Superior Court elects presiding and assistant presiding judge

September 15, 2010
Santa Paula News

The Judges of the Ventura Superior Court today unanimously elected Judge Vincent J. O’Neill, Jr. as Presiding Judge and Judge Brian J. Back as Assistant Presiding Judge for 2011 and 2012.

The new term for both begins January 1, 2011.

Judge O’Neill has served as a judge for 18 years.  He has been the Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge since January 2009. He is currently the Supervising Judge of the Civil Division and is a former Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division.  Judge O’Neill currently conducts pre-trial settlement conferences in civil cases.  Past assignments have included civil and criminal trials, as well as temporary duties at the Court of Appeal in Los Angeles and Riverside Superior Court.

Judge O’Neill was appointed to the Ventura Municipal Court by Governor Pete Wilson in 1992. He was elevated by the Governor to the Superior Court bench three years later.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge O’Neill was a member of the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office for 13 years, eight of which were in the position of Chief Deputy District Attorney.  Before that, he was a Deputy Attorney General for two years in the Los Angeles criminal division.

Judge O’Neill earned his bachelor’s degree at Loyola Marymount University and his law degree from the UCLA School of Law.  He has taught numerous statewide judicial education courses and is an adjunct professor at the Ventura College of Law.  He has been active in many professional and community activities, and is the author of O’Neill’s California Confessions Law.

Judge Back was appointed to the Ventura Municipal Court by Governor Pete Wilson in 1997 and elevated to the Superior Court in 1998 by court unification.  He has been a judge for 12 years.

Judge Back is currently assigned to the criminal division. Previous assignments have included juvenile delinquency, family law, guardianship, domestic violence, and adult mental health courts.  Judge Back has presided over specialized juvenile drug and mental health calendars and served on numerous professional and community boards and commissions.  In 2003, he was named Judge of the Year by the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Back was an attorney with Arnold, Back, Mathews, Wojkowski & Zirbel from 1990 to 1997, Arnold & Back from 1989 to 1990, and Nordman, Cormany, Hair & Compton from 1977 to 1989. His area of specialization was civil litigation and business law.

The Presiding Judge, with the assistance of the Court Executive Officer, is responsible for leading the court, establishing policies, and allocating resources in a manner that promotes equal access to justice, maximizes the use of judicial and other resources, increases efficiency in court operations, and enhances service to the public.

The Assistant Presiding Judge performs duties as assigned by the Presiding Judge, and in the absence of the Presiding Judge, exercises the powers of the Presiding Judge.

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