Leaked Transcript Indicates Vance Raye & Judge Peter McBrien Enabled Family Law Bar Control of Court in 1991
|Vance Raye and Peter J. McBrien were the|
architects of the current family court system.
In 1991, as a superior court judge, current 3rd District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Vance Raye partnered with controversial family court Judge Peter J. McBrien and attorneys from the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Section in establishing the current, dysfunctional Sacramento Family Court system, according to the sworn testimony of McBrien at his 2009 judicial misconduct trial before the Commission on Judicial Performance.
Behind closed doors and under oath, the judge provided explicit details about the 1991 origins of the present-day family court structure.
In essence, McBrien and Raye agreed to effectively privatize public court operations to the specifications of private-sector attorneys in exchange for not having to run the court's settlement conference program. The SCBA Family Law Section agreed to run the settlement program provided they were given effective control over most court policies and procedures, including local court rules.
As a result, the public court system was restructured to the specifications of local, private-sector attorneys, according to McBrien's testimony. To view McBrien's detailed description of the collusive public-private collaboration, posted online exclusively by SFCN, click here. To view an example of the same, current day collusion, click here.
The 1991 restructuring plan began with a road trip suggested by the family law bar:
"[T]he family law bar, and it was a fairly strong bar here in Sacramento, initiated the concept of a trip to Orange County and San Diego County to pick up some ideas about how their courts were structured. And myself and Judge Ridgeway and two family law attorneys made that trip and came back with various ideas of how to restructure the system," McBrien told the CJP. Click here to view.
|Sacramento Family Court judges and local, Sacramento Bar |
Association attorneys openly acknowledge their close relationship.
The judge omitted from the story the fact that the trip was initiated by the family law bar, and included two private-sector family law attorneys who took the county-paid tour with McBrien and the late Judge William Ridgeway. As the Daily Journal reported:
"Around 1990, McBrien and a few other Sacramento judges went on a statewide tour of family law courts. At the time there were continual postponements of trials.
'This is how we came up with the system today,' McBrien said. 'It was probably the best trip Sacramento County ever paid for.'
The judges changed the local system so that family law judges presided over both law and motion matters and trials, which used to be sent to a master calendar department and competed with criminal trials for scheduling.
'Now, if you're ready and unable to settle, chances are 99.9 percent that you are going out [to trial] the first time,' McBrien said. 'A lot of that is attributable to the willingness of the Sacramento bar to work as settlement counselors.'" Click here to view the Daily Journal report.To continue reading the rest of this article, visit our special, updated 3rd District Court of Appeal page. Click here. For more on the alleged collusion between judges and attorneys who also serve as Sacramento Superior Court temporary judges and work as settlement counselors, visit our special judge pro tems page. For additional posts about the people and issues in this report, click on the corresponding labels below.