Breaking and associated brands will be offline for scheduled maintenance Friday Feb. 26 9 PM US EST to Saturday Feb. 27 6 AM EST. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Apparently forgetting the rule that he who represents himself has a fool for a client, San Francisco Superior Court Judge James McBride appeared pro per Tuesday for a hearing in his ongoing divorce proceeding. The judge argued that he should not be held in contempt for allegedly violating a court order. His ex-wife, Elaine Collins, accuses him of violating their financial and child custody agreements. McBride countered that his former spouse kept valuables, such as $20,000 worth of his mother’s silver and also records, artworks and “jewelry of sentimental value.” He also accused her of refusing to answer questions under oath at a deposition in related legal matters. The nearly four-hour hearing before retired Superior Court Judge Roderick Duncan offered an unusual peek into the private life of a superior court judge. The hearing was the latest chapter in a nasty divorce battle between McBride and Collins that has spawned a spate of lawsuits and nearly resulted in the judge facing domestic violence charges, which could have cost him his job. Although they’ve been divorced for about two years, McBride and Collins return regularly to courtrooms to snipe at each other and ask for modifications in their stipulated divorce judgment. On Tuesday both appeared in court but neither would look at the other. Duncan continued the contempt matter but decided other disputes between McBride and Collins, now a law student at Boalt Hall School of Law. In her contempt petition, Collins alleges that McBride violated their child custody agreement on several occasions. Neither Duncan nor McBride liked Collins’ suggestion that the couple’s three children be brought to court to corroborate her allegations. “I’m appalled by the thought of bringing a child in here and asking him to testify that his dad violated a court order,” said Duncan, a former Alameda County family law judge. McBride asked the court to resist calling his children to testify. He questioned “the materiality” of what they would say. “I would ask the court to examine the issues of having the children testify,” he said. “They know what is going on in general and that knowledge will crystallize when they’re brought down here.” Duncan told both parents to refrain from making “disparaging remarks” about the other in front of their children. Duncan also refused to stay the part of the financial settlement that requires McBride to pay $75,000 into a college fund for his children. “I don’t have the money to pay,” the judge pleaded. He said he would have to sell his Marin County house and pay capital gains that will bite into the sale proceeds. McBride was also named a defendant by Collins in a personal injury complaint filed in October 2001 in Sonoma County, alleging he hit her. He cross-complained that she cut and scratched him. McBride asked Tuesday that the case be transferred to San Francisco, since the alleged incidents occurred here. Duncan indicated that he probably had authority to consolidate the legal matters. Additionally, McBride has sued his divorce lawyer for alleged malpractice by exposing him to spousal abuse charges and faulty financial claims. His former attorney, solo Jill Hersh, has cross-complained that McBride still owes her $63,000 in attorneys fees. After being arrested in May 1999 in a domestic violence dispute with Collins — the source of their cross-complaints — McBride completed a year of anger management. He avoided entering a plea by agreeing to the diversion program.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.