The Hon. Jean M. Dandona is a judge for the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008. She filled the vacancy created by the death of the Hon. Joseph Lodge (deceased).
She is a registered Democrat.
Judge Dandona received her B.A. and her secondary teaching credentials from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1970. After working for several years as a school teacher, Dandona ultimately decided to pursue her law degree. She attended the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she obtained her J.D. in 1978. While in law school, Dandona was a member of the Order of the Coif honor society.
She began her legal career in private practice, where she served as a civil litigator and trial attorney for twenty years. During half that time, Dandona was in solo practice at her own firm. Her civil litigation practice included matters involving business, personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, professional liability, real property, contract, and telecommunications. She also served as an arbitrator and settlement master for the court.
Then, in 1999, Dandona became a legal research attorney for the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. A year later, she rose to the position of senior legal research attorney and would serve in that capacity until her appointment to the bench in 2008.
While on the bench, Judge Dandona has served as a juvenile judge for the Santa Barbara Juvenile Court. Her other assignments have included the Mental Health, Dual Diagnosis, Proposition 36, Clean and Sober, Substance Abuse, and Restorative Courts.
She has also served as a judge pro tem and mock trial judge.
Her memberships have included the American Cancer Society, the City of Carpinteria Community Services Commission-Citizens Advisory Board, the William L. Gordon Inn of Court, and chair and deacon of the Carpinteria Community Church.
Judge Dandona was born in West Point, New York.