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Judge James Herman

Judge Herman currently presides over a criminal trial department.  Appointed to the Santa Barbara Superior Court in 2005, Judge Herman is past Presiding Judge of the Court.  Former assignments include Juvenile Presiding Judge, criminal trials, Civil Supervising Judge, probate and family law and the Appellate Division.  He has served as a member of the Court's executive committee and chaired its Technology Committee. As Juvenile Presiding Judge, he established a dependency drug court for parents at risk.

Judicial Professional Activities: Member, Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee (2015 to present); Member, Executive Board, California Commission on Access to Justice; Member, Judicial Council of California (Chair, Technology Committee: Vice Chair, Policy, Coordination and Liaison Committee) (2010-2014); Chair, Court Case Management System General Administrative Advisory Committee (2010-2012); Court Technology Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council of California (2007-2010); Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee (2006-2007); Public Access to Judicial Administrative Records working group (2009); Vice Chair, AB 2073 Mandatory E filing working group; California Judges' Association Executive Board (2009-2012). CJA Legislative Relations, Juvenile Judges, ADR, Annual Meeting and Midyear Meeting Education Planning Committees and CJA Foundation Board.  Diversity Pipeline Judicial Working Group (2005-2006); University of California Legal Education Advisory Subcommittee (2005-2006); Founding President, Rodney S. Melville Inn of Court; Founding Master, William Gordon Inn of Court; Bernard E. Witkin Judicial College Seminar Leader; CJER and CJA Instructor on topics including jury management, juvenile dependency, perils of social networking, and technology; Education Chair, California Supreme Court Santa Barbara County Special Session.

Legal Practice: Complex commercial litigation practice with offices in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles (1984-2005): Deputy Public Defender, Riverside, San Diego (Defenders Inc.) and Santa Barbara Counties (1976-1984).  Expert witness, legal malpractice standards of care; arbitrator; judge pro tem; teen court judge; mediator and settlement master.

Lawyer Professional Activities: President, the State Bar of California (2002-2003); Lawyer Representative, Judicial Council of California (2004-2005); Member,  State Bar Board of Governors (1998-2002) Chair, Planning, Program Development and Budget Committee (2001-2002),  Member, Committee on Regulation and Discipline, the Legislative and Courts Committee; State Bar Liaison to the California Judges Association and the Litigation, Real Estate, Intellectual Property and Labor Law Sections of the State Bar; Chair, Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission Appellate Review Panel (1999-2001), Member, Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Judges Application Review Panel (2002-2003); Board Member, Foundation of the State Bar (2000-2005); Founding President, Central Coast Chapter, Federal Bar Association (2004-2005);  Board Member, Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Santa Barbara (2003-2005)and Fighting Back,  Santa Maria (2005-2009); Advisory Board Member,  California Rural Legal Assistance and Santa Barbara Legal Aid Foundation (1998-2005); Trustee, California Western Law School;  Board Member, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers (1999-2001); President, Santa Barbara County Bar Association (1998-1999).

Lecturer and writer on jury selection,  evidence, litigation skills, professional responsibility, ethics and elimination of bias for CEB, PLI, CAOC, CJA, CJER and other bar and community groups.

Honors and Awards: Court Appointed Special Advocates "Light of Hope" Award (2011); Santa Barbara County Community Action Commission's Community Action Champion (2011); Judicial Council's Bernard E. Witkin Distinguished Service Amicus Curiae Award (2004); The State Bar of California's Diversity in the Profession Award; the Bench Bar Coalition and the California Association of Local Bars Special Merit Award; the Santa Barbara County Bar Association's Justice Richard Abbe Humanitarian Award; Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), California Western Law School;; the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Albert Julius Boeseke Founder's Award;  Santa Barbara County Legal Secretaries 2005 Judge of the Year,  Congressional and California Legislative recognition for service to the community and the profession.

Education & Personal: University of California at Santa Barbara (BA 1971); California Western Law School (JD 1975); New York University School of Law (LLM 1976--Robert Marshall and Jacob Fuchsberg Fellow); certificate in Chinese Mandarin,  Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California.  Delegation leader, professional exchange visits to the People's Republic of China, South Africa and the United Kingdom through the State Bar Litigation Section's Week in Legal London.  Judicial Member, San Francisco Shanghai Sister Cities Delegation.

COOK Division

Judge Herman presides over
Dept. 1 in the Santa Maria
Cook Division.


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