California Lawyers Association Family Law Section 2020 Court Staff Award Presented to Trina Blackshire
Trina Blackshire began at the court sometime in the late 1990s, after having been a paralegal at a local family law office. Always having an interest in assisting parties in getting through the system, Trina started in the facilitator’s office answering phones and doing workshops for self-represented litigants. When changes were made in the facilitator’s office, she moved to the commissioner side of the program and became a court specialist. There she works with DCSS litigants as well as making sure the court meets all the DCSS grant requirements. She organizes conference attendance, manages timesheets, organizes the mandatory quarterly meetings between the court and DCSS, as well as other various administrative duties. She has become the DCSS point person.
The other part of her job is essentially working as liaison between the court staff and litigants. She participates in the courtroom on days where the calendar is litigant filed motions, mainly child custody and child support matters. She reviews the matters with the bench office and clerk to highlight procedural problems. She assists litigants with procedural issues, helps them figure out what needs to be done to get their issue before the court, looks for companion cases, helps to determine proper venue for which issues (not so easy in DCSS cases), and prepares FOAHs on non-child support issues. She also explains service and prepares reissuances when needed. She will follow up with individual litigants if needed either by phone or in person. If she has time on the calendar, she acts as a mediator to work out issues and will write up stipulations. Literally, whatever it takes to help each and every litigant that comes through her assigned court room, she does it.
Trina has never been just an employee. She has a vision of what the family law system is really all about and has lived that vision for well over twenty years now.