The overwhelming lack of family law experience displayed by the judiciary involved in family law in the Riverside Superior Court is pervasive.
Presiding Judge Cope has no experience in family law yet allegedly trains new judical officers in the field.
Judge Cope graduated from Brigham Young University Law School in 1983. He worked as a law clerk for the San Diego County District Attorneys Office and then was hired at a law firm in Las Vegas.
He served as a Riverside Deputy District Attorney from 1986 to 1990. From 1990 to 1991 he was a prosecutor in Clark County Nevada and was a partner with the law firm of Bell & Davidson in Nevada Las Vegas.
After a brief stint there, he returned to the Riverside County District Attorneys Office in 1991 where he stayed there until 1995 when he was appointed by Govenor Pete Wilson as a Riverside County Municipal Court Judge. He was elevated to the Riverside Superior Court when the court unified both the Municipal and Superior Courts.
The year following his appointment to the bench, he faced a contested election against a Riverside Court Commissioner, won and was placed in the Southwest Justice Center Juvenile Court dealing with delinquency cases.
Reports have been cropping up of parents exposed to judges with no knowledge of family law. In Riverside, Judge Counelis presides in family law and was a former deputy District Attorney in Riverside County since 2002 . His speciality as a deputy DA was prosecution of cybercrimes and identity theft.
Gavel bangers, based on feedback from parents, rates him as one of the worst family law judges in Riverside. The comments include the following:www.gavelbangers.com/judges/california/trial-level/counelis/steven
“This judge gave 50% visitation to a father with a drug habit even when the mediators report said it was a severe safety hazard to the child. He totally ignored the facts that were presented without any care of what could happen to a small child.”
“This judge loses his temper if you speak the truth about how he isnt protecting our children. We should be able to speak the truth if asked the question why i feel the way i feel. But if this judge dont like your answer he becomes very rude and decides not to listen to you. This court system in Riverside is very corrupt!!!!!”11:06
“This is the worst possible judge that has even been assigned to Family Law Court. He has made outrageous, unlawful decision in my case. They defy description and rationality. He refuses to admit has made serious, unbelievable mistakes and reverse them upon motion. The presiding judge has ordered me to file a complaint with the Judicial Performance Commission. But much more is needed. This judge needs to be recalled (fired) as soon as possible. An ad-hoc, unofficial recall committee has been established. Your support is needed. A bona fide registered voter is needed to preside the committee. Anecdotes are needed as soon as possible by the committee as to how this judge has abused you, your children, your case and your attorney. Interviews of at least one attorney confirms that in one case, this judge caused so much damage it took the attorney 8 months to undo the damage. Support from Riverside County attornies is needed to recall (fire) this judge. Attorneys abused by this judge and their litigants are requested to step forward and support the recall and provide anecdotes of your stories of abuse. (Recall, see: http://www.lavote.net/voter/PDFS/GUIDE_TO_RECALL.pdf, (and ) http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/recalls/recall.pdf). Please forward your information and your statement of support to this address: Amend 28, c/o “C.L.”, 44-795 San Pablo, Suite #4, Palm Desert CA 92260. Thank you.”
Lawrence P. Best came to the court from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office where he began his career as a prosecutor in 1983. He served as a deputy district attorney in Indio until 1997, handling felony jury trials and the supervision of municipal court deputy district attorneys for the department. In 1997, Best left the district attorney’s office to serve as a court commissioner with the Riverside County Superior Court in Indio from 1997 to 1998. While with the court, he presided over traffic court, small claims, unlawful
detainers, misdemeanor trials, a criminal law and motion calendar, and preliminary hearings before returning to the district attorney’s’ office in late 1998. Since his return to the district attorney’s office as a deputy district attorney in 1998, Best has been responsible for filing and prosecuting criminal cases as well as supervising and training new attorneys. Best earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal law from California State University, Fullerton and a Juris Doctorate degree from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
Bradley O. Snell, who also comes from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, began his legal career with that office in 1991. As a deputy district attorney, he handled a wide range of criminal cases and completed over 50 jury trials. He served as trial team leader for the department’s drug unit, handling cases from the filing stage through the sentencing phase. He also mentored young attorneys joining the district attorney’s office and trained district attorneys throughout the county how to establish effective drug prosecutions. Snell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arizona College of Law.
Judge Lucky Jackson Lucky, of Riverside, was a deputy district attorney with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office since 1994. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from DePaul University.
Judge Kelly Hanson, of Murrieta, was a chief deputy district attorney in the Riverside County D.A.’s office, where he has worked since 2002. From 1992 to 2002, Hansen worked in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. The public has questioned his ability to preside over family law cases. http://www.therobingroom.com/california/Judge.aspx?id=15236
This judge is very biased towards women/mothers in general, and seems to not follow Supreme Court rulings. He believes that he is above the law. The sad part of it all is there is not much that the California courts can do to stop this man. If there were a zero rating, I would definitely rate him that!