The AOC Watcher’s 2009 Crystal Gavel Nominees

I made a comment a couple months ago that I had a potential nominee for something I was going to call the “Golden Gavel Awards.”  In my mind this award would be given to those that I felt had contributed to the cause of bringing to light all of the flaws that the Administrative Office of the Courts has.  Not so much as to mock or belittle the AOC as some would believe, and yes I’m fully aware of the tone of some of my posts, but to make the AOC a better agency not just for those who work there or who are influenced by its decisions directly, but for the general public who walk through courthouse doors almost every day in this state.

So, with that in mind, each day this week I’m going to be posting about the nominees for the AOC Watcher Crystal Gavel Award before I reveal who, in my eye, is the winner of this year’s Crystal Gavel Award.  Yes, there is no actual physical award.  And yes, it comes with no monetary, or for that matter, real value other than the value of my thanks.  But I’m sure I speak for many when I say much gratitude is owed to these person(s) for the cause of bettering the AOC.

Crystal Gavel Nominee:  The Followers of Themis


What can I say?  When I first began writing this blog I had NO idea that it would be picked up on people’s radars.  For all I knew the only people who would wind up reading the blog was me, myself, and I.  But surely enough, the blog picked up steam, picked up readers, and more importantly to me, picked up supporters who were willing to spill what they knew about what was going on in the Death Star headquarters they call the AOC.  Without these people that I nicknamed The Followers of Themis.  And in case you have no idea who Themis is, she is more commonly personified as Lady Justice.  It is she with her blindfold, scales, and sword, who adorns many courthouses throughout the world promising unbiased justice.

It is The Followers of Themis who AOC Watcher readers owe much gratitude to, for if it were not for them, we would not have known about many of the ill-advised decisions and actions taken at the AOC that showed an agency not only out of touch with the people it claims to serve, but also lacking any sense of justice for its own employees.  You know who you are Followers of Themis.  You bravely came forward and shared what you knew even as those in the AOC command began to tighten the grip.  I freely acknowledge that without your help and the information you provided, this blog may never have gotten off the ground or attracted so many readers.

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13 responses to “The AOC Watcher’s 2009 Crystal Gavel Nominees

  1. A gavel for all of the brave AOC employee (or former) whistleblowers. I am soo impressed by their strength and fortitude.

  2. I concur with Brother Flea. It takes incredible bravery to point out potential wrongdoing. The first alarm began with an anoymous fax, sent out by Brother Jack.

    I also would give a gavel to anyone who has posted here under a real name because they felt it was important to do so (Murray, Fall, Horan, Denton, Negley, Paul … any others that I may have missed). God bless.

  3. I am pleased to see that the award idea is getting so little interest. It is much too early to think about awards. Awards are for accomplishments. They are not for talking about problems but for fixing problems. I have no doubt that this site will eventually produce good results but thus far it is all talk and no action.

    Save the celebration for the right time. Now is not the right time. This is not the end ; it is not the beginning of the end; but, it is the end of the beginning [W. Churchill]

    • Actually, Pro Per, I am *HIGHLY* interested in the award idea, and think it’s grand! Do not mistake silence for disinterest….

      And, if you are going to get all technical on me, I guess I could discuss that awards are also granted for merit or value…or suggest that it actually be a reward instead, since rewards are given or received in recompense for worthy behavior…but hey…why split definition hairs among friends? (smiles)

      You can be assured that I am personally taking whatever action I can at this end…and I also hear that action is also being taken in the background and on the sidelines from many other directions. Now is definitely not a time to be sitting on our hands if we truly want positive change!

      Good to see you posting here and welcome!

      • I also can support that action is taking place on several fronts. So much so, that I would encourage Obi to be very careful with his survey results and the information gathered. Why give the entire survey results to AOC management at all? Just give them the highlights and the information you want to give … it’s what they do.

  4. Oh pro per. there have been many accomplishments. There maybe not a resolution yet, but the bravery of those that choose to step up and make their findings known, deserves an award. Celebrate their courage, in the face of danger. Winning a court battle does not a necessarly make eiher side right.

  5. For what it is worth, I think we should win the war before we start handing out medals. At best there has been a few inconsequential skirmishes.

  6. I don’t need a medal, but I do need the name and address of whoever at the AOC is going to be responsible for producing documents to California citizens under the rule of court that has been modeled after the California Public Records Act. That is where AOC and JC leadership has greatly, greatly underestimated what is going to happen in 2010.

    http://www.firstamendmentcoalition.org/2009/12/new-rule-allows-public-access-to-administrative-records-of-california-courts/

  7. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Michael Paul requested records and it was indicated to him by letter, according to his legalpad-typepad entry that those records would be provided at a “substantial cost to him”.

    They have not underestimated. Rather, they are pricing such records into the stratosphere and placing heavy restrictions on those records.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      His scope is a very broad request looking at it again…

      Funny that – they wish to charge an AOC employee as if he were a member of the public?

  8. Obi:

    My request will be very targeted. I will be sure to let everyone know what kind of response I get, because I already have the documents.

    John Henry has apparently put down his hammer, because he knows that he can. I too am putting down my glasses for a little break, because I know that so much has been accomplished to bring things to light.

    Happy New Year to all.

    WCV/cv

  9. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    The passing of the calendar should serve to confirm that a new dawn approaches.

    To all the dedicated employees of the California Judicial System – those dedicated to serving the people of California – both in trial court and AOC alike –

    Have a Happy 2010

  10. Ask the AOC for the stautory authority for the cost of their copies. If you check out the Government Code it should be an acutal cost. So make them prove (with calculations) why they are charging what they are. For example, the cost of paper, ink, staff time, etc. But I do believe unfortunately, AOC employees are just like the public and subject to the charges. so go get em tiger.

    Claire, don’t put down your glasses forever, I will miss you too much!