gavel.jpgVeteran San Francisco Superior Court Judge Patrick Mahoney, who served the court in an array of leadership positions, announced today he is retiring on Jan. 18.

Mahoney, who will turn 70 at the end of the month, was appointed to the trial court in 2000 by Gov. Gray Davis after working for three decades on complex civil litigation at a private law firm and at the city attorney’s office.

He has most recently served as supervising judge of the Superior Court’s Unified Family Court.

The unified court was established in 1997 to improve coordination of services to families and children in the legal system. It combines the former family law department, which includes divorce, custody and child support matters, with the former juvenile dependency and juvenile delinquency departments.

Mahoney also served in the court’s civil law and motion department, as a trial judge in criminal cases and as the presiding judge of the former juvenile division.

He has been a member of the state Judicial Council’s Juvenile Justice Education Committee.

Mahoney said the family court service was “interesting, rewarding and challenging” and commented, “I am especially proud of the contribution I have made in the area of helping families and children in crisis.”

He said one of his initiatives on the family court was to convene task forces of representatives of city agencies to look at ways of solving particular issues concerning families and children in the legal system.

“I’ve always said that one power we as judges have is that if we ask people to come to meetings, they will come,” he said.

Mahoney plans to go into a private mediation and arbitration practice after leaving the bench, he said.

His replacement will be appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Mahoney’s retirement will leave six vacancies on the 52-member court.

The San Francisco court roster includes two new judges appointed by Brown on Dec. 27, who took office on Dec. 31.

They are former criminal defense lawyer Brendan Conroy and former Assistant District Attorney Braden Woods.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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