Lunch with the Judges

Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm
Location: Classic Club: 75-200 Classic Club Blvd., Palm Desert, CA 92211
Speaker: A Distinguished Panel of Judges

Join us on March 12th for
"Lunch with the Judges"!

Meet Our Distinguished Panel of Judges!

Hon. Kenneth Fernandez
Judge Kenneth Fernandez has served on the Riverside Superior Court bench since February 2004, when he was appointed as a Superior Court Commissioner.  He was elevated by Governor Brown to Superior Court Judge in 2018. Over the last 20 years on the bench, he has had assignments in Probate, Family Law, Juvenile Dependency, and Criminal Law.  For the last five years, he has heard a full-time Probate calendar of Estates, Trusts, Conservatorships, Guardianships, Minor’s Compromise, and Elder Abuse Restraining Orders. In 2021, he became the Supervising Judge of the Probate Division.  He also serves on his court’s Executive Committee and ADR Committee.  Judge Fernandez taught the course on Attorney Fees for the Center for Judicial Education & Research Probate Institute in September 2022 and that same month was a presenter for the CEB course “Judges Speak – Practice Before the California Probate Court.”  He is also a frequent presenter to the Riverside County Bar Association Estate Planning/Probate section.  Judge Fernandez was a member of the California Judges Association Ethics Committee from 2005 to 2007 and taught Qualifying Judicial Ethics (QE3) for the Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) from 2006 to 2008.  He graduated from the University of California, Davis Law School in 1992.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988. 

Hon. David M. Chapman (Ret.)
Judge Chapman brings more than 43 years of experience to conflict and dispute resolutions.  Judge Chapman gained trial experience as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles and Riverside counties.  As an attorney in private practice for more than 30 years he gained invaluable experience representing hundreds of clients in all areas of personal injury, wrongful death, professional liability, product liability, insurance disputes and class action litigation.  Judge Chapman was able to apply this experience to the many cases he would preside over after his appointment to the bench.  He has managed, tried or settled a wide variety of disputes including fraud, all areas of personal injury, wrongful death, professional liability, business and real estate disputes, eminent domain and receiverships, employment disputes, insurance coverage and claims of insurance bad faith, as well as ADA disability litigation.

Hon. Jacqueline C. Jackson
Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Judge Jackson to the Riverside Superior Court in December of 2010.  She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Judge Jackson is the Assistant Presiding Judge of the Court and she currently presides over Probate matters.  She also sits on her Court’s Appellate Division Panel.  From 2020-2022 she heard criminal motions, preliminary hearings, and trials.  Before moving to a trial assignment, she presided over the criminal Domestic Violence Calendar in the Riverside Hall of Justice from 2017 - 2020.  She presided over a Juvenile Court calendar from 2012 - 2017.  She was the Presiding Judge of the Riverside Juvenile Court from 2014 – 2017.  From 2011-2012, she presided over a Civil Court calendar.  In 2013, Governor Brown appointed her to the California Judicial Education and Research Juvenile Law Curriculum Committee for a three-year term.  Her appointment was renewed and she served through December of 2018.  From 2014 – 2016 she chaired the committee.  She voluntarily presides over Youth Court.  From 2012-2019, she served as a Judicial Master in the Leo A. Deegan American Inn of Court; she also served as its President for the 2017 – 2018 Program Year.

Judge Jackson presently chairs the Riverside County Judicial Applicant Mentor Program and is the Vice-President of the Riverside County Law Library Board.  She has taught Juvenile Dependency and Advanced Evidence to other bench officers through the Center for Judicial Education and Research.

Judge Jackson has received the following awards:  In 2014, The Outstanding Jurist Award from the Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court and the Judge of the Year Award from the R.T. Fields Bar Association; In 2017, the Judicial Officer of the Year Award from the California Probation, Parole, and Correctional Officers Association; in 2019, the Roy Wilkins Award from the Riverside NAACP; and in 2022, a second Judge of the Year Award from the R.T. Fields Bar Association for her mentorship program work.

Before her appointment to the bench; Judge Jackson was a deputy district attorney in Riverside and Los Angeles Counties.


Hon. Russell L. Velasquez
I was appointed to the bench in February of 2018.  During my first nine months on the bench I mostly presided over criminal trials in Indio, 21 in total with 5 murder trials.  I was then assigned to the Blythe courthouse 3 days a week where I presided over civil (small claims to unlimited), criminal, family, and traffic cases.  The other two days of the week I worked at the Indio courthouse where I covered criminal, traffic, and mostly family law matters.  For a two-year period I was a member of the habeas corpus panel for the superior court.  For a three-year period I was assigned to CEQA matters. 

In June of 2023, I was assigned full-time to Dept. PS3 which is the desert probate courtroom.  I preside over decedents’ estates cases, trust matters, guardianships, conservatorships, minors’ compromises, and elder abuse restraining orders. 

I am a past member of the Inns of Court and I have lectured on several occasions at CDTA. I have twice served as a seminar leader at the state judicial college. During the pandemic, I helped author the superior court’s protocol for remote jury trials.

I am a very serious musician who is a member of a not-so-serious cover band here in the Coachella Valley, the HighRoad Band of La Quinta. 

Finally, I was very proud to receive a Bird Award from the Desert Bar Association after my first year on the bench. 

I have quickly discovered that the probate bar in Riverside County is nothing short of fabulous.  Everyone has been extremely polite, professional, and very importantly patient with me during these first several months in probate.  It has made for a wonderful experience thus far and I am very grateful to be in this position.”


You don't want to miss this extraordinary Panel of Judges!

The DEPC Board of Directors is offering a One-Time
Special Guest Rate of $45.00
to attend this meeting!

We look forward to seeing you!


Thank you to our 2023-2024 Platinum Sponsor!

(Must Register by noon Mar. 7th!)

See Upcoming Event Calendar