ImagePresident Jay gave a very nice introduction of Judge Brian Van Camp and outlined many of his accomplishments in the field of law and there are many that are presented below at the end of this article.

Brian warmly greeted some friends in the audience, namely Judge Jack Shearer, Doug Ose and Jim Thompson. My guess is that they had crossed paths (professionally) over the years.
He then presented an overview of the history of how the freedoms we have today developed over time, first beginning with the Magna Carta in 1215 with King John of England where it was written that no man could be deprived of his life or property without a trial by a jury of his peers. Of course, as Brian stated, it meant a jury of the high in society (nobility) but then that changed over the years. Trial by Jury was continued as a right through our War of independence, and in having a constitution backing it up. Judge Van Camp mentioned Ben Franklin's statement when asked if we have a Republic and he replied "Yes, if you can keep it". Therein seems to be the problem, many governments have beautiful constitutions, but do not abide by them. Hitler's Germany where the Judges were instructed by Hitler to follow his rules and not the constitution. Mao Tsetung in China who sent 15 to 20 million people to the country side without jury trials. Judges sent their decisions to party regulars for ratification.
A startling fact is that 95% of the jury trials happen in the U.S. Many other countries just  have trial by Judge/Judges. When in South Africa, Brian was told that judges are superior to juries. Problem is that judges can be corrupted.

Another problem: Los Angeles county, it was found that 50% of potential jurors don't show up when summoned and 19% in Sacramento County
. It is a problem, too few have access to civil court and there are too few judges, and the process has been politicized.

What can we do? Support the jury system and show up when called for jury duty. Also carefully scrutinize the qualifications of judges who are running for office.

President Boatwright mentioned that "in honor of" Judge Van Camp's very informative lecture, a book has been dedicated to the Carmichael library which will bring many happy hours to their readers.

President Jay Boatwright, Judge Brian Van Camp, and Doug Ose



The Honorable Brian Van Camp

Judicial--served as Judge, Superior Court of CA, County of Sacramento, (1997 -2012).  Since 2012, affiliated with ADR Services, Inc., serving as an arbitrator and mediator,

Legalpracticed law for 23 years, as a partner in the law firms of Downey Brand; Van Camp & Johnson; and Diepenbrock, Wulff, Plant & Hannegan.                                                                                                                                  --Government Service--served as a state Deputy Attorney General, the Commissioner of Corporations, and Ass’t/Acting Secretary of the Business & Transportation Agency in Governor Reagan’s Cabinet. 

Civic-- President of the Rotary Club of Sacramento (1993-94); also chair, president or director of SACTO, Capital Area Development Authority, The Lincoln Club, the Sacramento Symphony Association and the State Chamber of Commerce.

 Awards—“Judge of the Year” (Capitol City Trial Lawyers Assoc.), Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary Club of Sacramento) and listed in Who’s Who in American Law, from 1984-2003.

Education--UC/Berkeley (Political Science) and its School of Law, Boalt Hall.

Topic--“The Role of Courts in a Free Society.”