The Hon. Ioana Petrou is an Associate Justice for the Court of Appeal for the First District, Division Three in California. She was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2018 by former governor Jerry Brown. She filled the vacancy created by the elevation of the Hon. Stuart R. Pollack to presiding justice of the Court of Appeal for the First District, Division Four. Justice Petrou had been serving as an Alameda County Superior Court judge at the time of her appointment to the Court of Appeal. The former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the Superior Court bench in 2010, where she filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Morris Beatus (Ret.).
She is a registered Democrat.
Justice Petrou graduated with two B.A.'s from the University of California Berkeley. She went on to earn her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1993. While in law school, Petrou served as an intern for the Hon. Sheila Prell Sonenshine with the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District.
After graduating from law school, Petrou would work as an associate at the law firms of Proskauer Rose LLP from 1994 to 1995, Weissburg and Aronson from 1995 to 1996, and for Foley and Lardner LLP from 1996 to 1999. Besides her work as a civil litigator at Foley and Lardner, Petrou also provided extensive pro bono legal assistance, which the firm acknowledged by awarding her their Lynford Lardner Community Service Award.
She would leave the firm to become an assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, where she would be assigned to their criminal division from 2000 to 2002.
Petrou then returned to California, where she would venture back into private practice, joining O'Melveny and Myers as of counsel for the next two years.
In 2004, Petrou became an assistant U.S. Attorney, this time for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, where she would remain until her appointment to the Superior Court in 2010. During her six-year tenure with the USAO, Petrou would serve as coordinator for the Criminal Health Care Fraud Unit, and as chief of the Major Crimes Unit.
While on the Superior Court, Justice Petrou presided over family, criminal, unlimited civil, and complex civil assignments. She also served as a supervising judge of the Civil Division.
Some of her pro bono work involved the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, where she also served on the executive board.
Her other memberships have included the California Judges Association and the Alameda County Bar Associaton.
She was named the Trial Judge of the Year in 2016 by the Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyers and as the California Attorney of the Year in 2009 by The Recorder.
She has also served as an instructor at UC Berkeley School of Law. She has taught on the subjects of trial practice, litigation, family law, health care, and white-collar crimes.
Justice Petrou was born in Bologna, Italy.
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