The Siskiyou County Superior Court has announced the appointment of John W. Lawrence to the position of court commissioner. He was selected by the judges of the court from a field of attorney candidates, and will succeed the Hon. JoAnn Bicego, who was appointed by Governor Brown as a judge of the court last December. Mr. Lawrence will be sworn in during a ceremony in early May.

John W. Lawrence earned degrees from College of the Siskiyous and Southern Oregon State College before attending the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, earning a Juris Doctorate in 1994. He served as the Editor of the West Wind Review, a literary journal, while at Southern Oregon State College. After graduating from college, Mr. Lawrence taught English part-time for College of the Siskiyous. In law school he was elected to be the school representative to the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association, and the following year he was elected to sit on the Board of Governors for the American Bar Association Law School Division. For about four years, both during law school and after becoming an attorney, he worked for LexisNexis Group, teaching law students and attorneys how to do computerized legal research.

Mr. Lawrence worked in the Law Office of Michael D. Thamer before starting his own private practice in 1995. His current practice area covers a very broad range – criminal defense, civil litigation, juvenile law, conservatorships, guardianships, and family law. He has served as the President of the Siskiyou County Bar Association from 2008 to the present. He was instrumental in assisting the Karuk Tribe in developing their Tribal Court. He frequently teaches classes to attorneys, enabling them to earn credits toward their Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements. In December 2015 he gave a presentation entitled “Ethical Obligations of Counsel for Parents and Children in Dependency Cases” at “Beyond the Bench,” a statewide conference sponsored by the Judicial Council of California. Since July 2010, Mr. Lawrence has served as Siskiyou County’s Criminal Conflict Panel Administrator, managing the assignment of attorneys to cases the Public Defender cannot accept. He has been an attorney in good standing with the California State Bar for nearly twenty-two years.

As court commissioner, Lawrence will assume the AB 1058 Child Support Commissioner duties in addition to handling small claims and infraction cases. The court commissioner is also assigned to calendars as needed by the Superior Court and may hear any matters upon stipulation by the parties to an action.

The judges are all very pleased to welcome Mr. Lawrence to the Siskiyou County Superior Court bench.

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