Santa Barbara County Superior Court, in conjunction with the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, will hold a special memorial session of the court to honor and remember the late Judge J. William “Bill” McLafferty, who died in January.

The memorial session will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Mural Room of the Historic Courthouse in Santa Barbara, 1100 Anacapa St.

McLafferty was an established leader in the Santa Barbara court system. He was the supervising judge of the court’s Civil Division for the south county and a member of the court’s Executive Committee.  He served two years as the presiding judge of the court from 2007-08 and was the assistant presiding judge from 2005- 06.

He was appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson to the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in 1997, was elected for a six-year term commencing January 1999, and re-elected for another term commencing January 2005.

Before his career on the bench, he was a practicing attorney with the Santa Barbara law firm of Archbald & Spray from 1975-1997, and was its managing partner from 1990-97. McLafferty practiced law with Tom Halde & Associates in Santa Barbara from 1972-75, where he gained much experience as a young trial attorney. He obtained his law degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn., in 1968.

The memorial session is open to the public.

— Gary Blair is an executive officer for Santa Barbara County Superior Court.