WEBINAR: Judiciary Under Attack… Confronting Disinformation, Fake News, and Online Assaults

On November 17, 2022, NAPCO facilitated a Webinar: Judiciary Under Attack…
Confronting Disinformation, Fake News, and Online Assaults

False statements, fake news and slanderous attacks on judicial officers and decisions made by them have increased both in number and intensity at an alarming rate. In a recent survey by the National Judicial College, 71% of all judges said they have received intimidating communications related to them; 56% have received threats.

In 38 states, local and state trial judges are popularly elected, a practice virtually unknown to the rest of the world. And because of Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, many are elected in heavily financed, often vitriolic campaigns – campaigns that literally invite pandering to special interests and portend built-in conflicts of interest once judges reach the bench. Not to mention the tenor of the campaigns themselves!

Without question, the American court system performs a vital adjudicatory and final decision-making function for the American public, which necessarily includes politically-charged and emotional issues. Moreover, the escalation of attacks toward the judiciary poses grave consequences if left unchecked.

This 75-minute webinar explores what state and local judicial systems can do to address unjustifiable attacks on trial judges, the vital role of the judiciary in our tripartite democracy, and how trial court leaders can be part of the effort to mitigate unconscionable attacks on judges.


  • Hon. Maria Hernandez, Assistant Presiding Judge Superior Court of California, County of Orange


  • Hon. James Brandlin (ret.), Director of Public Safety, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Mr. Anthony Pacheco, Vedder Price International Law Firm (Los Angeles Office), Litigation – White Collar Criminal Defense – Media Crisis Management
  • Mr. Alberto Martinez, Director, Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center
  • Sgt. Brian Gunsolly, Community Programs, Orange County California Sheriff’s Office
  • Mr. Justin Mammen, Manager, Emergency Response & Security Services, Superior Court of California, County of Orange
  • Mr. Darren Toms, President, Conference of Court Public Information Officers; Court PIO, Cuyahoga County Ohio (Cleveland)