The Honorable Katherine Mader

Los Angeles Superior Court, Department 117


The Hon. Katherine Mader is a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California. She was elected to the bench in 2000.

Judge Mader graduated in 1969 with her B.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She went on to earn her J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1972.

Mader joined the Sacramento County Public Defender's Office in 1973 and served as a public defender for three years. In 1976 she joined the Patients' Rights Office of the California Department of Health in Sacramento serving as their Director. She spent a year with the Health Department where she conducted investigations and enforced patients rights in care facilities and state hospitals. Judge Mader entered into private practice in 1977 as a criminal defense attorney. One of her clients during her seven years as a defense attorney was the serial killer, Angelo Buono, the notorious Hillside Strangler. She left private practice in 1985 to join the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office as a deputy district attorney. She was a prosecutor for the D.A.'s office for 11 years, until being assigned to serve as the first-ever Inspector General for the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996. The position was created as part of the Christopher Commission report which was a list of recommendations enacted after the Rodney King beating by the L.A. Police. The commission sought to repair the public view of the department. The position was embroiled with controversy and strife, and Mader ended up leaving after three years. She returned to the D.A.'s office in 1999 where she resumed her position as a deputy district attorney and remained there until her election to the Superior Court in 2000.

Judge Mader is a lecturer and author.

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