Fact Checking the AOC’s “fact check”

Posted on February 20, 2012


February 16, 2012

Dear Members and Others:

Today the Los Angeles Daily Journal published an informative and objective article by reporter Emily Green about the controversy surrounding AB 1208, titled “Court Bill Would Shift Power, But to Whom?”  The Daily Journal does not allow copying and circulation of their articles, but we urge each of you to check your paper or online version of the Daily Journal and read the entire article.

Here’s what the article had to say about the AOC’s incorrect but oft-repeated claim that the passage of AB 1208 would result in 58 “fiefdoms,” and harm the Council’s ability to pass uniform rules of practice and procedure:

Far from truly “decentralized,” the judiciary also wouldn’t return to
the days when there were 58 completely independent trial courts – called
“fiefdoms” by some. The “California Rules of Court” that create a
uniform system of paper forms and procedural policies will remain in
effect. Services like self-help centers and drug courts are unlikely to
go by the wayside. And the current scheme for determining how much money
each county receives would remain intact…

…One thing is certain: AB 1208 would sharply curtail the Judicial
Council’s ability to keep investing in the Court Case Management System,
a long-term, $2 billion project to link court dockets electronically that
some trial court judges say wastes money.

As for that case management system, Maria Dinzeo of the Courthouse News Service has completed a detailed examination of the recent claim by the AOC and members of the Judicial Council that “CCMS is finished and works.” Given the length of the article, we will keep our comments to a minimum. http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/02/16/43967.htm

As independent constitutional officers, judges have a responsibility to examine the facts themselves before they accept representations as truthful. No matter how strongly one may feel obliged to support judicial leadership and “speak with one voice,” when that one voice attempts to pass off inaccurate information as “facts,” it reflects poorly on the entire branch. The following article, though disturbing, is one that every judge should read.



Alliance of California Judges

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