Do law clerks in the Civil Departments of California Superior Courts have a law degree; or some do and some do not? And do law

Asked over 1 year ago - Sacramento, CA

clerks in California Superior Courts have a law degree; or some do and some do not?

It seems that the judges do not really read the motions filed by the attorneys; rather it is the law clerks that do most of the reading if not all of it and the judges rely heavily on what their law clerks tell them.

Then it seems that the judges (or actually their law clerks) do not really take the time or the effort to read hundreds and thousands of pages of motions of each case. Judges and their law clerks in California (and other states) can claim that they are overwhelmed by so many cases and they do not have the time and the energy to read every single line of the motions of every case.

What about the litigants who loose their cases because the courts do not carefully read their attorneys’ motions?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Ross Carlton Meltzer

    Contributor Level 14

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Generally speaking, the law clerks do have law degrees. I think you have a misconception that the judges do not take the time or effort to read legal motions before them. I have the exact opposite opinion. I find that judges work extremely hard to read all documents submitted to them.

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  2. Michael Charles Doland

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I know of no law clerk in the superior court who does not have a law degree.
    Your perception about judges or clerks not reading pleadings, motions or exhibits is incorrect. Further, motions have hearing dates providing for oral argument, so anything one feels was overlooked can be brought directly to the attention of the judge.
    Litigants who lose "cases" always have the option of the court of appeals.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may... more
  3. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It has been some time since most Superior Court judges had the luxury of a law clerk, in my experience. But your question raises a significant point, one that the pro pers who seek practice advice here would be well-served to embrace: the court has no time or energy to wade through non-critical matter in any filing. There is no time whatsoever for rants about the perjury of the other side, long involved summaries of the parties' history, explanations of one's laudatory motives, etc. In any document filed with the court, the writer must early and straight-forwardly the critical issue and the moving party's contention of the legal position.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  4. Liwu Hong

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . My experience told me that the Judges know the case very well, although sometimes they made mistake. Under most circumstances, both the winner and loser of a case can appeal the judge's decision.

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