To the Court, We Say, Thank You

Since the year 1850, Contra Costa has had over 130 judges. Over these many years, these judges had different titles and differing types of courts over which they presided. These courts were known as District Courts, County Courts, Court of Sessions, Justices’ Courts, Recorder’s Court, Mayors Court, Judges of the Plains, Municipal Courts and, finally, in 1998, with the unification of all these courts, the Superior Court of Contra Costa County.  Yet, regardless of the type of court, the role and responsibilities of the judges remained the same. Judges were and continue to be obliged to be impartial and unbiased in decision making – not an easy task in some situations. 

As the Contra Costa County Bar Association marks its 90th Anniversary, we have this opportunity to acknowledge, celebrate and highlight the critical and, at times, deeply underappreciated role of the judges in the justice system.  Oftentimes, judges are unrecognized for the pivotal role they play in our system of justice. Without them, however, justice could not be achieved. We here at CCCBA are very honored and proud of the relationship we have built with the Contra Costa Superior Court bench.  We appreciate the opportunity to hold Bench/Bar meetings, host judges as special guest speakers at many of our programs and provide opportunities for the bench and the legal community to gather, socialize, and break bread together. These experiences provide a foundation on which both the judges and the attorneys can strive to ensure justice and fair resolution for the parties involved in legal proceedings. 

When it comes to acknowledging your impact and imprint in our community, “Thank You” just doesn’t seem to cut it.  For, even though we often say “thank you, your honor” after you rule against us, it is safe to say we do not always mean it when we say it!  Outside of the courtroom, beyond the ruling, however, we do mean it.  This edition of Contra Costa Lawyer is dedicated to the judges, past and present, that have served the Contra Costa Community. 

The thanks above would also not be possible without captured totality, history, impact and stories of the court that inform this edition of the magazine.   And that would not be possible without the assistance, support and incredible guidance of the Contra Costa County Historical Society.  We are grateful for their careful capture and curation of our local judicial history.