CHARLOTTE KEELEY
(19)

The alleged criminal organization reportedly has


operated for more than 20 years under the direction of
long-controversial Judge Peter McBrien, who has a
prior Sacramento Countycriminal conviction and
two misconduct convictions by the state
Commission on Judicial Performance.

McBrien quietlyretired in 2014 and, due to his prior


CJP misconduct convictions, is prohibited from
continuing to work as a retired judge, according to
former CJP prosecutor and current Lake County
Superior Court Judge Andrew Blum.

MATTHEW J. GARY
(34)

EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT

(19)
WATCHDOGS
(19)
PRO PERS
(18)
DIVORCE CORP
(17)
DOCUMENTS
(17)
Sacramento Superior Court reform advocates assert that collusion
between judges and local attorneys deprives pro per court users of
their parental rights, community assets, and due process and access
to the court constitutional rights.

But, using a loophole in state law, after he retired


McBrien was immediately rehired as a court commissioner by personal friend and Sacramento Superior Court
Presiding Judge Robert Hight. Currently, McBrien remains on the bench in virtually the same role he maintained
as a judge.

The whistleblowers assert that divorce lawyers in the organization receive preferential treatment, "kickbacks,"
and other forms of compensation from judges, court employees and clerks because they volunteer towork as
part-time judgesand run the family court settlement conference program on behalf of the court.

PAULA SALINGER
(15)
ROBERT HIGHT
(14)
SACRAMENTO SUPERIOR
COURT
(13)
CARLSSON CASE
(12)
RAPTON-KARRES
(12)
APPEALS
(11)


The kickbacks usually consist of "rubber-stamped" court ordersissued when the attorneys represent clients in
court. The orders consistently are contrary to established law, and the rulings cannot be attributed to the
exercise of judicial discretion.

As a matter of law, the orders are illegal, according to court reform advocates, "outsider" attorneys, and thelaw
practice reference publicationsused by judges and lawyers.SFCN hasposted examplesof the ordersonline
atScribdand other document publishingsites. Order links are provided throughout this report.

Scheme Primarily Targets Divorce Cases Where Only One Side Has a Lawyer

Most of the demonstrablyunlawful orders are issued against indigent, or financially disadvantaged "pro per"
parties without an attorney. Manypro per litigants-who make up over 70 percent of court users -also are
disabled.

In most cases, pro pers - who have little or no knowledge of family law - are unaware that the orders issued against
them are illegal. In addition, court clerks and employees are trained or encouraged tointentionally, and illegally
mislead unrepresented parties about their appeal rights. Pro pers who do attempt to file an appeal are forced to
navigate a gauntlet of unlawful obstructionserected by court employees andtrial court judges,and most
eventually give up.

COLOR OF LAW SERIES

(11)
CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(11)
SATIRE
(11)
WHISTLEBLOWERS
(11)
WOODRUFF O'HAIR
POSNER and SALINGER

(11)
JAIME R. ROMAN
(10)
LAURIE M. EARL
(10)
NO CONTACT ORDERS
(10)
SHARON A. LUERAS
(10)
FERRIS CASE
(9)

Further handicapping pro pers, when representing clients in court judge pro tem lawyers are allowed to obstruct an
opposing parties' court access and ability to file documents through the court-sanctioned misuse ofvexatious
litigant lawand Family Codecase management law,according to whistleblowers andcourt records.The illegal
litigation tactic effectively deprives pro per litigants of their constitutional right of access to the courts, a violation of
federal law.

JESSICA HERNANDEZ
(8)
ROBERT O'HAIR
(8)
CANTIL-SAKAUYE
(7)

In exchange for acting as sworn temporary judges, operating the settlement program and reducing the caseload
and workload of judges and court employees, the attorneys also receive preferential trial scheduling, an
unlawful "emolument, gratuity or reward" prohibited by Penal Code 94.

JULIE SETZER
(7)

The ultimate consequences of the systemic divorce court corruption include one-sided divisions of community
property, illegal child custody arrangements and the deprivation of parental rights, and unlawful child and
spousal support terms.

YOUTUBE
(7)

Court reform advocates also assert that the racketeering enterprise enables rampant fee churningandunjust
enrichmentby judge pro tem divorce lawyers, results in pro per financial devastation,homelessness, and
imprisonment, and hascaused, or contributed to at least two child deaths.

Years of illegal, pay-to-play child custody orders have resulted in the formation of several Sacramento-based court
reform and oversight organizations, including Fathers 4 Justice, California Protective Parents Association, and
the Family Court Accountability Coalition. The same family court watchdog group phenomenon has not
occurred in any other county in the state.

MATTHEW HERNANDEZ
(7)

3rd DISTRICT COA


(6)
CIVIL RIGHTS
(6)
CHRISTINA ARCURI
(5)
CONTEMPT
(5)
MIKE NEWDOW
(5)
THADD BLIZZARD
(5)
FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR

(4)
LUAN CASE
(4)
MALPRACTICE
(4)
THOMAS M. CECIL
(4)
CHILD ABDUCTION
(3)
VANCE W. RAYE
(3)

During three days of sworn testimony at his Commission on Judicial Performance misconduct prosecution, Judge Peter McBrien
inadvertently revealed aspects of an alleged RICO racketeering enterprise operating in the Sacramento County family court system.

The alleged criminal conduct also deprives victims of their state and federal constitutional rights, including due
process, equal protection of law, access to the courts, and the fundamental liberty interest in the care,
management and companionship of their own children, according to several "outsider" attorneys.

VEXATIOUS LITIGANT
(3)
RACKETEERING
(2)

WE SUPPORT

Court watchdogs charge that the settlement conference kickback arrangement between the public court and private
sector attorneys constitutes aracketeering enterprisewhich also deprives the public of thefederally
protectedright tohonest government services.

The alleged federal crimes also include thetheft, misuse, or conversion of federal fundsreceived by the court,
predicate acts ofmail or wire fraud,andpredicate state law crimes, including obstruction of justice,child

Electronic Frontier
Foundation
First Amendment Coalition
Californians Aware

abduction, and receipt of an illegal emolument, gratuity, or reward by a judicial officer(Penal Code 94).

With the help of court employeewhistleblowers, Sacramento Family Court News has partially reconstructed the
framework of the alleged criminal enterprise that, in scale and scope, rivals theKids for Cashcourt scandal in
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and the Orange County Superior Court case-fixing corruption scheme recently
exposed by the FBI.

LAW BLOGS WE LIKE


Family Law Professor Blog
Law Librarian Blog

Settlement Conference Program Quid Pro Quo Arrangement

Thurman Arnold Family


Law Blog

The current day Sacramento County Family Court


system and judge pro tem attorney operated
settlement conference program was set up in 1991
by Judge Vance Raye,Judge Peter McBrien and
lawyers from theSacramento County Bar Association
Family Law Section, according to the sworn
testimony of McBrienat his 2009Commission on
Judicial Performancemisconduct prosecution.

Kafkaesq
Above the Law
The Divorce Artist

Click here to read the transcript of the controversial


judge's testimony.

In his own testimony during the same proceedings,


local veteran family law attorney and judge pro tem
Robert J. O'Hair corroborated McBrien's testimony
and attested to McBrien's character and value to
Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law
Section members. Click here to view this excerpt of
O'Hair's testimony. To view O'Hair's complete
testimony, click here.

LEGAL NEWS &


INFORMATION
California Lawyer Magazine
Courthouse News Service
Metropolitan News
Enterprise
3rd District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vance Raye
is the co-architect of the current Sacramento County Family
Court system. Click here for details.

Judge Vance Raye is now the Presiding Justice of


the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, the
court responsible for hearing appeals from Sacramento Superior Court. The appellate court has been embroiled in
a number of controversies surrounding the review of Sacramento family court cases.

In 2012,troubled Sacramento County Judge James Mize, - a personal friend of McBrien - further privatized
family court services and expanded the ability of ostensibly "volunteer" temporary judge lawyers to earn kickbacks
and other preferential treatment with his so-called "One Day Divorce Program."

Court watchdogs charge that the system was designed to, and does servethe needs and financial interests of
family law lawyers at the expense of the 70 percent of family court users who cannot afford representation.

Reducing the Caseload and Workload of Judges and Court Staff in Exchange for
Kickbacks

One objective of the allegedlyillegal public-private


partnership is to significantly reduce the caseload, and
workload of full-time judges by having private sector
lawyers - instead of judges or court staff - operate the
settlement program, according to watchdogs.

At the settlement conferences, judge pro tem attorneys


pressure divorcing couples to settle cases so they won't
use the trial court services, including law and motion
hearings, ordinarily required to resolve a contested
divorce.

In many cases, two lawyers - one acting as a temporary


judge - with social and professional ties team up against an
unrepresented pro per to compel one-sided settlement
terms. Accounts of coercive and deceptive tactics are
common.

In sworn testimony during his judicial misconduct


prosecution by the Commission on Judicial Performance,

Law Professor Blogs

California Official Case Law


Google Scholar-Includes
Unpublished Case Law
California Statutes

CALIFORNIA JUDICIAL
BRANCH
California Courts
Homepage
California Courts YouTube
Page
Judicial Council
Commission on Judicial
Performance
Sacramento County Family
Court
3rd District Court of Appeal
State Bar of California
State Bar Court
Sacramento County Bar
Association

Local & National Family CourtFamily Law Sites & Blogs (may
be gender-specific)
ABA Family Law Blawg
Directory

Judge McBrien inadvertently revealed that an incredible 90


percent of cases assigned to his courtroom settled. "And so
I, frankly, have a very light calendar on law and motion
mornings," the judge added.

California Coalition for


Families and Children
The 2014 documentary film Divorce Corp exposed court
corruption throughout the United States and designated
Sacramento County as the worst-of-the-worst.

Under the quid pro quo agreement, in exchange for


reducing the workload of judges and court staff, as opportunities arise the temporary judge attorneys are provided
reciprocalkickbacks, gratuities, or emoluments when representing clients in court. The issuance and receipt of
the reciprocal benefits violates several state and federal criminal, and civillaws.

Reciprocal benefits include the issuance ofdemonstrably illegal court orders that have ignored, and even
authorized criminal conduct by judge pro tem attorneys and their clients, including criminal child abduction.

In one case, a judge ordered the illegal arrest and assault of a disabled pro per to benefit the opposing, part-time
judge attorney. A court employee whistleblower leaked a courtroom security video of the incident. The judge pro
tem lawyer subsequently was caught on court reporter transcript defending the judge andlying about the arrest
and assault, portraying the disabled victim as being at fault.

The consistent, statistically impossible in-court success rate of judge pro tem attorneys has provided
themprominence, client referrals, wealth, and a substantial monopoly on the Sacramento County divorce and
family law business. Whistleblowers point out that this benefit of the alleged criminal organization also implicates
consumer protection andantitrust laws, including the CaliforniaUnfair Business Practices Act.

Racketeering Scheme Insulates Members from Government Oversight and


Accountability

California Protective
Parents Association
Center for Judicial
Excellence
Courageous Kids Network
Divorce & Family Law News
Divorce Corp
Divorced Girl Smiling
Family Law Case Law from
FindLaw
Family Law Courts.com
Family Law Updates at
JDSupra Law News
Fathers 4 Justice
HuffPost Divorce
Leon Koziol.Com
Moving Past Divorce
News and Views Riverside
Superior Court
Weightier Matter

Total Pageviews

183

Google+ Badge

PR Brown
Whistleblowers claim that Sacramento Family Court corruption results in the misuse of federal funds, deprives the public of the federally
protected right to honest government services, and deprives unrepresented, disabled, and financially disadvantaged court users of their
civil rights.

Follow

Labels

The quid pro quo arrangement also involves what whistleblowers assert is a reciprocal protection racket that
conceals the organization from discovery by law enforcement agencies and state oversight authorities, including
the Commission on Judicial Performance, responsible for judge misconduct, and the State Bar Association,
responsible for attorney accountability and discipline.

Case audits conducted by SFCN show that judge pro tem attorneys routinely violate state law, court rules, and
attorney ethics rules, but are never reported to the State Bar, or assessed fines, penalties or "sanctions" by fulltime judges as required by state law.

2011 SACRAMENTO/MARIN
AUDITS
(2)
3rd DISTRICT

COA
(6)
AB

Court records leaked by whistleblowers also indicate that the under quid pro quo agreement, judges effectively
shield attorneys from criminal investigation and prosecution for alleged crimes, including witness intimidation,
childabduction,filing counterfeit documents, and violations of state and federal civil rights laws.

On the other hand, at the request of cartel attorneys, pro per litigants are routinely punished by judges with illegal
fines, draconian financial sanctions, and other types of punishment to discourage them from returning to
court, and to coerce them to accept settlement terms dictated by the opposing judge pro tem lawyers.

LAW

ADA

(1)

(11)

ADMINISTRATORS

(4)

AGGREGATED NEWS

(15)
AL SALMEN
(1)

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION


(1)

Pro pers who attempt to report judge pro tem attorney misconduct to the State Bar are told they need a court
order from a judge before a disciplinary investigation against an opposing attorney can take place. There are no
known instances where a judge issued such an order.

1102
(1)
AB 590

(1)
ABA JOURNAL
(1)
ABOVE THE

ANALYSIS
(38)

FURILLO

(2)

ANDY

AOC

(1)

APPEALS
(11)
ARCHIBALD
CUNNINGHAM
(1)
ARTHUR G.
SCOTLAND
(5)
ARTS &

CULTURE

(23)

ATTORNEY
(4)
ATTORNEY
DISCIPLINE
(4)
ATTORNEY

ATTORNEY
MISCONDUCT
(37)

ETHICS
(2)

ATTORNEYS
(11)
BAR
ASSOCIATION
(11)
BARACK
OBAMA
(1)
BARTHOLOMEW
and WASZNICKY
(3)
BUNMI

Attorneys provide judges reciprocal protection by not reporting the judicial misconduct, Code of Judicial Ethics
violations, and criminal conduct committed by full-time judge cartel members. And the lawyers do more.

AWONIYI

(1)

CALIFORNIA

JUDICIAL CONDUCT HANDBOOK

To help conceal and ensure the continuity of the enterprise, on the rare occasion when full-time judges doface
investigation by the Commission on Judicial Performance, members of the cartel provide false, misleading, or
otherwise gratuitous character witness testimony and other forms of support for the offending judge. The
testimony and support is designed to, and does reduce or eliminate potential punishment by the CJP, ensuring
judge members remain on the bench.

(1)
CALIFORNIA

Racketeering Conduct of Court Clerks, Supervisors and the Family Law Facilitator

The racketeering activity includes startling coordination, kickbacks, andpattern and practice misconductby court
clerks, supervisors, and theFamily Law Facilitatoroffice. Court clerks routinelyrefuse to filelegallysufficient
paperworkfor pro per parties, while at the same timefilinglegallyinsufficient, andeven counterfeitpaperwork which they arerequired by lawto reject for filing - for judge pro tem attorneys.

LAWYER
(1)

CALIFORNIANS AWARE
(1)

CAMILLE HEMMER
(3)

CANTIL-SAKAUYE
(7)

CARLSSON CASE
(12)

CECIL and CIANCI


(2)
CEO

(4)

CHARLOTTE
KEELEY
(19)
CHILD
ABDUCTION
(3)
CHILD
CUSTODY
(23)
CHILD

SUPPORT
(4)
CHRISTINA

ARCURI
(5)
CHRISTINA
VOLKERS
(7)
CIVICS
(1)

CIVIL LIABILITY
(1)
CIVIL

RIGHTS
(6)
CJA
(3)
CJE
(2)

In some cases, judges and court clerks


work in tandem toprevent pro per
partiesfrom filing documentsat court
hearingsfor the benefit of judge pro
tems, deliberately creating an
incomplete and inaccurate trial court
record in the event the pro per files an
appeal.
Court records showthat clerks also
deliberately withhold and delay the
filing of time sensitive pro per
documents until after filing deadlines
have expired.

CJEO

CJP
(21)

(1)

ClientTickler
(2)
CNN
(1)

CODE
OF
JUDICIAL
ETHICS
(12)
CODE OF

SILENCE
(2)
COLLEEN
MCDONAGH
(3)
COLOR OF

LAW
SERIES

(11)

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

(11)
CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS
(3)
CONTEMPT
(5)

CORRUPTION
(1)
COURT
CONDITIONS
(2)
COURT

In this case, a court clerk illegally "unfiled" a notice of appeal filed by an indigent,
disabled pro per litigant. Click here for details.

CODE OF ETHICS
(1)
COURT
POLICIES
(1)
COURT RULES

Family Law Facilitatorstaff provide pro per litigantswith false informationdesigned to concealstate law
violationsby court clerks and supervisors. Judges regularly provide attorneys with writtenlegal advice and
"bench tips."When pro pers ask facilitator staff for similar information, they are told that facilitator employees are
prohibited from giving legal advice.

Alleged RICO Racketeering Enterprise Evidence

Court reform and accountability advocates assert that the local family law bar- through the Family Law
ExecutiveCommitteeor FLEC - continues to control for the financial gain of members virtually all aspects of court
operations, and have catalogued documented examples of judge pro tem attorney preferential treatment and
bias against unrepresented litigants and"outsider" attorneys,including:

Divorce Corp, a documentary film that


"exposes the corrupt and collusive
industry of family law in the United
States" was released in major U.S.
cities on January 10, 2014. After a
nationwide search for the most
egregious examples of family court
corruption, the movie's production
team ultimately included fourcases
from Sacramento County in the film,
more than any other jurisdiction.
Judge pro tem attorneys Charlotte
Keeley, Richard Sokol, Elaine Van
Beveren and Dianne Fetzer are each
accused of unethical conduct in the
problem cases included in the movie.
The infamous Carlsson case,
featuring judge pro tem attorney
Charlotte Keeley and Judge Peter
McBrien is the central case profiled in
the documentary, with Sacramento
County portrayed as theGround
Zeroof family court corruption and
collusion in the U.S. Click here for our
complete coverage of Divorce Corp.

EMPLOYEE
(1)
COURT EMPLOYEE

(4)
COURTS
(1)
CPG FAMILY LAW

(1)
CRIMINAL CONDUCT

(13)
CRIMINAL LAW
(3)

CRONYISM
(2)
DAVID

KAZZIE
(4)
DEMOTION
(1)
RICHARDS
(1)
DIANE
WASZNICKY

(2)

DISQUALIFICATION
(2)

DENISE

DIVORCE
(7)
DIVORCE
ATTORNEY
(5)
DIVORCE
CORP
(17)
DIVORCE
LAWYER

(5)

DOCUMENTS
(17)

DONALD TENN
(3)
DONNA
GARY
(2)
DSM-301.7
(1)
EDITORIAL
(1)
EDWARD
FREIDBERG
(2)
EFF
(2)

EFFICIENCY

IN

GOVERNMENT

ELAINE VAN
BEVEREN
(13)
ELECTIONS
(1)
AWARD
(1)

EMILY

GALLUP

(3)

EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS

(4)

EMPLOYEE
MISCONDUCT
(19)

EQUAL PROTECTION
(2)

EUGENE L. BALONON
(1)

EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

(2)
EX PARTE
(1)
F4J
(4)

FAMILY COURT
(9)
FAMILY
COURT

COURT

AUDITS
(1)
FAMILY

CONDITIONS
(2)

FAMILY COURT

MEDIA COVERAGE

(1)
FAMILY COURT PROCEDURE
(1)

FAMILY
COURT
SACRAMENTO
(2)
FAMILY

COURTHOUSE
(1)
FAMILY

Divorce Corp, chronicling Sacramento Superior Court corruption,


is available on Netflix.

Judge Thadd Blizzard issued a rubber-stamped, kickback order in November, 2013 for judge pro tem
attorney Richard Sokol authorizing an illegal out-of-state move away and child abduction by Sokol's
client, April Berger. The opposing counsel is an "outsider" attorney from San Francisco who was
dumbfounded by the order. Click here for our exclusive report, which includes the complete court
reporter transcript from the hearing. Click here for our earlier report on the unethical practice of
"hometowning" and the prejudicial treatment of outsider attorneys.
Whistleblower leaked court records indicate that Sacramento Bar Association Family Law
Executive Committee officer and judge pro tem attorney Paula Salinger engaged in obstruction of
justice crimes against an indigent, unrepresented domestic violence victim. The victim was a witness in
a criminal contempt case against a Salinger client. The circumstances surrounding the obstruction of
justice incident also infer collusion between Salinger and controversial Judge Matthew J. Gary. For
our complete investigative report,click here.

(9)

LAW

FAMILY
LAW
COUNSELOR
(4)
FAMILY
LAW
FACILITATOR
(4)

FATHERS FOR JUSTICE


(1)

FEDERAL LAW
(2)
FEDERAL

LAWSUITS
(2)
FEE WAIVERS

(2)
FERRIS CASE
(9)
FIRST
AMENDMENT
(2)
FIRST
AMENDMENT COALITION
(2)

FLEC
(28)
FOIA
(2)
FOX

(1)
FREDRICK COHEN
(4)

GANGNAM STYLE
(1)
GARY E.
RANSOM
(1)
GARY
M.
APPELBLATT
(2)
GEORGE

NICHOLSON
(1)
GERALD UELMEN

(1)
GREGORY DWYER
(1)
HAL
BARTHOLOMEW
(1)
HATCHET
DEATH
(1)
HAZART SANKER

Two "standing orders" still in effect after being issued by Judge Roland Candee in 2006 override a
California Rule of Court prohibiting temporary judges from serving in family law cases where one party
is self-represented and the other party is represented by an attorney or is an attorney. The orders were
renewed by Presiding Judge Laurie M. Earl in February, 2013.Click here for details.
Sacramento Family Court judges ignore state conflict of interest laws requiring them to disclose to
opposing parties when a judge pro tem working as a private attorney represents a client in family
court. Click here for our exclusive investigative report. Click here for a list of other conflict of interest
posts.
Family court policies and procedures, including local court rules, are dictated by the SCBA Family Law
Executive Committeefor the financial benefit of private sector attorneys, and often disadvantage the
70 percent of court users without lawyers, according to family court watchdogs and whistleblowers.
For example, in sworn testimony by Judge Peter McBrien before the Commission on Judicial
Performance,McBrien described seeking and obtaining permission from FLEC to change a local rule.
Click here and here.

BROSNAHAN
(2)
JAMES
M. MIZE
(21)
JEFFREY

POSNER
(6)

(1)

JERRY

JERRY BROWN
GUTHRIE

(1)

JESSICA HERNANDEZ
(8)

JODY PATEL
(1)
JOE SORGE

(2)
JOHN E.B. MYERS
(1)
JOSEPH

SORGE
(1)
JOYCE KENNARD
(1)
JOYCE TERHAAR
(1)
JRC
(1)

JUDGE
(1)
JUDGE

TEM
(51)

In November, 2012 Sacramento


Family Court Judge Jaime R.
Romanissued a rubber-stamped,
kickback orderdeclaring a family
court party a vexatious litigant and
ordering him to pay $2,500 to the
opposing attorney, both without
holding the court hearing required by
law. The opposing attorney who
requested the orders is Judge Pro
Tem Charlotte Keeley. The
blatantly illegal orders resulted in
both an unnecessary state court
appeal and federal litigation,
wasting scarce judicial resources
and costing taxpayers significant
sums.Click here for our exclusive
coverage of the case.
Judge Matthew Gary used an
unlawful fee waiver hearing to both
obstruct an appeal of his own orders
and help a client of judgepro tem
attorney Paula Salinger avoid
paying spousal support. Click here
for our investigative report.

(2)
HONEST SERVICES
(4)

INDIGENT
(1)
INFIGHTING
(1)
J.
STRONG
(2)
JACQUELINE
ESTON
(2)
JAIME R.
ROMAN
(10)
JAMES

SALARIES
(1)

JUDICIAL

PRO
JUDGE

JUDGES
(10)

CONDUCT HANDBOOK

(1)
JUDICIAL

COUNCIL
(6)

JUDICIAL
MISCONDUCT

(72)
JUDY HOLZER

HERSHER
(1)
JULIE SETZER

(7)
KICKBACKS
(33)

KIDS FOR CASH


(2)
LAURIE
M. EARL
(10)
LAW LIBRARY
SCHOOL
(5)

(1)
LAW

LAWYER
(1)
LAWYERS
(7)

LEGAL AID ASSOCIATION of


CALIFORNIA
(1)
LEGISLATURE
(1)

LEON KOZIOL
(1)
LINCOLN
(1)

LISTS
(4)
LOLLIE ROBERTS

(5)
LOUIS MAURO
(1)
LUAN
CASE
(4)
MALPRACTICE
(4)

Divorce attorney Charlotte Keeley (R) and her client Katina Rapton of
Mel Rapton Honda leave a court hearing. Keeley reportedly has billed
Rapton more than $1 million in connection with a child custody dispute.

An unrepresented, disabled 52-year-old single mother was made homeless by an illegal child support
order issued by Judge Matthew Gary for SCBA Family Law Section attorney Tim Zeff, the partner of
temporary judge Scott Buchanan. The rubber-stamped, kickback child supportorder, and other
proceedings in the case were so outrageous that the pro per is now represented on appeal by a team
of attorneys led by legendary trial attorney James Brosnahan of global law firm Morrison & Foerster.
For our exclusive, ongoing reports on the case, click here.
Judge pro tem attorneys Richard Sokol and Elaine Van Beverenhelped conceal judge misconduct
and failed to comply with Canon 3D(1) of the Code of Judicial Ethics when they were eyewitnesses to
an unlawful contempt of court and resisting arrest incident in Department 121. Both Sokol and Van
Beveren failed to report the misconduct of Judge Matthew Gary as required by state law.Van
Beveren isan officer of the SCBA Family Law Executive Committee.Click here for our exclusive
report...
...Four years later, Sokol and Van Beveren in open court disseminated demonstrably false and
misleading information about the unlawful contempt of court and resisting arrest incident. The
apparent objective of the judge pro tem attorneys was to discredit the victim of Gary's misconduct,
trivialize the incident, and cover up their own misconduct in failing to report the judge. For our follow-up
reports, click here. In 2014, a video of the illegal arrest and assault was leaked by a government
whistleblower. Click here for details.Watch the exclusive Sacramento Family Court News video
below:

MARTIN HOSHINO
(2)
MARY
MOLINARO
(1)
MATTHEW
HERNANDEZ

(7)

MATTHEW J. GARY

(34)
MCGEORGE

SOL
(2)

MEDIA
(1)
MICHAEL T. GARCIA

(1)
MIKE NEWDOW
(5)

NANCY GRACE
(1)
NANCY
PERKOVICH
(4)
NEW YORK

NEWS
(32)
NEWS EXCLUSIVE

(24)
NEWS YOU CAN USE
TIMES
(2)

(3)
News10
(1)
NO CONTACT
ORDERS
(10)
OPEN
GOVERNMENT
(2)
OPINION

(12)
PARENTAL

PAULA

ALIENATION
(1)

SALINGER

(15)
PERJURY
(1)
PETER
J. McBRIEN
(26)

PHILLIP HERNANDEZ
(3)

PRESIDING JUDGE
(2)
PRO
PERS
(18)
PROTEST
(9)

PSY
(1)
PUBLIC RECORDS
(1)

RACKETEERING
(2)
RAOUL M.
THORBOURNE
(1)
RAPTONKARRES

(12)

RECOGNITION/AWARDS
(4)

REVISIONISM SERIES
(2)

RICHARD SOKOL
(12)

RICO
(2)
ROBERT HIGHT

(14)
ROBERT O'HAIR
(8)

ROBERT SAUNDERS


(22)
ROLAND

L. CANDEE
(1)

RON BURGUNDY
(1)
RONALD

ROBIE
(1)
RUSSELL CARLSON

(4)
RUSSELL L. HOM
(1)
RYDER
SALMEN
(2)
S. HINMAN
(3)

SACRAMENTO BEE
(4)

SACRAMENTO
COUNTY
SUPERIOR
COURT
(2)

SACRAMENTO
FAMILY
COURT
(14)
SACRAMENTO
SUPERIOR COURT
(13)

SANCTIONS
(2)
SANTA

CLARA

LAW SCHOOL
(1)
SARAH ANN

STEPHENS
(1)
SATIRE
(11)
SCBA

(22)

SCHWARZENEGGER
(1)
SCOTT
BUCHANAN
(5)
SCOTT

In 2008controversial family courtJudge Peter J. McBriendeprived a family court litigant of a fair trial
in a case where the winning party was represented by judge protemattorney Charlotte Keeley. In a
scathing, published opinion, the 3rd District Court of Appealreversed in full and ordered a new
trial. 6th District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Conrad Rushing characterized McBrien's
conduct in thecase as a "judicial reign of terror."McBrien subsequently was disciplined by the
Commission on Judicial Performance for multiple acts of misconduct in 2009.Click here to read the
court of appeal decision. Click here to read the disciplinary decision issued by the CJP.
Judge pro tem attorneysCamille Hemmer,Robert O'Hair,Jerry GuthrieandRussell Carlsoneach
testified in support ofJudge Peter J. McBrienwhen thecontroversialjudge was facing removal from
the bench by theCommission on Judicial Performancein 2009.As a sworn temporary judges aware
of McBrien's misconduct, each wasrequired byCanon 3D(1)of theCode of Judicial Ethicsto take or
initiate appropriate corrective action to address McBrien's misconduct. Instead, each testified as a
character witnessin supportof the judge. In theCJP'sfinal disciplinary decision allowing McBrien to
remain on the bench, theCJPreferred specifically to the testimony as a mitigating factor that reduced
McBrien's punishment.Click here. Court records indicate thatJudge McBrienhas not disclosed the
potentialconflict of interestto opposing attorneys and litigants in subsequent appearances by the
attorneys in cases before the judge.Click hereforSFCNcoverage of conflict issues.

KENDALL
(1)
SCSD
(1)
SEATON
CASE

McBrienin 2008. The plan involved helping McBrien defeat the recall by electing him "Judge of the
Year" before the November election.Click herefor theSacramento News and Reviewreport.
Judge pro tem attorney
Robert J. O'Hair testified
as a character witness for
controversial Judge Peter
J. McBrien at the judge's
second CJP disciplinary
proceeding in 2009.Paula
Salinger, an attorney at
O'Hair's firm,Woodruff,
O'Hair Posner &
Salingerwas later granted
a waiver of the
requirements to become
ajudge pro tem. A family
court watchdog asserts
the waiver was payback for
O'Hair's testimony for
McBrien.Click hereto
read our exclusive
investigative report.

SELF-HELP

(1)

(2)
SFCN READERSHIP DATA

(4)
SHARON A. LUERAS

(10)
SHARON HUDDLE
(6)

SO YOU WANT TO GO TO
LAW

SCHOOL

(4)

SOCIOECONOMIC BIAS

(5)
STATE AUDITOR
(6)

STATE BAR
(5)
STEPHEN
WAGNER

(2)

STEUART

STEVE
WHITE
(2)
STEVEN GEVERCER
LEAVENWORTH

(1)
STEVEN

(1)

SPIELBERG
(1)

SUNDAY FUNNIES

(15)
SUNSHINE WEEK
(2)

SUPERIOR COURT
(2)

SUPREME COURT
(3)
TAMI

Judge pro temattorneysTerri Newman,CamilleHemmer,Diane WasznickyandDonna


Reedwereinvolved in a proposedscheme to rig a recall electionofcontroversialJudgePeter J.

(1)

SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

BOGERT
(1)
TAXPAYERS
(1)
TERRY FRANCKE
(1)

BLIZZARD
(5)

THADD

THADDEUS

STEVENS
(1)
THE RUTTER GROUP

(1)
THOMAS M. CECIL
(4)

THOMAS WOODRUFF
(5)

TIMOTHY ZEFF
(6)
TOMMY
ULF
LEE
JONES

(1)

CARLSSON
(7)
UNITED
NATIONS
(1)
UPDATE
(2)

VANCE W. RAYE
(3)

VEXATIOUS LITIGANT
(3)

VICTORIA HENLEY
(1)
VICTORY
OUTREACH

CHURCH
(1)
VL-

CLASS-ACTION
(1)
WALL STREET
JOURNAL

(1)

WASTE

(1)

WATCHDOGS
(19)

WHISTLEBLOWER
PROTECTION
ACT
(2)

WHISTLEBLOWERS
(11)

WHITE HOUSE
(1)
WOODRUFF
O'HAIR POSNER and
SALINGER
(11)
XAPURI B.
VILLAPUDUA

Court records show that Judge Jaime Roman (L) and Judge Matthew Gary
routinely issued demonstrably illegal court orders for the benefit oflocal
attorneyswho also work as part-time judges in family court. Both judges
have been reassigned out of the family courthouse.

In cases where one party is


unrepresented, family court
clerks and judges permit judge pro tem attorneys to file declarations which violate mandatory state
court rule formatting requirements. The declarations- on blank paper and without line numbers - make
it impossible for the pro per to make lawful written evidentiary objections to false and inadmissible
evidence. Click here for our report documenting multiple state court rule violations in a motion filed
bySCBA Family Law Section officer and temporary judgePaula Salinger. To view the pro per

(3)

YOLO

COUNTY
(1)
YOUTUBE
(7)

responsive declaration objecting to the illegal filing click here, and click here for the pro per points &
authorities.
Family court clerks and judges allow judge pro tem attorneys to file a fabricated "Notice of Entry of
Findings and Order After Hearing" in place of a mandatory Judicial Council Notice of Entry of
Judgment FL-190 form. The fake form omits critical appeal rights notifications and other information
included in the mandatory form. Click here for our exclusive report.
Sacramento Family Court temporaryjudgeandfamily law lawyerGary Appelblatt was charged with
13-criminal counts including sexual battery and penetration with a foreign object. The victims were
clients and potential clients of the attorney.The judge pro tem ultimately pleaded no contest to fourof
the original 13-counts, including sexual battery, and was sentenced to 18-months in prison. Court
administrators concealed from the public that Appelblatt held the Office of Temporary Judge.Click
hereto read our report.
Judge pro tem and SCBA Family Law Section attorneyScott Kendall was disbarred from the practice
of law on Nov. 24, 2011. Kendall was disbarred for acts of moral turpitude, advising a client to violate
the law, failing to perform legal services competently, and failing to keep clients informed, including not
telling a client about a wage garnishment order and then withdrawing from the same case without
notifying the client or obtaining court permission. Court administrators concealed from the public that
Kendall held the Office of Temporary Judge.Click here to view our report.
Judge pro tem attorneys Nancy Perkovich and Jacqueline Estonin 2008 helped Donna Gary - the
wife of Judge Matthew J. Gary - promote and market ClientTickler, a client management software
program for attorneys. The judge reportedly has never disclosed the conflict of interest as required by
the Code of Judicial Ethics. Click here for our exclusive report on the controversy.
In February, 2013 the website of family law firm Bartholomew & Wasznicky cut off the public from the
only online access to The Family Law Counselor, a monthly newsletter published by the Sacramento
Bar Association Family Law Section. Lawyers at the firm include judge pro tem attorneys Hal
Bartholomew, Diane Wasznicky and Mary Molinaro. As SFCN has reported, articles in the
newsletter often reflect an unusual, collusive relationship between SCBA attorneys and court
administrators and judges.Click here for our report.

Family court reform


advocates assert that judge
pro tem attorneys obtain
favorable court rulings on
disputed issues at a
statistically improbable
rate. The collusion
between full-time judges
and judge pro tem
attorneys constitutes
unfair, fraudulent, and
unlawful business
practices, all of which are
prohibited under California
unfair competition laws,
including Business and
Professions Code
17200, reform advocates
claim.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge James Mizetestified as a characterwitness in


support of controversial Judge Peter McBrien when McBrien was facing removal
from the bench by the state Commission on Judicial Performance.

Unfair competition and the collusion between judges and judge pro tem attorneys ultimately results in
unnecessary appeals burdening the appellate court system, and other, related litigation that wastes
public funds, exposes taxpayers to civil liability, and squanders scarce court resources.
Watchdogs point out that the court operates what amounts to a two-track system of justice. One for
judge pro tem attorneys and another for unrepresented, financially disadvantaged litigants and
"outsider attorneys." Two-track systems are prohibited by the Code of Judicial Ethics, according to
the Commission on Judicial Performance and the California Judicial Conduct Handbook, the gold
standard reference on judge misconduct.Click here for articles about the preferential treatment given
judge pro tem attorneys. Click here for examples of how pro pers are treated.
After representing a client in Sacramento Family Court, San Francisco attorney Stephen R. Gianelli
wrote "this is a 'juice court' in which outside counsel have little chance of prevailing...[the] court has now
abandoned even a pretense of being fair to outside counsel." Click here to read Gianelli's complete,
scathing account.
The Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section is led by an "Executive Committee"
("FLEC") of judge pro tem attorneys composed ofChair Russell Carlson, Vice Chair Elaine Van
Beveren, Treasurer Fredrick Cohen and Secretary Paula Salinger. Three of the four have been

involved in legal malpractice litigation, violations of the Code of Judicial Ethics, or as a defendant in
federal civil rights litigation. Click here to read SFCN profiles of the Executive Committee members.
Click here for otherarticles about FLEC.
Judge pro tem attorneys are by law required to take or initiate corrective action if they learn that
another judge has violated any provision of the Code of Judicial Ethics, or if a lawyer has violated any
provision of the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Family court watchdogs assert that
temporary judges regularly observe unethical and unlawful conduct by family court judges and attorneys
but have never taken or initiated appropriate corrective action, a violation of the judge pro tem oath of
office. To view the applicable Code of Judicial Ethics Canons,Click here. For a Judicial Council
directive about the obligation to address judicial misconduct, a critical self-policing component of the
Code of Judicial Ethics, click here.

For information about the role of temporary judges in


family court,click here.For officialSacramento County
Superior Courtinformation about theTemporary Judge
Program click here.

Using public records law, Sacramento Family Court


News obtained the list of private practice attorneys
who also act as judge pro tems in Sacramento Family
Law Court. Each lawyer on the list below is currently a
temporary judge, or was a temporary judge in 2009,
2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013.SFCN cross-checked each
name on the Sacramento Countyjudge pro tem list
withCalifornia State Bar Data. The first name in each
listing is the name that appears on the Sacramento
County judge pro tem list, the second name, the State
Bar Number (SBN), and business address are derived
from the officialState Bar data for each attorney. The
State Bar data was obtained using thesearch function
at the State Bar website.

A number of family court whistleblowers have leaked court


recordsindicating that judge pro tem attorneys receive from
judges kickbacks and otherpreferential treatment in exchange
for operating the familycourt settlement conference program.

For-profit, private sector


lawyers who also hold the
Office of Temporary Judge:

Sandy

Amara, Sandra Rose Amara, SBN 166933, Law Office of Sandra Amara,1 California

Street,Auburn, CA95603.

Mark

Ambrose, Mark Anthony Ambrose, SBN 141222, Law Offices of Mark A. Ambrose, 8801

Folsom Blvd. Ste. 170, Sacramento, CA 95826. Ambrose unethically advertises himself as a temporary judge.

Kathleen Amos, Kathleen Swalla Amos, SBN 112395, Attorney at Law & Mediator,206 5th
Street, Ste. 2B Galt, CA 95632.

Gary Appelblatt, Gary Michael Appelblatt, SBN 144158, 3610 American River Drive #112,
Sacramento, CA 95864. Appelblatt was disbarred by the State Bar on Sept. 24, 2010 afterbeing convicted of
sexual battery against clients. Click here for our exclusive report. Appelblatt is a graduate of McGeorge School of
Law.

Beth

Appelsmith, Beth Marie Appelsmith, SBN 124135,1430 Alhambra Blvd. Sacramento CA

95816.

Bunmi Awoniyi, Olubunmi Olaide Awoniyi, SBN 154183, Law Office of Bunmi Awoniyi a
PC,1610 Executive Ct. Sacramento, CA 95864. Awoniyi unethically advertises herself as a temporary judge.
Awoniyi was appointed a Superior Court Judge in December 2012 and holds court in Department 120 of
Sacramento Family Court.