The Honorable Katherine Mader

Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department retired


The Hon. Katherine Mader (Ret.) served as a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California. She was elected to the bench in 2000 and retired in 2020.

Mader earned a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1969. She then completed a J.D. at the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1972.

After graduating from law school, Mader began her legal career as a deputy public defender in the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office in 1973. She served in that capacity for three years before joining the Patients’ Rights Office of the California Department of Health as its Director. During her tenure there, she conducted investigations and enforced patients’ rights in care facilities and state hospitals.

Then, in 1977, Mader entered into private practice as a criminal defense attorney. While in private practice, she represented Angelo Buono, identified as the notorious Hillside Strangler. In 1985, Mader left private practice in order to become a deputy district attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Mader was named Inspector General for the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996. The position was created as part of the Christopher Commission Report, which included a list of recommendations to repair the public’s view of the department after the police beatings of Rodney King. Mader left her post after three years and returned to the District Attorney’s Office, where she continued to serve as a deputy district attorney until her election to the bench.

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