The Honorable Clare Keithley

Butte County Superior Court, Department 11


The Hon. Clare Keithley is a judge for the Superior Court of Butte County in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on July 21, 2008.

Keithley earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She then completed a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1992.

She began her legal career as an associate with a San Diego-based law firm in 1993, where she represented plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over breast implants.

She left the firm in 1995 and joined the Office of the District Attorney of Butte County. During her nine-year tenure there, she prosecuted narcotic, child endangerment, and gang-related cases. She also helped create the protocols used by law-enforcement agencies to remove children from drug-infested homes. Then, in 2004, she transferred to the Office of the District Attorney of Sonoma County. Her time in Sonoma County would be brief, as she would quickly return to the Office of the District Attorney of Butte County, where she spent the remainder of her legal career in its gang-prosecution unit.

She is registered as a Democrat.

Keithley was born and raised in Chico, California. Her father, George Keithley, was a poet and professor at California State University, Chico.

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