Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Officer John (Jack) A. Clarke recently announced his retirement effective March 31, 2013, culminating a very productive and active 18 year career with the court. Previously, Mr. Clarke served as the Trial Court Executive for the Superior Court in Essex Vicinage (Greater Newark) New Jersey, that state’s largest court.
The Los Angeles Superior Court has a solid history of professional court leadership dating back to one of the first court administrators on the national scene, Edward Gallas. The court is also one of the founding members of National Conference and has played a prominent role in the work of the Conference over the last 50 years.
Hon. Lee Smalley Edmon, the court’s former presiding judge (2010-2012), has been asked by her successor, Hon David Wesley, to chair a search committee for a new Executive Officer. Inquiries by interested parties will be kept confidential. The LA position is one of the most coveted such jobs in courts as well as a highly challenging one. The court provides services to over 9.8 million residents through 47 court facilities, 550 bench officers and 4,600 full-time staff. In January 2000, the Los Angeles Municipal and Superior Courts combined resulting in one of the largest single, unified jurisdictions in the nation.
Aside from size and access to justice issues, budget reductions have plagued all California courts since the Great Recession hit five years ago. Budget cuts continue to loom on the horizon. But, most agree, courts nationwide, as well as other public and private institutions, are in a transformational period; California’s is just more protracted and deeper at the moment.
There are many more positives then negatives in the future for the California Judicial Branch. It is especially so for the LA Superior Court where there has been a consistent series of exceptional leadership judges that continually agree to lead; a first-rate, dedicated court administration and technical staff; numerous innovative programs instituted by the court; and a “can do” attitude on the part of the judges and staff.
So, as you get a moment, think of those you may know that may be interested and accomplished to the point that they could continue the tradition of skilled, capable leadership in day-to-day court operations for this prominent and important court. The LA judges and staff would be greatly appreciative. Judge Edmon may be reached at Los Angeles Superior Court, 600 South Commonwealth, Dept 322, Los Angeles, Ca 90005. Telephone: 213-351-8671. Email: