Judge Leonard Edwards is a retired judge now working as a consultant, educator, and trainer. He served as a Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara County for 26 years and then for six years as Judge-in-Residence at the Center for Families, Children & the Courts, a division of the Judicial Council of California. As a judge he worked in the juvenile court for over 20 years. As Judge-in-Residence he served California’s courts as a consultant specializing in juvenile and family law, domestic violence, drug courts, mediation, judicial ethics, and other issues relating to children and families within the court system.
A graduate of Wesleyan University (1963) and The University of Chicago Law School (1966), Judge Edwards has dedicated his professional life to working in the court system to improve outcomes for children and families.
Judge Edwards is a well-known teacher, trainer, and lecturer, having taught at the University of Santa Clara Law School, Stanford Law School, and the California Judicial College. He has conducted trainings in 48 states and 13 foreign countries as well as over 500 invited presentations in the United States.
Mediation in Child Protection Cases(02/22/19)
This article illustrates the use of mediation in child protection (juvenile dependency) cases, a practice that has increased substantially in America’s juvenile courts over the past five years.
The Mediation Miracle(09/21/18)
In the past few decades, California has led a national shift in paradigms for family conflict resolution that has freed trial courts to do what they do best—ensure due process of law and serve as the court of last resort.
Mediation in Juvenile Dependency Court: Multiple Perspectives(07/27/18)
Since 1992, the Santa Clara County Juvenile Dependency Court has utilized confidential mediation as an integral part of the court process. After hundreds of mediation sessions, we believe it is time for the various participants in the dependency system to reflect on their perspectives on mediation, its strengths, weaknesses, and its future in our court system.