JUDGE TEAFORD RETIRES
Judge Thomas B. Teaford, Jr. is retiring from the San Joaquin Superior Court. Friday, October 4, 2002 was his last day on the bench.
"He will be immediately missed by his colleagues and those of us who also had the privilege to appear before him over the years," according to the Honorable George Abdallah, Presiding Judge. "Judge Teaford is a model for judicial demeanor, and an individual who prized careful scholarship in addressing any legal issue he confronted in or out of his courtroom."
Judge Teaford was appointed by the Governor to the Municipal Court in Stockton in 1980, where he served several terms as Presiding Judge. That court merged with the Superior Court in 1997. He became the first Presiding Judge of the consolidated courts.
"Judge Teaford served as Presiding Judge during a pivotal point in the Court's history," according to Judge Abdallah. "He helped the entire judiciary, staff and administrators make the transition to a new and unified court by his concern for us all, and by his thoughtful demeanor and faith in the benefits of a one court system."
The Judge attributes his success to the public school system in California. "I give credit to the citizens of this state who had the wisdom to set up the community college, state college and university systems, all of which I attended: Napa Junior College, San Francisco and San Jose State Colleges, and University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall Law School, " he said. "Being one of eight children of a carpenter and a housewife, I would never have gone to college otherwise."
During most of his years on the bench, Judge Teaford handled criminal trials, although he also presided over civil matters and every other municipal court assignment.
His early years in law included work at the Public Defender's Office of San Joaquin County from 1969- 1980. When he began, he became the 5th attorney in that office that grew to about 30 attorneys by the time he left. He became Assistant Public Defender in 1975, assuming some administrative duties. When he left after 11 years, he had the longest tenure of any employee of that office.
Judge Teaford has two children, a daughter who is a college administrator and a son who is a police officer. The Judge and his wife moved out of the area, where they look forward to pursuing personal interests, including hiking and other outdoor sports.
Judge Abdallah expressed the sentiments of all of the court staff: "We wish him every happiness as he enters a new phase in his life."