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Name: McConnell, Judith
Current Position: Previous commission chair

First appointed chairperson in March 2009, Justice Judith D. McConnell remained on the commission after stepping down in March 2012.

McConnell received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 before earning a law degree from Boalt Hall School there in 1969.

She joined the California Department of Transportation as a lawyer after college before entering private practice in 1976 at Reed, McConnell & Sullivan.

From 1978 to 1980, she was a judge of the San Diego Municipal Court and from 1980 to 2001 a judge of the San Diego Superior Court. As a Superior Court judge, she served as presiding judge of the Juvenile Court and supervising judge of the Family Court and was elected by her colleagues to serve as assistant presiding judge in 1988 and as presiding judge in 1990, serving two years in each position.

McConnell served as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, from 2001 to 2003 and has been its Administrative Presiding Justice since 2003.

She served as a member and vice-chair of the Judicial Council Task Force on Jury System Improvement from 1998 to 2003, and as chair of the Task Force on Judicial Ethics Issues from 2003 to 2004.

McConnell was appointed to the commission in 2005 as the Court of Appeal judicial member by the Supreme Court and reappointed in 2009. She was the commission’s vice-chairperson in 2007 and 2008 before becoming chairperson in March 2009.

McConnell is a founding member of the Lawyers Club, an organization begun in the early ‘70s and credited with helping pave the way for female attorneys in a profession that had few at the time. She was the first woman in California to preside as judge over the courts of a major city when she became presiding judge of the Superior Court in 1990, according to San Diego Magazine.  


Judith McConnell (

Commission Members (CJP website)

Commission on Judicial Performance Announces the Election of Justice Judith D. McConnell as Chairperson (CJP website)

Judith McConnell (by Kim Cromwell, San Diego Magazine) 

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