Superior Court Judges Invite the Public to Community Forum Thursday, May 14

The judges of San Francisco Superior Court are inviting the public to an unusual “Meet the Judges” community forum on Thursday afternoon, May 14.

The event, co-hosted by the San Francisco Bar Association, will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Hastings College of the Law’s Alumni Reception Center at 200 McAllister St.

The purpose is to enable San Franciscans to meet some of the court’s trial judges and gain information on some general legal topics.

“This is a unique opportunity for judges to meet the constituents they serve and to answer their questions,” said Presiding Judge John Stewart.

“As presiding judge of the San Francisco Superior Court, I would like to personally invite San Franciscans to attend,” Stewart said.

The evening will begin with a panel of approximately 10 judges who will each speak for about five minutes on a topic of law or court processes, according to court spokeswoman Ann Donlan.

The subjects will include family law; housing law; obtaining restraining orders in civil harassment cases; traffic court; small claims court; jury service and the court’s self-help center, among others.

Stewart and Bar Association President Timothy Moppin will moderate the panel.

After the presentations, the judges will answer written questions from the audience for about 45 minutes on topics concerning the court, the services it provides and procedures. The questions will be reviewed by volunteer attorneys before being given to the judges.

Under ethics rules, judges are not allowed to comment on specific cases, but they can speak on general subjects.

The panel will be followed by a 7 p.m. reception with the judges. Light refreshments will be served.

Four regional lawyers’ groups are co-sponsoring the forum. They are the Filipino, Korean American, South Asian and Vietnamese American bar associations of Northern California.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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