A Conversation with The Honorable Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, Author, ‘Her Honor, My Life on the Bench…What’s Broken and How to Change It’
Join me and The Honorable Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell as we discuss her new memoir, Her Honor, My Life on the Bench… What’s Broken and How to Change It. This frank and honest memoir recounts Judge Cordell’s experiences over nearly two decades on the bench. At the time of her appointment, she became the first African American woman jurist in Northern California. She also has served as the vice provost of Stanford University and the independent police auditor for the city of San Jose, CA. With crystal clarity, Judge Cordell offers an unvarnished view of the American legal system and offers important recommendations for structural change.
Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell
Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell is a legal commentator and police reform advocate, who is a frequent commentator on news outlets including NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. A graduate of Stanford Law School, she became the first African American woman jurist in Northern California, a position she held from 1982 to 2001. Prior to her time on the bench, she was the first lawyer to open a private practice in East Palo Alto, CA, a low-income community of color, and was an Assistant Dean of Stanford Law School where she implemented a highly successful minority admissions program. Following her retirement from the bench, she was a Vice Provost at Stanford University and, in 2010, was appointed the Independent Police Auditor for the City of San Jose. Judge Cordell‘s public service record spans decades, during which time she has overseen commissions that investigated violence and mental health care in the jail system, as well as accounts of racism in the San Francisco police department. She has received numerous awards, including Silicon Valley NAACP’s William E.B. Dubois Award, the Iola Williams Public Service Award, the National Council of Negro Women’s Public Service Award, the Social Justice Award from Legal Advocates for Children & Youth, and the Rose Bird Memorial Award from the California Women Lawyers. Judge Cordell founded the African American Donor Task Force to increase black participation in the national bone marrow registry. She is the co-founder of the African American Composer Initiative and CA Parks for All. An artist and pianist, she resides in California with her partner and is the proud mother of two daughters.
Michael Zeldin is a well-known and highly-regarded TV and radio analyst/commentator.
He has covered many high-profile matters, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, the Gore v. Bush court challenges, Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation of interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump impeachment proceedings.
In 2019, Michael was a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught a study group on Independent Investigations of Presidents.
Previously, Michael was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as Deputy Independent/ Independent Counsel, investigating allegations of tampering with presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s passport files, and as Deputy Chief Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force, investigating the handling of the American hostage situation in Iran.
Michael is a prolific writer and has published Op-ed pieces for CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hill, The Washington Times, and The Washington Post.