Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
With forced furloughs looming at San Francisco Superior Court, judges may be swearing in witnesses themselves starting next month. Beginning Sept. 10, the court expects to have 25 percent fewer clerical staff every Friday, the court announced Monday. A variety of divisions will feel the ripple effects. There will probably be only one clerk available for every two criminal courtrooms on Fridays after 2 p.m., said Judge Mary Morgan, who supervises the criminal division. “Things may move more slowly,” but criminal courtrooms won’t go dark, Morgan emphasized. “If a judge has a trial, the trial will proceed,” she said. If necessary, a judge can swear in witnesses, attorneys can physically mark evidence, and a clerk can update the minutes later based on the transcript, she added. In the civil division, many courtrooms are expected to go dark on Fridays at 2 p.m., according to the court. (Civil courtrooms have been going dark on Wednesday afternoons for months.) The court will also eliminate one traffic calendar and one small claims calendar on Friday afternoons, said court Chief Executive Officer Gordon Park-Li. Outside of courtrooms, the furloughs will also affect filing offices and public access to court records. The public viewing counter at the civil courthouse will close at 2:30 p.m. on Fridays. And the Unified Family Court’s filing office will close every weekday at 3 p.m., the court said. Parties will still be able to get papers for the family court stamped with the same date if they drop them off in a box by 4 p.m., Park-Li said. Over the last two years, the court has taken a variety of steps to save money, including a hiring freeze and voluntary furloughs, plus trimmed hours in the civil division for courtrooms, filing windows and the public viewing counter. So far, the courts have avoided layoffs, said Human Resources Director Cheryl Martin. The mandatory furloughs are coming about now because, for the first time in several years, the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System is requiring the court to make employer contributions, Martin said. Court officials say they don’t have the money. But under a recent contract with one union, the court can require up to 320 clerical staff to take 10 unpaid days off each this fiscal year to cover the cost, Martin said.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

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 © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.