The Hon. Gail Brewster Bereola is a judge for the Alameda County Superior Court in California. She was originally appointed to the Alameda Municipal Court in 1992 by former Governor Pete Wilson. She was subsequently elevated to the Superior Court as a result of the court's unification in 1998.
Judge Bereola graduated with her B.A. in government from the University of San Francisco in 1976. She went on to earn her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1979. During law school, Bereola interned at a law firm in Italy.
After graduating from law school, Bereola began her legal career at the San Francisco County District Attorney's Office, where she worked as a deputy district attorney.
She would leave the D.A.'s office to enter into private practice with her former husband, Emmett G. Hardy, Jr. They would practice together until 1989 when tragedy struck the couple during a trip to Mexico. During their excursion, they were passengers on a small plane that was forced to make a crash landing. The accident left her husband with permanent brain damage, and she was partially paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. Bereola was forced to continue her practice without her husband, who, because of his brain injuries, did not even recognize her anymore.
Two years after the accident, Bereola became a court commissioner for the Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Municipal Court. The next year, then-governor Wilson appointed her to preside over the same court.
While on the bench, Judge Bereola has presided over the criminal, juvenile, and civil departments. She also served as a presiding judge during her time on the Juvenile Court. She was also instrumental in convening a task force in 2008 that provides offenders the opportunity to make amends with their victims. The task force, known as Alameda County Restorative Juvenile Justice Task Force, hopes to cut down on recidivism by applying restorative justice. She also started a truancy initiative and truancy diversion court at a local middle school.
Her memberships have included the Juvenile Court Judges of California, the California Judges Association, the Charles Houston Bar Association, and the National Bar Association.
In her courtroom, Judge Bereola expects attorneys to be cordial and respectful as well as maintain a level of civility and decorum.
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