Feb. 27, 2015

community outreach

legislators visit the court to learn                                     about state budget cuts

In an effort to inform lawmakers about the significant impacts five years of state budget cuts have inflicted  on the San Francisco Superior Court, Presiding Judge Cynthia Ming mei-Lee and Court Executive Officer T. Michael Yuen invited state lawmakers to visit the Court. In early April 2013, Senator Mark Leno toured the Civic Center Courthouse with Presiding Judge Lee, Mr.  Yuen and Judge Charles Haines. In September 2013, Senator Loni Hancock devoted an entire day to witnessing the impacts to court services in all four of the Court’s facilities. Judge Lee, Judge Jeffrey Ross, Judge Garrett Wong and Mr. Yuen also demonstrated to Senator Hancock how San Francisco’s portion of a $60 million budget restoration helped to reverse cuts affecting children, self-represented litigants and seniors. 

In April 2013, Judge Lee, Mr. Yuen and Chief Financial Officer Sue Wong were invited to  Assemblymember  Phil Ting’s San Francisco office to  detail service reductions and make the case for state budget restorations to the judicial branch.

Senator Mark Leno, former Presiding Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee, Judge Charles F. Haines, and CEO T. Michael Yuen

Former Presiding Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee (center) introduces Senator Loni Hancock (right), to ACCESS Center Director Judy Louie.

international visitors

Former Presiding Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee (center) hosts a delegation from the Beijing High People's Court in September 2012.

The San Francisco Superior Court hosts many foreign delegations of visitors eager to learn more about the American justice system and the trial courts in California. Delegations often visit from China, Japan, Korea and Australia. Foreign delegations bring their own translator and observe court proceedings and visit with San Francisco Superior Court Judges who answer their questions about the justice system in California.

Day in Court Program for San Francisco Schoolchildren

In cooperation with the San Francisco Superior Court, The Day in Court Program, under the direction of the Barristers' Club of San Francisco, takes students from the classroom to the courtroom, allowing them to witness first-hand the trial of civil cases.

(photo left) Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow meets with San Francisco schoolchildren in his courtroom after answering their questions during a trip to the Civic Center Courthouse.

Tours take place at the San Francisco County Courthouse located at 400 McAllister Street and are led by tour guides who are practicing attorneys. Each tour accommodates 50-60 students and takes place on Thursday mornings throughout the school year.

Judges meet with the students at the end of their visit to answer any questions they may have about the judicial system.

Judge Karnow has recently edited a valuable resource for students based on real questions Judges have received from students during visits to the San Francisco Superior Court. The book, What's Your Weirdest Case? Judges Answer Questions on the Courts, is a valuable resource for students, teachers or anyone seeking answers to the most commonly-asked questions about the courts and serving as a Judge.

Contact Information

Ann E. Donlan
Communications Director
(415) 551-5957

© 2015 Superior Court of California - County of San Francisco