The Honorable Jo-Lynne Q. Lee

Alameda County Superior Court, Department 18

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Biography

The Hon. Jo-Lynne Q. Lee is a judge for the Alameda County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench in 2002 by former governor Gray Davis. At the time of her appointment, Judge Lee was the first Chinese-American woman to serve on the Alameda County Superior Court.

Judge Lee graduated magna cum laude with her B.A. from the Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971. She went on to earn her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1974.

Lee grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where her family ran a Chinese restaurant in Little Italy. After graduating from Columbia, Lee would begin her legal career in New York, joining the Bronx County District Attorney's Office in 1974, where she worked as a deputy district attorney for three years.

Then, in 1977, she accepted a position in San Francisco where she worked as a staff member for a research project tasked with studying trial court delays with the National Center for State Courts. After the project ended, Lee joined the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, where she would serve as an assistant U.S. Attorney until 1980.

In 1981, Lee entered into private practice, joining the law firm of Robinson and Wood, where she served as a defense attorney in complex construction defect cases. She continued her work with construction defect litigation at the Oakland firms of Kennedy and Wasserman, and at Kennedy, Gong, Mitchell, and Combs. Prior to her appointment to the Superior Court, Lee was practicing at Griffith, Castle, and Schwartzman, where she practiced construction defect and real estate disputes. While at the firm, Lee also served as a court-appointed Special Master and Discovery Referee.

Her memberships have included the Asian-American Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Contra Costa County and Alameda County Bar Associations.

Her civic organizations have included the Rotary Club of Oakland and the YMCA of Oakland.

While on the bench, Judge Lee has presided over a civil direct calendar.

As a hobby, Lee enjoys designing and fabricating jewelry. She is certified with the Gemological Institue of America in grading pearls.

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