The Honorable Danny Y. Chou

San Mateo County Superior Court, Department 22


The Hon. Danny Y. Chou is a judge for the Superior Court of San Mateo County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2017, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Barbara J. Mallach.

Chou earned a B.A. from Harvard University. He then continued his studies at Harvard Law School, where he received a J.D.

He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. Stanley A. Weigel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in 1994. The following year, he joined Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk and Rabkin as an associate, specializing in intellectual property litigation. He practiced there for three years, eventually accepting a position as a staff attorney at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Then, in 1999, he settled into a position as a judicial staff attorney for Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court. He held this position until 2005, eventually rising through the ranks to become a supervising staff attorney.

Chou left the California Supreme Court in 2006. He joined the Office of the City Attorney of San Francisco as chief of appellate litigation. Two years later, he transitioned into the chief of complex and special litigation. At this time, he was assigned to the team charged with litigating the constitutionality of same-sex marriage before the California Supreme Court and the federal court.

Just prior to his appointment to the bench, Chou served as an assistant county counsel for the Office of County Counsel of Santa Clara from 2012 to 2017. During his five year tenure there, he advised the Santa Clara County Health and Hospital System as well as the Department of Adult and Aging Services.

Chou has served on the Public Law Leadership Advisory Council as well as the Judiciary Committee of the Asian American Bar Association.

He was the second Asian American judge to serve on the Superior Court of San Mateo County.

He is registered as a Democrat.

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