Grants Planning Committee

Hon. Gail Ruderman Feuer, Associate Justice, California Court of Appeals

Associate Justice Gail Ruderman Feuer was appointed in 2018 to the Second Appellate District, Division Seven after serving 13 years on the Los Angeles Superior Court.  For the 12 years prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Feuer was a Senior Attorney for the nonprofit environmental organization, the Natural Resources Defense Counsel.  Justice Feuer previously practiced in the government and private sectors, as a Deputy Attorney General in the Environment Section of the California Attorney General’s Office, an associate at the law firm of O’Donnell & Gordon, and a law clerk to then-District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima.  On the superior court, Justice Feuer chaired the community outreach committee, cofounded the Los Angeles High School Teen Court, and was a member of several superior court and Judicial Council committees focusing on challenges facing self-represented litigants.  She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.  In 2020 Justice Feuer was appointed to the California Access to Justice Commission by the Judicial Council.

Hon. Lucy Armendariz, Judge Superior Court of Los Angeles

Having committed her career to public service, Judge Armendariz served as Chief of Staff to the Senate Majority Leader and gained extensive experience at the Capitol in Sacramento through her service as Counsel to both the Senate and Assembly Committees on Public Safety.  Governor Gray Davis appointed Judge Armendariz as the Ombudsman for women’s prisons in California. In 2008, Judge Armendariz moved to the State Bar Court of California, where she managed cases for over a decade, before she was appointed to the Superior Court of Los Angeles in 2018. Motivated by her experiences as a foster child, Judge Armendariz has a long history of community involvement. Judge Armendariz has volunteered her time as a Commissioner to the Supreme Court Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care and as a Board Member to Leadership California, an organization dedicated to advancing the leadership role of women and girls and with many other mentoring organizations. Judge Armendariz was appointed to the Access to Justice Commission by Attorney General Xavier Becerra and is serving her second term.

Catherine Blakemore, Consultant

For over 28 years, Catherine Blakemore was Executive Director of Disability Rights California. Before joining DRC, Ms. Blakemore was an attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Disability Rights Legal Center. Ms. Blakemore was named Legal Services Provider of the Year in 2011 by the Bench-Bar Coalition and in 2016, she won the Loren Millen award, each recognizing her work fighting for equality for people with disabilities, including through legislative advocacy and dozens of impact case victories. Ms. Blakemore continues to serve in the legal aid community: She currently is Vice-Chair of the California Access to Justice Commission and serves on the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission at the State Bar of California. She also is a member of Governor Newsom’s Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force, the Master Plan for Aging Long-Term Services and Supports Subcommittee, and the California Health and Human Services Agency Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee

Hon. Lisa R. Jaskol, Judge Superior Court of Los Angeles

Since 2016, Judge Jaskol has been a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Before that, she was Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Appellate Law Program and its Homelessness Prevention Law Project. Before joining Public Counsel, Judge Jaskol was a partner and associate at Horvitz & Levy LLP and an associate at Irell & Manella LLP.  She clerked for the Hon. Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and received her law degree from Yale Law School. Judge Jaskol is a member of the California Commission on Access to Justice and the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission. She previously served on the Judicial Council’s Appellate Advisory Committee and was a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a State Bar certified appellate specialist, and past-chair of the Appellate Courts Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA). Judge Jaskol has received LACBA’s Pamela E. Dunn Appellate Justice Award and the Distinguished Service Award from Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

Jack W. Londen, Executive Director, California Access to Justice Commission;
Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP

For 39 years, Mr. Londen has combined commercial litigation with a range of pro bono work on impact cases, including co-counsel in Williams v. California, which added resources and improved accountability for public K through 12 schools statewide in California. Among his many leadership roles, Mr. Londen Chaired the California Commission on Access to Justice in its early years; was Co-Chair of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights; President of the Consortium for the National Equal Justice Library; and, for many years, served as president of the Board of Directors of the Public Interest Clearinghouse (now OneJustice). Mr. Londen is a member of the Council of the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, and has served on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and its Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service. Mr. Londen was the Chair of Californians for Legal Aid during the successful opposition to the elimination of funding for LSC and testified before both the House and Senate on issues affecting the Legal Services Corporation.  In 2015‑2016, Mr. Londen served part-time as a policy consultant to the Office of the Secretary of the United States Department of Education. He graduated from Yale Law School and received his A.B. from Harvard College. Mr. Londen is currently the (unpaid) Executive Director of the California Access to Justice Commission.

Claire Solot, Managing Director, Bigglesworth Family Foundation

Claire Solot has led several private foundations and currently directs the Bigglesworth Family Foundation. In 2014, Claire co-founded the Bay Area Legal Services Funders Network (LSFN), a network of over 150 private and public organizations that fund legal aid organizations. A nationally recognized expert, Ms. Solot is frequently invited to speak on access to justice issues. Ms. Solot is a member of the Legal Services Corporation Leaders Council, the University of San Francisco School of Law Board of Counselors and the California Access to Justice Commission Public Policy Committee. She is a 2015 OneJustice Opening Doors to Justice Honoree and received the 2017 USF School of Law Alumni Distinguished Public Service Award. Prior to entering the field of philanthropy, Claire worked as an attorney both in the private and public sectors. She received her Juris Doctor and Masters of Science in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, and completed her undergraduate education at Tufts University and Mills College.

Liaisons to the Planning Committee

Salena Copeland, Executive Director, Legal Aid Association of California

As the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Association of California, Salena Copeland coordinates statewide legislative and administrative advocacy, while also supervising a small staff who work to support the legal aid community through trainings, online coordination and resource-sharing, and discounts for the community. Among recent successes, she helped organize successful efforts to more than double the Equal Access Fund, a statewide fund for free civil legal services.  Ms. Copeland is a 2007 graduate of Stanford Law School. She was named the 2016 recipient of the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award and the 2010 recipient of the Bench Bar Coalition Legal Services Provider of the Year Award. Because of her family’s roots in rural Texas and Arkansas, Ms. Copeland is committed to working towards geographic equity for Californians, and was the co-chair of the California Access to Justice Commission Rural Access Committee for several years. She also previously served on the State Bar of California Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and the Amicus Committee of the Access Commission. She is an active member of the Bench Bar Coalition, as well as other statewide committees dedicated to improving access to justice for Californians.

Mary Lavery Flynn, Consultant

Mary Lavery Flynn is a consultant on access to justice issues. Between 1992 and 2014, Ms. Flynn worked at the State Bar of California, focusing on expanding access to justice. As the Director of the Office of Legal Services, she helped launch the California Access to Justice Commission, and was its primary staff director for its first 17 years. During that time, she coordinated the successful 1999 effort to establish a $10 million fund for legal aid, the Equal Access Fund. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Mary began her career at Lillick, McHose & Charles, and then became the executive director of the Public Interest Clearinghouse, a state support center for legal aid programs.  Mary has served on numerous legal aid boards and committees, and she received recognition for her many contributions, including the prestigious Judicial Council’s Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award for her contributions to the courts of California. 

Bonnie Hough, Managing Attorney, Judicial Council Center for Families, Children & the Courts

For 25 years, Bonnie Hough has focused her work on helping courts meet the needs of people who cannot afford counsel in civil cases.  In addition to overseeing its Access to Justice, Self Help, Family Law, Domestic Violence, and Tribal/State programs, Ms. Hough manages the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Pilot project and the Equal Access Fund, providing over $24 million in funding for legal services agencies. She also manages three grant programs providing $12.5 million in funding for court-based, attorney-supervised, self-help centers. Ms. Hough supervises the California Courts On-Line Self-Help Center and the development of document assembly programs, which are currently used by over 70,000 people annually. Ms. Hough was a founder of the Family Law Center in Marin County and served as its executive director and lead attorney for six years. Before joining CFCC, she was in private practice in family law. Ms. Hough received a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, and an M.P.A. from San Francisco State University. She is a fellow with the Harvard Law School’s Bellow-Sacks project.