The Lamorinda Democratic Club's next meeting on Thursday, March 13, will focus on "Justice Denied: How Much Can We Afford?" with a panel including Justice Mark Simons and Presiding Judge Barry Goode. 

The club's meeting will be held at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette. The club's social hour will begin at 7:00 p.m., with a business meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. There is a $5 charge at the door to help the club cover meeting expenses.

Like every other segment of state government, the California Court system has been significantly impacted by the economic crisis that began in 2008.  Directly, the court system has seen it’s funding substantially reduced, requiring the elimination of numerous staff positions and services offered to the public. Indirectly, the judicial system has been affected by the state’s need to dramatically reduce the state prison population and services to juvenile, probate and family courts.  

Justices Mark Simons and Barry Goode will discuss the implications of these topics. 

Justice Mark Simons serves on the California Court of Appeal 1st District. Since 1973 he served as a Deputy Public Defender in Contra Costa County until 1980, when he was appointed to the Mt. Diablo Municipal Court. He was elevated to the Contra Costa Superior Court in April 1995, where he served as Presiding Judge in 1999 and 2000. In January 2000, he was appointed to the California Court of Appeal. Justice Simons has devoted considerable time to teaching evidence to judges, lawyers and law students. He served as the Dean of the B.E.Witkin Judicial College in 1995 and 1996 and was an adjunct professor of law at Hastings College of the Law from 2002-2004. He was awarded the 2000 Bernard Jefferson Award for distinguished service in judicial education. 

Judge Barry Goode is the Presiding Judge of the Contra Costa County Superior Court. He has served as Special Assistant to Adlai E. Stevenson in the US Senate from 1972 to 1974. In 1974 practiced with a law firm in S.F. until 2001. In that year, Governor Gray Davis appointed him Secretary of Legal Affairs, a position he held from February 2001 to November 2003. Judge Goode was appointed to the Superior Court in Contra Costa County on November 2003.  He has had assignments in Criminal Law, Family Law, Civil Law, and Complex Litigation. He served as Supervising Judge of the Richmond branch, the Family Law Division and the Civil Division, and from 2011 through 2012 — as assistant Presiding Judge. 

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