Justice Richard T. Fields
The bar association is named after the Honorable Richard T. Fields, who was the first African-American jurist in Riverside County. He was appointed as a Commissioner in 1991 and in April 200, he became the first African-American judge in Riverside County. Judge Fields has presided in the courts of Riverside County 26 years. In 2007 and 2008, Judge Fields served as the Presiding Judge of the entire Riverside County court system. In 2017 he was appointed to the California 4th District Court of Appeal.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Fields served as a Reginald Heber Smith National Poverty Law Fellow with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. He was associated with the Law Offices of Susan R. Wasserman, and he also served for several years as a Riverside County deputy public defender.
Justice Fields has received many awards. In 2007, he received the Southwest Bar Association’s Judge of the Year award. In 2008, he was named as Judge of the Year by the Riverside-San Bernardino Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In June 2009, he received the Outstanding Jurist Award from the Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court. In 2013, he received the Alba Witkin Humanitarian Award from the California Judges Association. He also been honored for judicial excellence by the California Association of Black Lawyers and the 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire. In 2016, he was named the Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court Douglass E. Weathers Distinguished Honoree and received the Champions of Justice Award from Fair Housing Council of Riverside County Inc. In 2017, he received the California Association of Black Lawyers Judicial Section South’s prestigious Black Gavel Award.