Justice James Ardaiz served as Administrative Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, 5th District (Fresno), having served on that Court for 20 years. Before that, he served as a Superior Court Judge. In 2000, he was chosen as California Jurist of the Year. He served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Council, which establishes the Rules of Court for all courts in the State. He has lectured across the county on evidence, trial practice, and judicial decision making.