Los Altan of the Year

Posted on December 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog · Tagged: ,

Every year our local paper, the Town Crier, selects an individual as Los Altan of the Year.  This honor has been bestowed to a number of individuals that I have always held in high regard.

They are selflessly committed to our community.  They create bonds that make Los Altos what it is today.

This year, Len Edwards was selected.  His ethics are beyond reproach, he is an advocate for families in crisis, and has spent 26 years as a judge.

Below you will find the Crier’s announcement of Len’s selection and a dinner in his honor.  Enjoy …

The Town Crier named “Len” Edwards, who as a Santa Clara County family and juvenile court judge revolutionized his profession, the 2011 Los Altan of the Year.

Modeled after Time magazine’s Person of the Year, the Town Crier bestows the annual honor on residents whose community building and good will reflect positively on the city.

Edwards, 70, a Los Altos Hills resident, spent his 26 years as a judge evolving from detached arbitrator to active participant in improving the lives of at-risk children and families in crisis.

Childhood memories of his parents’ bitter divorce inspired Edwards to craft new rules, such as permitting judges to appoint counsel to represent children and specifying the duties of an attorney for a child in custody cases. He also was instrumental in mandating a three-year minimum term for juvenile court judges to provide continuity and enhance effectiveness.

Energetic and committed, Edwards has authored numerous articles and made films based on his work.

The depth of his involvement – founding as well as participating in numerous family-advocacy organizations – has earned him dozens of awards. His work has played a vital role in the Santa Clara County court system’s standing as one of the most exemplary in the country.

He took to heart the need for juvenile judges to reach out to the community and identify services that address the needs of children.

He expanded his vision outside the court, helping domestic violence victims by founding the county’s Domestic Violence Council in 1993.

Another major achievement was his 1986 co-founding of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley with Nora Manchester (see Town Crier Holiday Fund, page 11). He also facilitated previously combative professionals – social workers and judges – in establishing dialogue that led to improved communication and performance.

Since retiring from the bench in 2006, Edwards has been as active as ever, consulting with juvenile and family courts across the state, country and world.

Edwards is scheduled to be honored in a full-length Jan. 4 Town Crier cover story and at a Jan. 20 invitation-only dinner at the Los Altos Golf & Country Club.

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