The Honorable David A. Cena

CA Bar #: 83173 (November 1978)

Appointed By: Gov. Peter Barton Wilson


The Hon. David A. Cena is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California. He was initially appointed to the Santa Clara Municipal Court by former Governor Pete Wilson in 1995. He was subsequently elevated to the Superior Court upon court unification in 1998.

Cena earned an A.A. from the College of the Siskiyous in 1973. He then continued his studies at the University of California, Davis, where he completed a B.A. in political science in 1975. Then, in 1978, he received a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Cena acquired seventeen years of civil trial experience. He began his legal career in 1979, working as an associate for Popelka, Allard, McCowan & Jones. During his tenure there, he specialized in complex lawsuits, which included product liability, toxic tort, business litigation, insurance bad faith, real estate, construction defects, as well as medical and legal malpractice cases. He stayed with the firm until his appointment to the bench, eventually becoming one of its partners.

Cena was born in Weed, California. As a college student, he spent his summers working in the sawmills of this small lumber town.

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