California Courts Name Lobbyist for Hard Times

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - California's Judicial Council on Wednesday announced its pick of legislative staffer Cory Jasperson to lead the courts' lobbying team in perilous times for the state's courts.
     "I think the role the courts and the judiciary plays is really important," said Jasperson, currently chief of staff for a state senator from Palo Alto. "It's something we take for granted, that we all have access to justice."
     Jasperson replaces lobbyist Curt Child, who was recently promoted to chief operating officer of the Administrative Office under Judge Steven Jahr.
     The Judicial Council's search committee, headed by Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter, began looking for a successor to Child in late September. Jasperson is currently chief of staff to state Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and has worked in the Legislature for the past 12 years.
     "One of the exciting things about term limits is every few years our bosses are termed out of office and it gives us time to pursue other opportunities," Jasperson said in an interview.
     Jasperson worked for the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors before 2000, where he got a front row seat to the switch from county funded to state funded trial courts in the late 90s. "I gained a lot of good experience," he said.
     Jasperson's new role will put him at the forefront of the judiciary's fight for funding, a problem he said is not unique to the judicial branch. "All the branches face really big challenges especially with the state's fiscal situation," he said.
     In a statement, AOC director Judge Steven Jahr said, "Cory is well-respected in the Capitol. He is a quick study and has an open, collaborative approach to problem solving that I believe will benefit the judicial branch, now in its fourth year of budget cuts."
     A press release from the AOC notes that Jasperson helped draft civil rights, labor and education legislation, including increasing the minimum wage and criminalizing human trafficking.
     Jasperson will start his new position December 3.