The California Judicial Council named two judges to
receive its annual Jurist of the Year Awards. James A. Ardaiz, presiding justice of the
5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno, and Orange County Superior Court Judge Kathleen E.
OLeary were to receive the awards this month at the annual California Judicial
Administration Conference in San Francisco.
For two years, Ardaiz headed the Task Force on Trial Court Employees,
which recently completed its recommendations to the legislature on how to establish a
separate personnel system for trial court employees.
OLeary presided over the unification of Orange Countys
trial courts and is serving a third year as presiding judge.
The Judicial Council also was to present Judicial Administration
Awards to Fritz Ohlrich, court administrator for the Los Angeles municipal court, and Kiri
Torre, assistant executive officer of the Santa Clara County superior courts.
Retired Justice Elwood Lui of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los
Angeles will receive the Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award, which honors non-judges
for outstanding contributions to the California courts.
Lui has served as special master for the State Bars discipline
system for the past year.