The Honorable Joni T. Hiramoto

Contra Costa County Superior Court, Department 32


The Hon. Joni T. Hiramoto is a judge for the Superior Court of Contra Costa County in California. She was initially appointed to the Municipal Court of Contra Costa County by former Governor Pete Wilson on March 11, 1998. She was then elevated to the Superior Court in 1998 as a result of court unification. She was re-elected to the bench in 2012.

Judge Hiramoto earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University. She later earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

After graduating from law school, Hiramoto spent five years working as an associate at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. Then, in 1992, she joined the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, where she served as branch chief until her appointment to the bench.

After her appointment, she became the supervising judge of the Richmond Courthouse, where she was instrumental in running the courts' Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic. Judge Hiramoto describes the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic as her "baby," because she is one of the major driving forces behind its inception.

Hiramoto served as President of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. She has held associations with the San Francisco Women Lawyers Alliance, the Asian Law Caucus, and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Judge Hiramoto has taught fairness and ethics at programs meant for new judges. Hiramoto has taught for the New Judges’ Orientation program, the Bernard E. Witkin Judicial College of California, the State Judges’ Qualifying Ethics II Program, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Workshop.

According to the judge, an attorney's reputation is an important aspect of his/her career. She appreciates the attorney who respects their opposing counsel. She is described by her colleagues as a bit more deliberate than her fellow judges when on the bench.

In March 2004 she was recognized by El Cerrito West Contra Costa County’s Women Inspiring Hope and Inspiration Awards for her many achievements.

Her husband, Douglass MacMaster, is a Contra Costa County prosecutor.

Judge Hiramoto is Democrat.

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