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This page contains contact information for the Judicial Committee of California La Raza Lawyers as well as statistics on current Judicial Appointments and Latino Judges in California. 

Only about 7% of all Judges in California are Latino, despite Judges being elected officials who are supposed to represent the population of their counties, and a Latino population in the state of nearly 40% Latino.

JUDICIAL COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Chris Arriola, Northern California, chrisarriola@yahoo.com

Eric Alderete, Southern California, emalderete@yahoo.com

Please contact one of the co-chairs to start your endorsement application.


The California La Raza Lawyers' Judicial Committee evaluates candidates for appointment to the State and Federal Courts in California. If you are a candidate for appointment or election to the Superior Court, we recommend you start with your local affiliate association (see the LINKS page) and have them request a letter from the Statewide. For Federal and Appellate Courts, you may apply directly with the Committee Chairs above. (See Polices and Procedures below)

 

APPOINTMENT STATISTICS: ·  Governors’ History of Latino Appointments: 
Brown II                                    20%      
Schwarzenegger                       10% 
Governor Davis:                       14%
Governor Wilson:                     5%
Governor Deukmejian:            5%
Governor Brown:                      9% 
·        There are presently only 4 Latinos on the Appellate Courts in California out of approximately 105 positions.  
·        There are approximately 120 Latino Judges on the Superior Court out of over 1700 positions or 7%.  About  a quarter of these are eligible for retirement.  The numbers are declining.  Of those only about 31 are women. 
·        Many smaller counties have never had Latino judges, let alone a Latina. 
·        Marin County is the largest county which has never had a Latino judge with 250,000 people and 15% Latinos.   
·        Latinos presently make up only 4-5% of California Lawyers, but over 33% of the population of the State. 
·        While that is a relative small number of attorneys it is still well over 6,000 in number, a huge pool for selection given the relative small number of judicial positions. 
·        The California State Bar Projects that by 2020 Latinos will still be only 5.7% California attorneys but well over 40% of the state. 

 

 

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
GOVERNING JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS
OF
CALIFORNIA LA RAZA LAWYERS ASSOCIATION

I. POLICIES
A. Goals
The principal goal of the California La Raza Lawyers Association (the “Association”) in endorsing candidates for judgeships is to ensure the election or appointment of qualified judges to local, state and federal courts. Consistent with that goal, the Association also seeks to increase the number of Latinos appointed to judgeships. The Association endorses candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to equal treatment of all litigants and who have demonstrated involvement with, support of and responsiveness to Latino issues, needs and concerns.
B. Guidelines And Parameters
1. The Judiciary Committee.
The Association will appoint a Chair of the Committee. The Chair and the President shall appoint four Chairs, one for each of four District Committees: Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern. Each District Committee shall parallel each of the four federal districts. Each District Chair will coordinate with local bar associations, members of the Latino legal community and the Hispanic National Bar Association to form a District Judiciary Committee. Each District Chair will report to the Chair of the Committee (the “Committee”).
Each District Committee will be primarily responsible for assessing the qualifications of candidates for judicial positions situated in each District and recommending to the Board whether such candidates should receive the endorsement of the Association. The Committee will also be responsible for follow-up communication with the relevant agency making the judicial appointment, if applicable.
2. Criteria for Endorsement.
(a) Qualifications. In deciding whether to endorse a judicial candidate, the Association will consider the following factors, among other things:
(i) the extent to which a candidate has demonstrated involvement with, support of and responsiveness to Latino issues, needs and concerns;
(ii) litigation, adjudicative, administrative or professional experience;
(iii) demonstrated commitment to equal opportunity and equal justice under the law;
(iv) scholarship and oral and written communication skills;
(v) integrity, character and common sense; and
(vi) membership in and demonstrated support of local bar associations and community organizations, including, but not limited to, those related to the Latino community.
(b) Statutory Criteria. The Association will endorse only candidates who have satisfied the statutory requirements for the position sought.
3. Rating Levels.
There will be no rating levels of candidates (e.g., qualified, very qualified, etc.) Rather, the Association will endorse candidates who have demonstrated satisfaction of the criteria listed in Section I.B.2. Generally, the Association will take no position regarding a candidate if it chooses not to endorse that candidate; however, the Association may oppose a candidate whom it believes should not be elected or appointed.
4. Number of Endorsements Per Position.
The Association may endorse as many candidates as exist who meet its criteria for any particular judgeship.
II. PROCEDURES
A. Procedure For Application.
Candidates seeking an endorsement must comply with the following procedures:
1. Inform either (i) a Board member of the Association or (ii) a member of the Committee of his/her intent to request the Association’s endorsement. Upon notification of this request, the Chair or appropriate District Chair will forward to the candidate these policies and procedures and a Personal Data Questionnaire (a “Questionnaire”).
2. Obtain endorsement or its equivalent from the local La Raza lawyers affiliate in the candidate’s district.
3. Forward the following information to the Chair or District Chair:
(a) title of the position sought;
(b) any external deadline(s) relevant to the candidate’s application;
(c) name, title and address of the person to whom endorsement letter should be sent;
(d) résumé and other materials the candidate considers relevant to his/her qualifications;
(e) brief writing sample or a published opinion, if applicable; and
(f) completed Questionnaire.
B. Procedure For Assessment
1. Upon receipt of the above information, the District Committee will assess and conduct due diligence in establishing the candidate’s qualifications based on the criteria set forth in Section I.B.2.
2. The District Committee shall confirm the local affiliate’s endorsement and/or support of the candidate. With respect to candidates for judicial appointment, the local affiliates’ endorsement and/or support shall be given great weight. With respect to candidates for judicial election, the local affiliates’ endorsement and/or support shall be a prerequisite to the Association’s endorsement. In either case, if the local affiliate is still in the process of evaluating a candidate, the Association shall provide the affiliate with a reasonable amount of time under the circumstances to complete its review before acting. The Association reserves the right not to be bound by the decision of any local affiliate.
3. Upon completion of the assessment described above, the District Committee may, in its discretion, interview the candidate. The District Committee will then present its recommendation to the Board concerning the candidate’s application, accompanied by any application materials the District Committee deems appropriate.
4. Following the Committee’s presentation, the Board may make an endorsement decision regarding the candidate at a regularly scheduled Board meeting or by telephonic conference call as needed to expedite the process. Notwithstanding this Section II.B.2, an endorsement decision may be made by concurrence of the following:
(a) Recommendation by the Judiciary Committee; and
(b) A majority of the Executive Board of the Association.
III. CONFIDENTIALITY
The Association will hold and treat in strict confidence all documents submitted by the candidate and will limit disclosure to Board or Committee members. The Committee shall obtain prior approval from the candidate in the event any other individual or organization requests any such materials for judicial evaluation purposes.