SAN FRANCISCO—Steven Jahr, a former trial court judge who came out of his initial retirement to help lead the Administrative Office of the Courts during a time of transition, is set to retire once again after serving two years.
In a letter Tuesday to the Judicial Council, its staff, and to justices and judges, Judge Jahr said that despite the ongoing fiscal challenges of the judicial branch, he was reassured that the branch was headed in the right direction.
“I was coaxed out of my first retirement two years ago because of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye’s commitment to reform, renewal, and ongoing self-assessment,” Judge Jahr said. “I notified her last fall about my intention to retire sometime after the state budget was signed by the Governor. I am optimistic that the judicial branch will continue to improve under her guidance and will achieve the fiscal stability she’s been fighting so hard for.”
Judge Jahr brought a steadiness to an agency that had been downsized by 30 percent even before he became Administrative Director in October 2012. He was the fifth director since the creation of the position in 1961. Last week, the Chief Justice announced her intent to shed the name of the Administrative Office of the Courts because of the confusion it generated among members of the other branches of government.
“We are all deeply grateful that Steve agreed to come out of his first retirement to help the Judicial Council as we initiated our reforms,” the Chief Justice said. “His insight, integrity, and calm demeanor inspired trust and confidence in me, the Judicial Council, and our staff. He is well-respected in Sacramento among those in the executive and legislative branches. His commitment to public service is remarkable, and we will miss his sagacious presence. The Judicial Council will be creating a search committee to begin a nationwide search for Steve’s replacement. We hope to have a new Administrative Director in place before Steve’s departure at the end of September.”
The Judicial Council is the policymaking body of the California courts, the largest court system in the nation. Under the leadership of the Chief Justice and in accordance with the California Constitution, the council is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice.