A Judge is an official of the judicial branch of government with authority to adjudicate disputes brought before the courts.  The term “judge” may refer to all judicial officers, including Supreme Court justices.  A Superior Court judge may hear criminal, civil family law, probate, mental health, juvenile or traffic cases.  An applicant for appointment as a judge must have been admitted to practice law in California for at least 10 years.


A Commissioner is a “subordinate judicial officer” elected by the judges of the Court and given the power to hear and make decisions in certain kinds of legal matters including, but not limited to, traffic matters, family law and juvenile cases, criminal misdemeanors and criminal felony cases through the preliminary hearing stage.  An applicant for appointment as a court commissioner must have been admitted to practice law in California for at least 10 years.


A Judicial Assistant, commonly referred to as the Court Clerk, assists the judge and is responsible for clerical courtroom activities.  In addition, the judicial assistant interfaces with the attorneys and the public, administers oaths, assists with impaneling juries, and is responsible for the inventory and safe-keeping of the exhibits.


A Bailiff is a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  In general, bailiffs are present in criminal courtrooms but may also be assigned to some civil and family law courtrooms.  They also provide security in all courthouses.  The bailiff’s duties are to provide safety services for the courtroom, the judge, staff and those in attendance; escort defendants who are in custody; and oversee and maintain the integrity of the jury.


A Court Services Liaison maintains courtroom security and the integrity of the jury in civil courtrooms.  Court Services Liaisons are not sworn peace officers.


A Court Reporter takes down everything that is said during official court proceedings using a stenographic machine.  A court reporter also must prepare an official written transcript of the proceeding.