Formation of the Marin Chapter of the California Grand Jurors’ Association

On August 27, 1997, the California Grand Jurors’ Association (CGJA) Board of Directors adopted new bylaws by vote of the Association’s general membership that restructured the Association to allow for Chapters governed under rules similar to CGJA’s.

Sometime in 1998, Dan Taranto, the President of CGJA, contacted John Montgomery, Marin County’s Court Executive Officer, about arranging a talk with at least 5 current Marin members of CGJA interested in an association of former (veteran) jurors. Irene Mariani apparently gave Dan a list of Marin County grand jurors from the previous 5 years. Dan also contacted Bob Abeling who, along with Sue Haas, Jack Olive, Dan Campbell and Gil Murphy spearheaded the effort in Marin. Notices of proposed meeting went to 95 veteran jurors; 63 jurors attended the first meeting, and 47 jurors attended the next month’s meeting. The consensus at both was that Marin should file to become a Chapter of CGJA.

On April 15, 1999, the CGJA approved the formation of the Marin Chapter. Bob Abeling was elected President of the fledgling Chapter (1999-2000), Sue Haas was elected Vice President, Jack Olive was elected Secretary and Dan Campbell became Treasurer, a post he held for the next 4 years. From 1985 through 1997, the Marin Grand Jury was convened for the calendar year, January 1 through December 31. Prior to 1985, the Grand Jury served during the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30. The next jury after 1997 served 18 months from January 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999; thereafter, the term of service reverted to the fiscal year.

Bob sought input from around the state. He learned that Solano used to have picnics that were attended by veteran jurors from around the state and were a good place to network. For several years Ed Schulze organized and provided abalone for the Marin Chapter’s annual picnic at Samuel P. Taylor Park.


Bob Abeling (1997-1998; 1999-2001)
Stuart Brown (2001-2002)
Russ Brubaker (1995-1996; 1996-1997)
Gene Dyer (1995-1996)
Ted Freeman (1988-1989; 1999-2000)
Jan Gross (2005-2006)
Sue Haas (1997-1998)
Wes Huss (1997-1998)
Betty Mattea (2002-2003; 2003-2004)
Reva Saper (1995-1996)
Lowell Smith (2001-2002)

This project was undertaken in conjunction with the Chapter’s 10th anniversary in 2007. Most of the information was collected from Betty Mattea’s notes from her conversation with Bob Abeling on Friday, November 28, 2008, about his recollection of how the Marin Chapter of CGJA got started. Betty received additional input from Wes Huss and Sue Haas in early December 2008. Betty’s notes were then circulated via email for more input. This was intended to highlight the Chapter’s early achievements, not to provide an exhaustive list of every accomplishment, so please forgive any omissions as they are not intentional.