26 August 2013

Hon. Laurie M. Earl To Receive Judicial Council Distinguished Service Award

Judge Laurie Earl Named as Recipient of Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence

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Judge Laurie M. Earl was named the 2013 winner of the
Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence.

Sacramento County Superior Court Presiding Judge Laurie Earl has been named as one of six winners in the 2013 Judicial Branch of California Awards. Earl was selected to receive the Ronald M. George Award for Judicial Excellence. The award honors members of the judiciary for their extraordinary dedication to the highest principles of the administration of justice. The award was previously called the Jurist of the Year Award. Earl will receive the award later this year at a special ceremony in San Francisco. Past winners include former Sacramento County Superior Court judge and 3rd District Court of Appeal Justice Arthur Scotland, and current Supreme Court Associate Justices Carol Corrigan and Ming Chin.  

According to the Judicial Council press release about the award:

Presiding Judge Laurie Earl, Superior Court of Sacramento County, chair of the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, was selected for her visionary and collaborative leadership and dedication in the groundbreaking effort over the past year to create greater equity in how funds are allocated among the 58 trial courts.

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Beginning in November 2012, Judge Earl led a working group that developed an unprecedented, innovative funding allocation formula that is empirically based, transparent, and fairer to all trial courts. The working group she led worked tirelessly and quickly, often meeting weekly or even more frequently over six months to develop and refine the model, consulting with trial court leaders statewide to achieve branchwide consensus on the new formula. Even courts that stood to lose funding as a result of implementing the new formula endorsed it, and it was unanimously approved by the Judicial Council in April 2013.

Judge Earl directly oversaw the effort and worked persistently, collaboratively, and constructively through many challenges to see the process through. Earlier this year, the Chief Justice appointed Judge Earl to continue overseeing the funding model’s implementation as co-chair of the new Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee.

Judge Earl was appointed to the bench in 2005, serving as both a general trial judge for civil and criminal matters and in a jail courtroom handling arraignments and pleas. In 2010, she served as assistant presiding judge, and in 2012 was elected by her colleagues to serve as presiding judge. In September 2012, Judge Earl was also appointed by the Chief Justice to a one-year term as chair of the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee, and in that capacity serves as an advisory, nonvoting member of the Judicial Council.

Judge Earl began her legal career in 1989 as an assistant public defender in Sacramento. In 1995, she became a deputy district attorney, where she handled cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, and homicide. In 2004, she was appointed to serve as senior assistant inspector general for the state of California, in charge of dependent review of investigations at the Department of Corrections. In 2005, she was recognized by her alma mater, Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, as Alumnus of the Year, and in 2010 was named Judge of the Year by the Capitol City Trial Lawyers.

For more SFCN coverage of Judge Laurie Earl, click here. For additional reporting on the people and issues in this post, click the corresponding labels below: