The Honorable Barbara Phelan

Sonoma County Superior Court, Department Courtroom 8

Biography

The Hon. Barbara Phelan is a judge for the Superior Court of Sonoma County in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Raima H. Ballinger.

Phelan earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She then completed a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

She began her legal career as an associate at Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman LLP in 1987.

Four years later, she left the firm and joined the California First District Court of Appeal as a judicial staff attorney.

Then, in 2001, she returned to the private sector, this time as an associate at Lanahan and Reilley. She practiced there for two years, quickly returning to her post at the California First District Court of Appeal in 2003.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Phelan was a resident of Glen Ellen at the time of her appointment. She was the first known LGBT judge to serve on the Superior Court of Sonoma County.

She is registered as a Democrat.