The Honorable Joseph R. Distaso

Stanislaus County Superior Court, Department 4


The Hon. Joseph R. Distaso is a judge for the Stanislaus County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. He filled the vacancy created by the death of the Hon. Wray Ladine (deceased).

Distaso is a registered Republican.

He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. He went on to earn his J.D. from Loyola Law School.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Distaso was a senior deputy district attorney with the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office. He had been with the Stanislaus County D.A.'s Office since 1996. During his tenure there, Distaso served as the lead prosecutor in the Scott Peterson murder trial.

Before joining the D.A.'s office, Distaso was a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG Corps). After completing his active duty in 1996, Distaso would continue to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2008, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Commander of the 75th Legal Operations Detachment in the U.S. Army Reserves JAG Corps.

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