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Temporary Judge Program Basics

An attorney that volunteers his or her time and is trained to hear and decide cases. Also called a "judge pro tem".
The information regarding Requirements and Application to become a Temporary Judge are available online. If you have questions after reading these sections, you can go to the Contact Us section for the contact information.
Yes, you need to be a member in good standing for ten (10) years.
Yes, In order to serve or continue to serve as a Temporary Judge, two courses are mandatory – Ethics, and Bench Conduct and Demeanor. Ethics can be taken online; however, applicants must attend the Bench Conduct and Demeanor training in person. In addition, an additional class from one or more of the following areas must be completed before an attorney can be certified and assigned: Temporary Judges can only sit in courtrooms which handle matters in which they have been trained and certified.

Temporary Judge Assignments

Yes, if approved to sit as a Temporary Judge, you are required to sit a minimum of four (4) times each year.
This depends on the needs of the Court. In the application, you are asked to state your preference for subject matter and location. In addition you can tell us how often you are available to sit on assignment. Once you are certified to sit as a Temporary Judge, we will try to assign you according to your preferences. If you believe you are being assigned too often or not enough, you can go to the Contact Us section for the contact information and call to discuss the matter. You are performing a valuable service to the Superior Court and we will, of course, try to accommodate your schedule.
There are a number of reasons why you may not be called as often as you would like. It could be that the locations you have specified as your preferences does not use Temporary Judges as often as other locations. You may have to expand your list of preferred locations. It could also be that the areas of substantive law in which your are certified do not require the use of a Temporary Judge as often as others. Traffic is our most requested area of law. We also try to spread the assignments among all of the certified Temporary Judges, so that everyone who has been certified has an opportunity to sit.
If you are a criminal prosecutor or criminal defense attorney, you will not be assigned to a traffic courtroom. If your practice is unlawful detainers and 90% of it is representing landlords or tenants exclusively, you will not be assigned to an unlawful detainer courtroom. You are otherwise eligible to serve in other subject matter areas after you have completed the required training.

Performing as Temporary Judge

We occasionally receive complaints about Temporary Judges. The Temporary Judge Committee, made up of judges and commissioners of the Court, investigates and responds to every complaint. You will be notified if a complaint has been logged against you and your input may be requested during the investigation. Every court proceeding handled by a Temporary Judge is electronically recorded and the recording may be used in the investigation of complaints.
Yes. The eligibility period for serving as a Temporary Judge pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 2.812, is valid for a three-year period. At the conclusion of the three-year period, a renewal application must be submitted in order to continue serving as a Temporary Judge. Attorneys renewing their status as a Temporary Judge are also required to provide verification of the mandatory Bench Conduct and Demeanor and Ethics training and one substantive matter. To avoid a gap in your service, you should keep track of these dates independently.
Yes, you can receive Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credits for your coursework to as a Temporary Judge.

Attorneys participating in the Temporary Judge Program may never use the title "Judge", "Judge Pro Tem" or "Temporary Judge" in any advertising, nor on a business card, stationery or ballot designation. In addition, attorneys participating in the program may neither take nor disseminate for any reason photographs of themselves in judicial robes. This policy is not intended to preclude attorneys serving as Temporary Judges from describing their service to the court in resumes, applications or other similar documents. Nevertheless, it is intended to protect the public from believing that you are a judicial officer of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The Superior Court takes this policy and any infraction of it very seriously. For further information, see California Code of Judicial Ethics, Canon 6D.(9)(a)+(b).

The entire Court appreciates your volunteer hours, which assist us in serving the public. Please note that your service does not create an employment relationship with the Superior Court. It is important to remember that you perform this valuable service at the discretion of the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court.

Attorneys volunteer their time to serve as Temporary Judges which is an integral part of the Court system providing a valuable service to the court. This web page provides information about the temporary judge program.
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"Raw Café" by Pebbla Wallace
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