ADZ Law is proud to announce that retired San Mateo County Superior Court Commissioner and founding partner Lauren Zorfas has returned to ADZ Law as a private judge, expanding our services in that regard. Commissioner Zorfas’ unparalleled depth of experience in family law, background and experience in mediation, and tenure as a Court Commissioner at the San Mateo Superior Court, will help parties resolve disputes, reach resolutions expeditiously, and allow them the dignity and grace to resolve their matter in a private and personal setting.
Under Article VI § 21 of the California Constitution, as amended in 1966, “on stipulation of the parties’ litigant the court may order a cause to be tried by a temporary judge who is a member of the State Bar, sworn and empowered to act until final determination of the cause.”
What this means is as long as the parties agree, a licensed attorney may preside over their case and act as their judge. This means that this appointed judge, or sometimes called a “Judge Pro Tempore,” may make all the decisions that a judge sitting in a courtroom would make, but this can take place in any setting outside of the courtroom.
A private judge can offer you more time with your case than our already impacted courts can. A private judge can address your case more expediently since a private judge decides how many cases they will take so they can be more accessible than the Superior Court judges who have no control over the numerous filings with the court.
A private judge can offer parties the ease and comfort of a less formal proceeding and an element of privacy that the public courts cannot offer. Hearings with a private judge often are held in the privacy of the private judge’s office and there is no public presence or other parties. Hearings are not in a formal courtroom and often can be conducted informally. This informal setting also allows for conferencing such that contested hearings may be avoided completely.
It is true that you pay a private judge to preside over your case, but you also pay your attorney to prepare filings with the court as well as their time for attendance at court (even if your matter is called last). Since the private judging process is less formal than the court system and a private judge has greater availability, often what may have been a lengthy, formal filing can be resolved with a conference call or a video conference. A private judge will have the time to conference with counsel to narrow issues and ensure that time with the private judge is used wisely and efficiently.
Commissioner Lauren Zorfas has 23+ years of experience in family law. She recently retired from the San Mateo County Court as a Court Commissioner where she presided over, among other things, family law matters that addressed custody, visitation, property division, support and domestic violence. She attended the prestigious Straus Institute at Pepperdine for mediation training and has utilized that training to mediate hundreds of family matters. Zorfas understands the emotional stress that parties going through the family law process endure having represented clients for so many years. She is sensitive to these emotions as she even handedly applies the law.
Yes, Commissioner Lauren Zorfas is trained and has the skills to act as a:
Commissioner Zorfas’ services are available to represented and unrepresented parties.
Private judging can help parties resolve their disputes more efficiently and effectively than going through the traditional court system.
Commissioner Lauren Zorfas is a qualified and impartial private judge who will act as a trusted source, helping parties and counsel tailor the legal process to fit their needs and expeditiously reach a resolution.
ADZ Law, LLP represents clients in San Mateo County and the San Francisco Bay area of California. We invite you to contact ADZ Law, LLP to schedule a consultation to learn more about our practice areas, our team, and how we can help you.