The Honorable Charlene P. Kiesselbach

San Francisco Superior Court, Department 318

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The Hon. Charlene P. Kiesselbach is a judge for the Superior Court of San Francisco County in California. She was first appointed to the San Francisco Municipal Court by former Governor Pete Wilson in March 1995. She was elevated to the Superior Court after the unification of the superior and municipal courts in 1998.

Kiesselbach earned a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969. She continued her studies at the Université de Montréal, where she received an M.A. in English in 1972. She then obtained a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1977.

After graduating from law school, Kiesselbach clerked at the California First District Court of Appeal. She then entered private practice, where she spent the next seventeen years. She first worked as an associate at Pettit & Martin, specializing in real estate matters. She then served as counsel and vice-president in the legal division of California First Bank. From 1987 to 1989, she worked as an associate with Adams, Sadler & Hovis, eventually joining Payne, Thompson, Walker, and Taaffe as counsel. She held this position until her appointment to the Municipal Court of San Francisco in 1995.

Kiesselbach was the first woman appointed to the Board of Directors of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Judges, where she chaired its Committee on Racial, Cultural and Sexual Orientation Discrimination.

Kiesselbach has been a member of the California Judges Association, the National Association of Women Judges, the McFetridge Inn of Court, the Lawyers Club Inn of Court, and Queen’s Bench.

Kiesselbach started the Color of Justice in 2004, a program designed to encourage minority and disadvantaged high school students in San Francisco public schools to consider a legal career.

Kiesselbach was born in San Francisco, California.

She is registered as a Democrat.

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