|     printer icon  Printer-friendly version of this page

2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 10.462. Minimum education requirements and expectations for trial court judges and subordinate judicial officers

(a) Applicability

All California trial court judges must complete the minimum judicial education requirements for new judges under (c)(1) and are expected to participate in continuing education as outlined under (d). All subordinate judicial officers must complete the minimum education requirements for new subordinate judicial officers under (c)(1) and for continuing education as outlined under (d). All trial court judges and subordinate judicial officers who hear family law matters must complete additional education requirements set forth in rule 10.463. All trial court judges and subordinate judicial officers who hear certain types of matters must participate in education on domestic violence issues as provided in rule 10.464. All trial court judges and subordinate judicial officers regularly assigned to hear probate proceedings must complete additional education requirements set forth in rule 10.468. All trial court judges and subordinate judicial officers should participate in more judicial education than is required and expected, related to each individual's responsibilities and particular judicial assignment or assignments and in accordance with the judicial education recommendations set forth in rule 10.469.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2012; previously amended effective January 1, 2008.)

(b) Definitions

Unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, "subordinate judicial officers" as used in this rule means subordinate judicial officers as defined in rule 10.701.

(c) Content-based requirements

(1)Each new trial court judge and subordinate judicial officer must complete the "new judge education" provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts' Education Division/Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) as follows:

(A)The New Judge Orientation Program within six months of taking the oath as a judge or subordinate judicial officer. For purposes of the New Judge Orientation Program, a judge or subordinate judicial officer is considered "new" only once, and any judge or subordinate judicial officer who has completed the New Judge Orientation Program, as required under this rule or under former rule 970, is not required to complete the program again. A judge or subordinate judicial officer who was appointed, elected, or hired before rule 970 was adopted on January 1, 1996, is not required to complete the program.

(B)An orientation course in his or her primary assignment (civil, criminal, family, juvenile delinquency or dependency, probate, or traffic) within one year of taking the oath as a judge or subordinate judicial officer; and

(C)The B. E. Witkin Judicial College of California within two years of taking the oath as a judge or subordinate judicial officer, unless the new judge completed the Judicial College as a new subordinate judicial officer, in which case the presiding judge may determine whether the new judge must complete it again.

(2)Each judge beginning a supervising judge role is expected to complete the following education, unless he or she is returning to a similar supervising judge role after less than two years in another assignment or is beginning a supervising judge role less than two years after serving in the presiding judge role and completing the Presiding Judges Orientation and Court Management Program.

(A)For a judge who has administrative responsibility, CJER's Supervising Judges Overview course within one year of beginning the supervising judge role, preferably before beginning the role;

(B)For a judge who has calendar management responsibility, a calendar management overview course, provided either by the local court or by CJER, within one year of beginning the supervising judge role, preferably before beginning the role;

(C)For a judge who has both administrative and calendar management responsibility, both overview courses within one year of beginning the role.

(3)Each judge beginning a presiding judge role is expected to complete CJER's Presiding Judges Orientation and Court Management Program within one year of beginning the presiding judge role, preferably before beginning the role unless he or she is returning to a presiding judge role after two years or less in another role or assignment.

(4)Each judge is expected to and each subordinate judicial officer must, if beginning a new primary assignment (unless he or she is returning to an assignment after less than two years in another assignment), complete a course on the new primary assignment, provided by CJER, the California Judges Association (CJA), or the local court, within six months of beginning the new assignment. CJER is responsible for identifying content for these courses and will share the identified content with CJA and the local courts.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2012; previously amended effective January 1, 2008, and July 1, 2008.)

(d) Hours-based continuing education

(1)Each judge is expected to and each subordinate judicial officer must complete 30 hours of continuing judicial education every three years, beginning on the dates outlined:

(A)A new judge or new subordinate judicial officer enters the three-year continuing education period on January 1 of the year following the period provided for completion of the required new judge education; continuing education expectations for judges and requirements for subordinate judicial officers are prorated based on the number of years remaining in the three-year period.

(B)For all other judges and subordinate judicial officers, the first three-year period begins on January 1, 2007.

(2)The following education applies toward the expected or required 30 hours of continuing judicial education:

(A)The content-based courses under (c)(2), (3), and (4) for a new supervising judge, a new presiding judge, and a judge or subordinate judicial officer beginning a new primary assignment (the "new judge education" required under (c)(1) does not apply); and

(B)Any other education offered by an approved provider (see rule 10.481(a)) and any other education, including education taken to satisfy a statutory or other education requirement, approved by the presiding judge as meeting the criteria listed in rule 10.481(b).

(3)Each hour of participation in traditional (live, face-to-face) education; distance education, such as broadcasts, videoconferences, and online coursework; self-directed study; and faculty service counts toward the continuing education expectation or requirement on an hour-for-hour basis. Each judge and subordinate judicial officer must complete at least half of his or her continuing education hours expectation or requirement as a participant in traditional (live, face-to-face) education. The judge or subordinate judicial officer may complete the balance of his or her judicial education hours expectation or requirement through any other means with no limitation on any particular type of education.

(4)A judge or subordinate judicial officer who serves as faculty by teaching legal or judicial education for a legal or judicial audience may apply education hours as faculty service. Credit for faculty service counts toward the continuing education expectation or requirement in the same manner as all other types of education-on an hour-for-hour basis.

(5)The presiding judge may require subordinate judicial officers to participate in specific courses or participate in education in a specific subject matter area as part of their continuing education.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2013; previously amended effective January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2012.)

(e) Extension of time

(1)For good cause, a presiding judge may grant an extension of time to complete the education expectations or requirements in (c)(2)-(4) and the continuing education expectation or requirement in (d) as follows:

(A)A time extension to complete the content-based expectations or requirements in (c)(2)-(4) is limited to the original time period provided for completion-that is, one year, one year, or six months, respectively.

(B)A time extension to complete the hours-based continuing education expectation or requirement in (d) is limited to one year.

(2)If the presiding judge grants a request for an extension of time, the judge or subordinate judicial officer, in consultation with the presiding judge, should also pursue interim means of obtaining relevant educational content.

(3)An extension of time to complete the hours-based continuing education expectation or requirement does not affect what is expected or required in the next three-year period.

(f) Records and cumulative histories of participation for judges

Each judge is responsible for:

(1)Tracking his or her own participation in education and keeping a record of participation for three years after each course or activity that is applied toward the requirements and expectations, on a form provided by the presiding judge. The form must include the information regarding a judge's participation in education that is needed by the presiding judge to complete the aggregate form required by rule 10.452(e)(7);

(2)At the end of each year, giving the presiding judge a copy of his or her record of participation in education for that year, on the form provided by the presiding judge; and

(3)At the end of each three-year period, giving the presiding judge a copy of his or her record of participation in education for that year and a cumulative history of participation for that three-year period, on the form provided by the presiding judge.

(Subd (f) amended effective August 15, 2008; previously amended effective January 1, 2008.)

(g) Records of participation for subordinate judicial officers

(1)Each court is responsible for tracking participation in education and for tracking completion of minimum education requirements for its subordinate judicial officers.

(2)Each subordinate judicial officer must keep records of his or her own participation for three years after each course or activity that is applied toward the requirements.

Rule 10.462 amended effective January 1, 2013; adopted effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2008, July 1, 2008, August 15, 2008, and January 1, 2012.

Advisory Committee Comment

The minimum judicial education requirements in rule 10.462 do not apply to retired judges seeking to sit on regular court assignment in the Assigned Judges Program. Retired judges who seek to serve in the Assigned Judges Program must comply with the Chief Justice's Standards and Guidelines for Judges Who Serve on Assignment, which includes education requirements.

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has developed both a manual format and an automated format of the individual judge's recording and reporting form referenced in rule 10.462(f) that gathers all the information needed by the presiding judge to complete the aggregate report to the Judicial Council required under rule 10.452(e)(7). The presiding judge may determine which form should be used in his or her court and may provide the manual or automated format of the AOC-developed form (available from the AOC's Education Division/Center for Judicial Education and Research) or may provide another appropriate form that has been developed by his or her court or by another court that gathers all the information needed by the presiding judge to complete the aggregate report to the Judicial Council.

[ Back to Top ]