The Honorable Deborah A. Ryan

Santa Clara County Superior Court, Department 17


The Hon. Deborah A. Ryan is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. John F. Herlihy.

Ryan earned a B.A. from the University of California, Davis. She then completed a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1977.

She began her legal career in 1978. She first worked in the Office of the Public Defender of Santa Clara County. Seven years later, she moved to the Office of the County Counsel of Santa Clara County, where she served as a deputy county counsel. Then, in 1995, she joined the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as their senior assistant counsel, a position she held for the next four years.

Ryan was selected to join the Superior Court of Santa Clara County as a court commissioner in 1999. She served in that capacity until her appointment to the bench in 2010.

She served as the project coordinator for the Comprehensive Adjudication of Drug Arrestees Program in 1989.

Her memberships have included the California Center for Judicial Education and Research and the California Judges Association.

Ryan has been a resident of Santa Clara County since 1974.

She is registered as a Democrat.

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