The Honorable Catherine J. Pratt

Los Angeles Superior Court, Department 260

Biography

The Hon. Catherine J. Pratt is a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench in 2015 by former Governor Jerry Brown. She filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Leslie A. Dunn (Ret.).

She is a registered Democrat.

Judge Pratt received her B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to earn her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

Pratt became an associate at the law firm of Keesal, Young, and Logan in 1987. In 1993, Pratt left the firm to join the legal department at the investment bank and stock brokerage firm of PaineWebber. During her brief time there, Pratt served as a senior litigation attorney and corporate vice president from 1993 to 1996. She then joined Auxiliary Legal Services Inc. as an attorney, where she would practice for the next three years.

In 1999, Pratt became a senior deputy county counsel for the Los Angeles County Counsel's Office. She served there for seven years before being appointed a court commissioner for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2006.

During her time as a court commissioner, Pratt founded the S.T.A.R. (Succeeding Through Achievement and Resilience) Court in 2012. The court, which is held in the Compton Courthouse, started out as an experimental court in 2011. It offers adolescent girls between the ages of 12-18, who are involved in prostitution and sex-trafficking, the opportunity to receive services that provide them with the help they need to restart their lives. The restorative justice approach treats the young defendants as victims and not criminals.

Judge Pratt, who initially became an advocate for abused and battered women after her sister was killed as a result of a domestic violence incident, has traveled to municipalities and jurisdictions across the country to speak to judges and other legal professionals about the S.T.A.R. Court concept.

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