The California Judicial Council, governing body of the state court system, has shown itself reluctant to adopt a proposed rule that would open meetings of its standing and other advisory committees—where most court policy development takes place—to public phone monitoring or attendance. The Council was asked by the Legislature to report progress toward such a rule on January 1. The Legislative Analyst’s Office encouraged the Council to take the initiative when Governor Brown this fall vetoed a budget rider that would have required open advisory meetings. But, as reported by Maria Dinzeo for Courthouse News Service and lamented by the Alliance of California Judges, the Council was cool toward the recommended access rules outlined in the when it met last Thursday in San Francisco. Californians Aware commented on the first draft of the proposed rules in November but expressed encouragement that they were even being considered.
About The Editor
Terry Francke, General Counsel
Terry Francke has a 39-year history of helping journalists, citizens and public officials understand and use their First Amendment and open government rights. With CalAware, Francke has authored comprehensive and authoritative guidebooks to California law on access to government meetings and public records and the news gathering and publication rights of journalists. Focusing on these issues in public forum law, he supervises CalAware's legislative and litigation initiatives; conducts workshops on legal compliance; helps design public records audits; supports local sunshine ordinance drafting efforts; writes CalAware Today, a blog on current developments and proposals in the law and best practices; and answers countless queries by phone and e-mail from citizens, journalists, public officials and employees, and lawyers. Francke previously served 14 years as executive director and general counsel to the California First Amendment Coalition, after a 10-year post as legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He has served as an advisory panel member to the National Center on Courts and the Media; taught journalism law at the Department of Communication at Stanford University; and served as an expert contributor to the 1994 major revisions to the Ralph M. Brown Act and the 2004 ballot proposition making open government a basic right of citizens under the California Constitution. Francke is a 1967 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a 1979 graduate of McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. Prior to his legal career, Francke worked as a weekly newspaper editor and in military and local government public affairs positions.
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