(Sacramento, CA) Judge Rupert Byrdsong of the Los Angeles Superior Court was elected 90th President of the California Judges Association (CJA) by the group’s Executive Board at its meeting held yesterday afternoon. He will serve a one-year term beginning October 1, 2021, succeeding Judge Thomas Delaney of the Orange Superior Court.
The Honorable Rupert A. Byrdsong was appointed to the bench in June 2014 by Governor Jerry Brown. He presides in an individual calendar court at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles. In 2016, Judge Byrdsong was the first African-African to sit in the Chatsworth Courthouse. In 2018, he was the first African-American to sit in the Complex Court division wherein he oversaw all of the asbestos cases throughout Los Angeles County. Prior to appointment, he was a partner with Ivie, McNeill, Wyatt, Purcell and Diggs practicing employment discrimination. Judge Byrdsong graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College in 1991 and earned membership into Phi Beta Kappa. Judge Byrdsong graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1994.
Judge Byrdsong currently serves as a Vice-President of CJA, co-chair of the Task Force on the Elimination of Bias and Inequality in the Justice System, and liaison to the California Lawyers’ Association. Judge Byrdsong is active with the John M. Langston Bar Association (lifetime member and past president 2006), the California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) (lifetime member), and a Founding Member of the Association of African American California Judicial Officers (AAACJO).
Judge Byrdsong volunteers his time mentoring young lawyers and speaks to students in high schools, colleges, and law schools throughout Los Angeles. He also volunteers his time to interview prospective students for Vanderbilt School of Law. Because of his work and contributions to the community, Judge Byrdsong was recognized in Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 for 2018. Finally, Judge Byrdsong was recognized as a Proven Achiever for Black History Month 2019 by the radio station KJLH.
Other CJA officers elected for the 2021/2022 term are Vice Presidents Judge Heather Mardel Jones of Fresno Superior Court and Judge David Rosenberg of Yolo Superior Court. Elected as Secretary/Treasurer is Judge Patricia Garcia of the San Diego Superior Court.
The California Judges Association has over 2300 members and is one of the largest organizations of judicial officers in the country. CJA is dedicated to promoting judicial excellence to achieve fair, impartial and equal justice for all through education, ethics, inclusivity, outreach and advocacy.