News Release & Commentary

                                                                         For immediate release
Contact: Cheryl Davidek
(775) 784-1652                                                                                                        August 6, 2012

Judge Michael Nash Named President of

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

      Judge Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court in the Los Angeles Superior Court, was installed as President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) during the organization’s annual conference held July 15-18, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Judge Nash will be leading a Board of 29 juvenile and family court judges from across the country, and a membership of nearly 2,000 judicial officers and related system professionals. Under his leadership, the NCJFCJ will continue efforts to improve system practice in the handling of cases involving children and families through research, training of judges and others, technical assistance to systems, and through shaping national policy.

First appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court bench in 1985, Judge Nash has served on the Los Angeles Superior Court bench since 1989. Judge Nash has been a juvenile court judge since 1990 and has served as the Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court or Supervising Judge of the Dependency Court since 1995. Judge Nash also serves as a Lead Judge in NCJFCJ’s Child Victims Act Model Courts Project, implementing strategies designed to improve the courts’ handling of child abuse and neglect cases.

A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and Loyola Law School, Judge Nash was Deputy Attorney General in the California Attorney General’s Office from 1974-1985, and was co-prosecutor in the notorious Hillside Strangler trial in 1981-83.

He is a past member of the California Judicial Council, a member of and past Chair of the Juvenile Court Judges of California (JCJC), a member of the California Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Advisory Committee and a member of California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care.  He is also a member of the California Child Welfare Council. Judge Nash has received numerous awards including being named Juvenile Court Judge of the Year by the Juvenile Court Judges of California in 1997 and 2006 Judge of the Year by the National CASA Association.

Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nevada-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization, is focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice, the NCJFCJ is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.

COMMENTS:

Judge Nash’s inauguration as President of the NCJFCJ is good news for the organization.  Judge Nash has been the longest serving Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court in the history of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  He presides over the largest juvenile court in the United States, if not the world.  His initiatives have resulted in significant changes in child welfare  including a reduction of children in foster care, the closing of the MacLaren Children’s Center, the creation of National Adoption Day, and numerous policy and procedural innovations.  Most recently Judge Nash “opened” the juvenile dependency courts, issuing a court order declaring that all dependency hearings are presumptively open, but giving the judicial officer the discretion to close a particular hearing upon a proper showing.  While this court order was hotly contested, after several months it appears that no harm has come to any child while at the same time the public has had a much clearer picture of what happens in juvenile dependency court.