Massive layoffs face the San Francisco Superior Court and it appears Clerks and Commissioners will be hit very hard. I first related Ari Burack’s article on the Dire situation forecast for San Francisco Superior Court here. I then passed on the Court’s press release on this matter here.
In what is becoming an unexpected series on this topic, I have another update on this topic. I spoke with a contact today who volunteered information regarding the extensive layoffs that appear to be pending September 30, 2011. I should say straight off that I have no way of confirming the veracity of these comments and, should they prove to be unsubstantiated rumors, consider yourself warned. That being said, this information was related in a matter of fact manner and I was given no indication that any of the following is untrue. If anyone can fill in any gaps, I invite you to comment below.
First, all of the Superior Court Commissioners will reportedly be laid off with the exception of one Commissioner whose compensation comes from federal monies (I don’t know who the remaining Commissioner will be and perhaps someone can enlighten us in the comments?). This is a big deal. San Francisco has a lot of talented Commissioners and the private sector is about to have access to a wealth of knowledge and experience when these folks hit the street. It just got harder for me to move up in the private food chain!
Second, 100 file clerks will be laid off, largely from the first floor at the Civil Court house on McAllister. Any practitioner used to showing up and filing something at the windows should be cringing at this. While I’ve had my negative experiences at the windows, as I’m sure many practitioners have, I really feel for these folks getting laid off.
Third, all of the family law clerks will be laid off. A clerk with more seniority will be stepping in but will also have to be trained at the new job. This doesn’t impact our particular practice areas, but it will be a major impact on our San Francisco community.
It sounds like the remaining clerks don’t have any idea where they will be placed within the court. Even after the reassignments take place, there will be an additional lag created by shuffle and retraining of the clerks. It sounds like a very stressful time to be a court employee and clearly the delays imposed on our clients will be significant and painful.
If you are a lay person reading this and have been dragging your feet on filing a suit or pursuing a trust or probate action in court, now’s the time to give us a call: 415-781-4000.