The Honorable Michael A. Knish

San Bernardino County Superior Court, Department R3


The Hon. Michael A. Knish is a judge for the Superior Court of San Bernardino County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former governor Jerry Brown on August 7, 2012, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. W. Robert Fawke.

Knish earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University in 1982. After completing his undergraduate degree, he taught AP Economics and AP English at Damien High School for seven years. He then enrolled in Whittier College School of Law, where he completed his J.D. in 1991. Nine years later, he received an M.A. in English from California State University, Los Angeles.

He began his legal career in private practice in 1992. He first worked for the Law Office of Cedric Elias. Then, in 1995, he moved to the Law Office of Jimmy Gutierrez. During his tenure with these two firms, he specialized in criminal law, family law, and personal injury law.

Shortly after joining the Law Office of Jimmy Gutierrez, he accepted a position with the Office of the Public Defender of San Bernardino County. He served as a deputy public defender for the next eight years, where he was assigned to its felony trials unit and its capital defense team.

Knish was appointed to the Superior Court of San Bernardino County as a court commissioner in 2003. He served in this capacity until his elevation to a judgeship.

He was named Trial Attorney of the Year in 1998. He was also named Public Defender of the Year by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2000.

Knish taught law and English composition classes at Mt. San Antonio College, East Los Angeles College, Riverside Community College, California State University, Los Angeles, and Glendale University College of Law.

He was a resident of Studio City, California at the time of his appointment to the bench.

Knish is registered as a Democrat.

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