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Temporary Judge Program

Joining Sonoma Court's Temporary Judge Panel

Effective January 1, 2007, California Rules of Court, Rule 2.810 established new and more rigorous training and qualification requirements for attorneys wishing to serve as temporary judges.

To qualify, attorneys must have been active members of the California State Bar, in good standing, for at least 10 years before appointment. There cannot be any pending disciplinary actions, and the individual must not have pled guilty or no contest to a felony, or have a felony conviction that has not been reversed. He or she must satisfy all education and training requirements established by the state, as well as any other conditions that the individual court may require. Mandated training elements include a 3-hour in-person course on judicial demeanor (provided by a court) together with an online training course in related judicial demeanor and ethical issues.

Attorneys must also take one or more online training courses provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts, depending on the substantive areas of law they wish to hear.

Depending on case type, there may also be additional training, education, or experience requirements to serve in Sonoma County.

Minimum Requirements

The presiding judge may not appoint an attorney to serve as a temporary judge unless the attorney has been admitted to practice as a member of the State Bar of California for at least 10 years before the appointment and meets the following conditions:

  1. Is an active member in good standing of the State Bar and has no disciplinary action pending.
  2. Has not pled guilty or no contest to a felony, or has not been convicted of a felony that has not been reversed.
  3. Has satisfied the education and training requirements.
  4. Has satisfied all other general conditions that the court may establish for appointment of an attorney as a temporary judge in that court.
  5. Has satisfied any additional conditions that the court may require for an attorney to be appointed as a temporary judge for a particular assignment or type of case in that court.

NOTE: Consistent with CRC Rule 2.818, temporary judges have an ongoing duty to report any disciplinary action pending or taken against them by the State Bar of California at least 2 court days before arriving to serve as a temporary judge.

Training Requirements

These are requirements that everyone must meet every two years:

  1. Review the online Fairness, Demeanor, and Self-Represented litigants materials.
  2. Attend a 3-hour in-person training session on judicial demeanor.
  3. Take the online course on judicial ethics.
  4. Take local and online classes as required for the case type(s).
  5. Attend a court session on each case type for the location above

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