The Honorable Jean M. Nelson

Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department 402


The Hon. Jean M. Nelson is a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench by former governor Jerry Brown in 2018. She filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Lesley C. Green (Ret.).

She is a registered Democrat.

Judge Nelson graduated magna cum laude with her B.A. in history from Brown University in 1986. She went on to earn her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1990.

After graduating from law school, Nelson served a two-year clerkship for the Hon. Laughlin E. Waters with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Then, in 1992, she joined the law firm of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown, and Enersen LLP as an associate, a position she would hold for three years.

She would leave the private sector in 1995 to become an assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. While there, Nelson would prosecute complex cases involving bank and mail fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking, and asset forfeiture. In 2001, she would serve as the deputy chief of the USAO's Criminal Division's Major Narcotics Section, where she would remain for five years.

Then, in 2008, Nelson reentered the private arena, becoming a partner at the Los Angeles law firm Scheper Kim and Harris LLP. At the firm, Nelson litigated white collar crimes in her representation of clients against claims of health care fraud, money laundering, insider trading, and tax fraud, just to name a few.

Nelson also worked with the Alliance for Children's Rights, providing pro bono legal assistance to individuals seeking to obtain guardianship of abandoned or orphaned children.

For full print and download access, please subscribe at

Please wait a moment while we load this page.