2012 marks the California Judicial Branch's 19th year recognizing extraordinary leadership and contributions to the administration of justice and promoting access to justice for every Californian.http://www.courts.ca.gov/4675.htm
Six individuals in five award categories were nominated by their peers and presented Distinguished Service Awards.
This year's ceremony included presentation of the Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award, a collaborative recognition sponsored by the Judicial Council, the State Bar, and the California Judges Association in association with the California Commission on Access to Justice.http://www.courts.ca.gov/4676.htm
Friends, family and associates of honorees are invited to attend the ceremony held in the Milton Marks Auditorium in the Ronald M. George State Office Complex in San Francisco.
Judge Steven Jahr, administrative director of the courts and secretary to the Judicial Council gathers with fellow council members before the ceremony.
This is the first ceremony for these Judicial Council members who were recently sworn in for three-year terms by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, chair of the council.
The Judicial Council event is supported by staff of the state's Administrative Office of the Courtshttp://www.courts.ca.gov/policyadmin-aoc.htm
Justice Laurie Zelon, pictured left, was honored with a Benjamin Aranda Award in 2010 and has worked very closely on access to justice issues with this year's honoree Mary Lavery Flynn, pictured right. Flynn is the director of legal services for the California State Bar.
Judge Wendy Lindley, an Orange County Superior Court judge for 18 years, is honored for her work that includes Drug Court, DUI Court, and Homeless Court. She was nominated by court executive officer Alan Carlson.
The awards ceremony coincides with the Judicial Council's end-of-the-year business meeting. Because these are Judicial Council awards, council members are not eligible for nomination.
California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and Administrative Director of the Courts Steven Jahr prepare to present the awards.
Justice Maria Rivera, last year's Aranda Award recipient, congratulates this year's honoree Judge Juan Ulloa from the Superior Court of Imperial County.
This year's awards included a special recognition for the contributions of our armed forces in expanding and defending access to justice. The 2012 Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award honors the late Captain Matthew Manoukian of the United States Marine Corps.
Members of the United States Marine Corps were in attendace to receive the Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award, awarded posthumously to Captain Matthew Patrick Manoukian.
Administrative Director of the Courts, Steven Jahr (retired), is secretary to the Judicial Council.
The chief justice serves as the leader of the state judicial branch and Chair of the Judicial Council of California.
For each award recipient, a brief video is played of accolades from their peers, including individuals who submitted nominations.
Early in his career, Judge Juan Ulloa, Superior Court of Imperial County, spent seven years as directing attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance. He accepts the Aranda Access to Justice Award.
Judge Ulloa gave recognition to the many he has worked with in the judicial branch and the non-profit sector.
The Aranda Access to Justice Award is presented collaboratively by the California Judges Association, the State Bar, the Judicial Council, and the California Commission on Access to Justice.
Judge Wendy Lindley helped start one of California's first collaborative courts focused on serving to combat veterans. The dedication of Judge Lindley and the Orange County court to veterans returning to their community are highlighted in this feature documentary:http://bit.ly/Z6OPba
Judge Lindley received the Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence.
Jody Patel, AOC Chief of Staff, was awarded the William C. Vickrey Leadership in Judicial Administration Award for her leadership as Interim Director of the AOC in 2011-2012.
Jody Patel served as Interim Administrative Director of the Courts for eight months prior to her appointment as Chief of Staff.
As second-in-command to the Administrative Director of the Courts, Jody Patel works very closely with the chief justice and helps coordinate the directives of the Judicial Council.
Mary Lavery Flynn, recipient of the Bernard E. Witkin Award, is known by accessibility advocates nationwide.
Mary Laverly Flynn has dedicated more than 32 years of service to identifying and spotlighting issues, and finding solutions, facing low-income persons accessing the justice system in California.
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye introduces the recipient of the Richard D. Huffman Justice for Children & Families Award.
Judge Steven Manley, Superior Court of Santa Clara County, is revered a leader in bringing the issues of children and families into the collaborative justice courts.
Judge Manley has served the California Courts for thirty years and is nationally known for his collaborative court leadership.
The Stanley Mosk Defender of Justice Award was the final award of the evening and honored Captain Matthew Patrick Manoukian.
Ceremony attendees stood in ovation to honor the Marine assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Pendleton, who died Aug. 10 in Afghanistan.
California Appeallate Court Associate Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, accepts the honor on behalf of her son.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Brooks, USMC, addressed the audience on behalf of the Marine Corps and commended Manoukian for his nobile leadership and for demonstrated commitment to his Marines.
Captain Manoukian's brother listens as the lieutenant recounts his last conversation with the marine. Manoukian was on his fourth tour in Afghanistan when he was killed.
Manoukian was serving in the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion and had received two Purple Hearts. Manoukian was the son of Santa Clara County Judge Socrates “Pete” Manoukian and Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian (center).
2012 Judicial Council award recipients.
Award honoree Jody Patel and husband Steve Patel and daughter Shamin Patel with Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Judge Steven Jahr.
Judge Wendy Lindley stands with her proud family.
The Manoukian family with members of Captain Manoukian's Special Operations Battalion
Mary Lavery Flynn's husband Michael (right) congratulates his wife for the deserved honor and recognition.
Nomination materials for the 2013 award cycle will be posted to the California Courts web site as they become available. Subscribe to the CalCourts Twitter feed for notification.