The Honorable Carol S. Brosnahan

Alameda County Superior Court, Department 410


The Hon. Carol S. Brosnahan is a judge for the Alameda County Superior Court in California. She was originally appointed to the Alameda County Municipal Court by former Governor Jerry Brown in 1979. She was subsequently elevated to the Superior Court as a result of the court's unification.

Judge Brosnahan received her B.A. from Wellesley College. She went on to earn her LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1959. At a time in history when women were just being admitted into Harvard Law, Brosnahan was one of only nine other women attending the law school. Another attendee at the time was the Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Harvard Law School 1959).

In 2009, the Behavioral Health Court was convened at the John George Psychiatric Pavilion, and Judge Brosnahan presided there since its inception. While on the Berkeley Municipal Court, Judge Brosnahan (who was the presiding judge at the time) and two other judges, disqualified themselves from hearing a case in 1985 involving demonstrators arrested at a UC Berkeley anti-apartheid protest. The judges based their disqualification on the grounds that because of their strong feelings and sentiment for the victims of the apartheid in South Africa, they could not be impartial in the case.

Some of her accolades have included being named the 2013 Woman Jurist of Distinction by the Women Lawyers of Alameda County in California and the 2017 Rose Bird Memorial Award by the California Women Lawyers.

Judge Brosnahan is married to attorney James J. Brosnahan, who has served as a senior partner at Morrison and Foerster LLP. They share a daughter, the Hon. Amy Brosnahan, who was sworn in as a judge for Minnesota's 10th Judicial District Court in 2014.

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