2021 Judicial Diversity Summit

Stronger Together
Judicial Diversity Summit 2021

Stronger Together: Judicial Diversity Summit is the fourth summit in the series focusing on the status of diversity in the California Judiciary and is co-sponsored by the California Judges Association, the California Lawyers Association and the Judicial Council of California.  Prior summits were convened in 2006, 2011 and 2016.  The 2021 Summit serves as a five-year review of accomplishments since 2016 and will encourage open dialogue on key issues and solutions impacting judicial diversity.    

This year, the Summit will take place over three consecutive Tuesdays in September:  September 14, 21 and 28 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Leading up to the Summit, we hosted a series of “pre-sessions” in August & September. These weekly educational sessions, planned by affinity associations, addressed different facets of the pathway to the bench.
The intended audience for the summit is judicial officers, attorneys, and law students.


Judicial Diversity Yesterday

The very first Judicial Diversity Summit pre-session was held on August 4, 2021. This pre-session offered an overview of the history of collaborative efforts to diversify and their impact since the first Summit took place in 2006.

Spread the Word

This event only happens once every five years, so we want to make sure all interested parties are aware of the opportunity to participate.  Please help us spread the word about this impactful multi-day event by circulating the event flyer and/or directing people to this web page.  Thank you in advance for your support and assistance!  #JDS2021


Register Now

Details about each event are noted below including occurrence, session descriptions, speakers, and registration information. Those who previously Pre-Registered for any of the events have since been automatically registered. Please check your inbox and/or spam/junk folders for an automated message from Zoom (no-reply@zoom.us) for your unique link to join the live session. If you cannot locate this message, please go ahead and register again to get a new access link. We encourage you to add your unique access information to your calendars for safe keeping.


September 28, 2021 @ 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Summit Day Three: Judicial Diversity Tomorrow


Judicial Track – Elevation and Courtroom Assignments
This track for judicial officers only will include a discussion for judicial officers interested in elevation

  • Hon. Kevin Brazile, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. Lorna Alksne, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
  • Hon. Joshua Groban, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California
  • Hon. Teri Jackson, Presiding Justice of the First Appellate District, Division Five
  • Hon. Ann Moorman, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino

Attorney Track – Get Creative: Alternative Paths to the Bench 
This track, open to all attendees, will discuss alternative pathways to the bench, including running for judicial election in an open seat, or becoming a Commissioner or an Administrative Law Judge.  

  • Hon. Maria Evangelista, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco
  • Hon. Jayne Lee, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin
  • Hon. Terrie Roberts, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
  • Hon.  Kristin Rosi, Chief Administrative Law Judge for the California Department of Insurance

Keynote Address:

  • Luis Céspedes, Judicial Appointments Secretary, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

The California Lawyers Association is an approved State Bar of California MCLE provider.
The Judicial Council and the California Judges Association are approved providers of qualifying ethics elective credit.


Presented by the California Judges Association, California Lawyers Association, and Judicial Council of California.
Supported by the California Lawyers Foundation.

The summit and pre-events were planned with the assistance and collaboration of the following organizations:

Association of African American California Judicial Officers (AAACJO)
California Asian Pacific American Bar Association (Cal-APABA)
California Asian Pacific American Judges Association (CAPAJA)
California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), Judicial Section
California ChangeLawyers
California Judges Association (CJA)
California Indian Law Association (CILA)
California La Raza Lawyers Association
California Latino Judges Association (CLJA)
California Lawyers Association (CLA)
California Women Lawyers (CWL)
Disability Rights of California
Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), Orange County
Judicial Council of California
LGBT Judicial Officers of California (LGBT JOC)
McGeorge School of Law
SacLegal
Women of Color in Law, Inc.


Please contact us at JDS@calawyers.org if you have any questions about this event.
If you need an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact us at JDS@calawyers.org or (916) 516-1721 by July 20, 2021.


2021 Judicial Diversity Summit Past Programs

August 4, 2021 @ 5 – 6:30 p.m. | Judicial Diversity Yesterday: A Fireside Chat

Free event. No MCLE nor JCE credit offered.

This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

In 2006, the first Judicial Diversity Summit was held to assess and increase the diversity of California’s bench. Fifteen years later, the Summit continues to provide opportunities to develop effective strategies so that the bench meaningfully represents and reflects the rich diversity of Californians. This session will provide a history of our collaborative efforts to diversify and their impact.

Speakers:

  • Moderated by: Catherine Ongiri, Attorney, Judicial Council of California and Tristan Higgins, Attorney, CEO, Metaclusive LLC, California Lawyers Association
  • Hon. Brenda Harbin-Forte (Ret.), Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
  • Ruthe Ashley, Executive Director Emeritus California LAW
  • Patricia Lee, Board Member, California LAW; Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Public Education

August 11, 2021 @ 12 – 1:00 p.m. | Judicial Mentoring: Inside and Out

Free event.
1.0 Hr MCLE credit including 1.0 Hr of Elimination of Bias credit.
1.0 Hr JCE Minimum education requirements, expectations, or recommendations, including fairness and access, including 1.0 Hr Qualifying Judicial Ethics Elective Credit.

Want to know how you can get involved in a mentoring program to assist attorneys from diverse backgrounds to become judges? This session will provide an overview of judicial mentoring programs and opportunities for judges and attorneys across the state, both inside the courts and out in the communities they serve.

This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

Speakers:

  • Moderated by: Monique Jewett-Brewster, Attorney, Hopkins Carley, California Lawyers Association
  • Hon. Audra Mori, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, California Asian Pacific American Judges Association (CAPAJA)
  • Hon. Sergio Tapia II, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. Monica Wiley, Judge of the Superior Court California, County of San Francisco, California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), Judicial Section

August 18, 2021 @ 12 – 1:00 p.m. | Affinity Judicial Associations:  What are they, and what are they doing to increase diversity on the bench?

Free event. No MCLE nor JCE credit offered.

In 2020, California’s affinity judicial associations joined together to create the California Affinity Judicial Association Coalition (CAJAC).  This workshop will explore the work being undertaken by CAJAC and each affinity association to build networks, provide education, and increase diversity in the judiciary.  Speakers will discuss topics including mentorship programs; the vetting process for state and federal judicial applicants; resources available to lawyers and sitting judges; and how state and local bar associations can work with and learn from judicial affinity associations.     

This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

Speakers:

  • Moderated by: Michael Rhoads, Attorney, Co-Chair, SacLegal
  • Hon. Linda Colfax, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco , LGBT Judicial Officers of California (LGBT JOC)
  • Hon. Elizabeth Macias, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, California Latino Judges Association (CLJA)
  • Hon. Mark McCannon, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, California Association of Black Lawyers, Judicial Council (CABLJC)
  • Hon. Sonny Sandhu, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Stanislaus, California Asian Pacific American Judges Association (CAPAJA)
  • Hon. Laura Walton, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Association of African American California Judicial Officers (AAAJCO)

August 25, 2021 @ 12 – 1:00 p.m. | From the Cafeteria to the Courtroom: Creating the pathway for tomorrow’s legal professional

Free event. No MCLE nor JCE credit offered.

This distinguished panel of legal professionals, educational professionals, and other stakeholders will discuss the importance of outreach into the community to stimulate and inspire youth to seek careers in the legal profession. The session will cover efforts that are already being made to provide children with judicial role models early in their education, what obstacles these efforts face, and possible solutions to these obstacles.

This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Tristan Higgins, Attorney, CEO, Metaclusive LLC, California Lawyers Association and Blanca Quintero, Attorney, Women of Color in the Law, Inc.
  • Hon. Rupert Byrdsong, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, California Judges Association
  • Hon. Linda Colfax, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, LGBT Judicial Officers of California (LGBT JOC)
  • Hon. Robert Sanchez Dufour, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, LGBT Judicial Officers of California (LGBT JOC)
  • Hon. Elizabeth Macias, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, California Latino Judges Association (CLJA)

September 1, 2021 @ 12 – 1:00 p.m. | Increasing Diversity in Underrepresented Courts

Free event. 1.0 Hr MCLE credit including 1.0 Hr of Elimination of Bias. No JCE credit offered.

Increasing diversity in underrepresented courts is crucial in a state as diverse as California.  There are many issues to consider and numerous resources available for would-be applicants.  At this session, we will explore what has worked to help applicants in very diverse counties.   Hear from statewide bar leaders and judges in this important session.  

This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

Speakers:

  • Moderated by: Christopher Punongbayan, Executive Director, California ChangeLawyers
  • Hon. Raquel Marquez, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside
  • Christopher Arriola, Supervising Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney, California La Raza Lawyers Association
  • Naomi Dewey, Attorney, Trusted Legal, California Women Lawyers (CWL)

September 8, 2021 @ 12 – 1:00 p.m. | A Conversation on Barriers to the Bench

Free event. 1.0 Hr MCLE credit including 1.0 Hr of Elimination of Bias.
1.0 Hr Qualifying Judicial Ethics Elective Credit. This program is compliant with Rules of Court, 10.469(e) as education on fairness and access and unconscious bias. 

Have you ever doubted your abilities and felt like you did not belong in the legal profession?  Do you ever feel like advancing in your career is out of your reach? Learn more about barriers to the bench including what imposter syndrome is, how it can affect your competence and judgment as a lawyer and strategies for beginning to overcome.  Hear from three sitting judges on the barriers they experienced and overcame during their journey to the bench. The panel will also address strategies to overcome barriers.

This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

Speakers:

  • Moderated by: Adeyinka Glover, Attorney, Disability Rights of California
  • Hon. Jessica Delgado, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, LGBT Judicial Officers of California (LGBT JOC)
  • Hon. Victoria Kolakowski, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
  • Hon. Roderick Shelton, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), Judicial Section
  • Neha Sampat, CEO, GenLead|BelongLab

September 14, 2021 @ 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. | Summit Day One: Judicial Diversity Today


This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

Opening Remarks:

  • Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California
  • Hon. Thomas Delaney, President of the California Judges Association
  • Emilio Varanini, Attorney, President of the California Lawyers Association

Level Set:  How are We Doing? 
Hear a report from the co-chair and members of the Judicial Council of California’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness, Justice Luis Lavin, Judge Elizabeth Macias and Judge Yew, on the current state of judicial diversity, the work that has occurred since 2016 and why a diverse judiciary serves the public interest and improves public trust and confidence.

  • Hon. Luis Lavin, Associate Justice of the Second Appellate District
  • Hon. Elizabeth Macias, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange
  • Hon. Erica Yew, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Judicial Diversity:  A Facilitated Discussion on the Definition of Judicial Diversity

  • Michael Roosevelt, Senior Analyst, Judicial Council of California

September 21, 2021 @ 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. | Summit Day Two: What Works


This program has concluded. Access to program materials and the recording are forthcoming – thank you for your patience.

What is the Judicial Nominations Evaluation (JNE) Commission doing differently? 
Learn what the JNE Commission is doing differently since the last Summit

  • Stella Ngai, Attorney, Chair of the JNE Commission

California’s New Judicial Mentoring Program
Learn more about the new Statewide Judicial Mentoring Program, comprised of an Appellate Court Mentor Program and a Trial Court Mentor Program.  The initiative aims to demystify the appellate and trial court application process and improve transparency and accessibility for all members of the legal community throughout California, fostering the development of a qualified and diverse judicial applicant pool.  

  • Hon. Paul Bacigalupo, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles and Chair, California Judicial Mentor Program
  • Hon. Erica Yew, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Side Bar Conversation: The “Perceived” Glass Ceiling
In previous Judicial Diversity Summits, the “perceived glass ceiling,” was a reported perception by some attorneys and judicial officers that, in general, new judges, judges of color, and women judges are relegated to assignments that are under resourced and too often are not seen as pathways to local or branch-wide leadership. Such perceptions may deter attorneys in private practice and in the public sector from seeking judicial appointments. This “Side Bar” conversation will focus specifically on the experiences and perspectives of women and LGBTQ judges or justices on the bench and share what the judicial branch is currently doing to further the goal of a more diverse and representative judiciary.

  • Hon. Marsha Slough, Associate Justice of the Fourth Appellate District
  • Hon. Laura Walton, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. D. Zeke Zeidler, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

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