New judge sworn in: A Duffy family tradition

Jackie Duffy is sworn in as a new judge by her husband, Michael Duffy.
Jackie Duffy is sworn in as a new judge by her husband, Michael Duffy. The Tribune

A tearful and joyous Jacquelyn H. Duffy was sworn in as San Luis Obispo Superior Court’s newest judge Thursday by her equally emotional husband, Judge Michael Duffy.

Duffy, 43, was appointed to the bench in February. A late afternoon ceremony at 4 p.m. in her husband’s courtroom was packed with prosecutors and defense attorneys, as well as bailiffs and court staff members.

Several of Jackie Duffy’s family members attended the event, including her mother, Yoko Henderson.

Retired Judge Roger T. Picquet praised Duffy for her intelligence, legal knowledge and skill in reasoning; qualities that will make her effective on the bench, he said. Picquet also commended her for her integrity and honesty.

Duffy has worked as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office for the past 13 years. Before that, she was a local defense attorney representing children in juvenile cases. A tearful Michael Duffy administered the oath of office to his wife, jokingly reminding her to show deference because he is a “senior judge” on the bench.

“I’m just so proud of your accomplishments,” Michael Duffy said. “You’re exceptionally well-qualified.”

Jackie Duffy thanked her family for their support, and her husband for being an “amazing human being” and her best friend through “happy and painful times.”

“I’m deeply honored to be here,” she said.