History of the William L. Gordon Inn of Court

On October 27, 1995 the American Inns of Court Foundation awarded organizational charter number 275 to the Santa Barbara American Inn of Court.  The genesis of the Santa Barbara Inn came from the experience of David Hughes, Judge Denise de Bellefeuille and Judge Jim Herman in 1992 in London during the California State Bar's "Legal Week in London".

Through the efforts of Mr. Hughes, Judges Ruggerio Aldisert, Frank Ochoa, de Bellefeuille and Herman and with the assistance of Ken Moes, Desmond O'Neill, Nancy Sieh, Dean Donald Bright and Judge George Eskin, the Inn took shape.  However its future was assured when Judge William L. Gordon came into the Inn and Yvonne French became the administrator.

At first the Inn was comprised of 80 members who were:

  • Masters of the Bench -  Judicial Officers, teachers of the law or practicing attorneys with more than 15 years of experience
  • Barristers - Lawyers with 5-15 years of experience 
  • Associates - Lawyers with 5 or less years of experience

The first general meeting was held at Harry's Restaurant on September 18, 1996. It moved to the University Club in March of 1997 as the continuing legal education programs became more elaborate.  The meetings continue there up to the present time.

On April 5, 2000, the Santa Barbara Inn of Court was renamed the William L. Gordon Inn of Court in honor of the driving spirit of the former Santa Barbara Inn of Court.

In 2001, Mary Carralejo replaced Yvonne French as the administrator. In September 2006, Jill Sadler the present administrator replaced Mary Carralejo.

William L. Gordon Inn Schedule

The William L. Gordon Inn of Court meets on the first Wednesday of every month, February through November. The Inn is dark December and January.

William L. Gordon Inn Meeting Location

University Club
1332 Santa Barbara Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101