Family Law

Family Law News Issue 3, 2021, Volume 43, No. 3

2021 Judicial Officer of the Year Honorable Jerilyn Borack, Sacramento County

By Sherry Peterson, CFLS

The Family Law Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association is honored to confer the 2021 Judicial Officer of the Year award to the Honorable Jerilyn Borack for her outstanding service to the practice of family law. The award is intended to recognize excellence on the Family Law bench. Focus is paid to outstanding service to the practice of Family Law, career achievements, or a distinguishing singular act or performance of the nominee.

Judge Borack’s commitment to improving access to and quality of justice for families and children in California’s court has been tireless and decades long. Family law practitioners are somewhat rare on the bench, as compared to those who practiced in criminal law or general civil litigation, and Judge Borack has been aware that many of her colleagues insufficiently appreciated the professional, legal, and intellectual challenges and joys of serving in a family law assignment. She has also been acutely aware that increasing numbers of self-represented litigants seeking remedies for family law matters required a new orientation for the court system and the bench to ensure due process and continued access to the family courts. As a result, every time the Judicial Council was seeking bench officers to serve on statewide committees and task forces aimed at improving the practices and procedures in family courts, she stepped up and has been willing to serve.

She has served on the Judicial Council’s standing Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee since 2003, and was the Family Law co-chair from 2005 to 2012, when she moved to become the Juvenile Law co-chair. In her sixteen years as a Chair of the committee, she has overseen the committee’s substantial work in developing and refining forms for all areas of family law that are more easily accessible to self-represented litigants, while safeguarding integrity of the legal process. Likewise, on behalf of the bench, she guided the committee in reviewing legislation with an impact on family and juvenile courts to ensure that bench officers can fulfill their statutory obligations and protect families and children.

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