The Honorable Michael B. Donner

Riverside County Superior Court, Department retired


The Hon. Michael B. Donner (Ret.) served as a judge for the Riverside County Superior Court in California. Donner was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008. He retired in 2020.

Over the course of his judicial career, Donner presided over a criminal trials calendar at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Donner earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Fullerton. After working briefly as a private investigator, Donner pursued a law degree, graduating from Southwestern School of Law with a J.D. in 1983.

As a law student, Donner clerked for Gilbert, Kelly, Crowley & Jennett in Los Angeles. Then, after completing his degree, he joined the firm full-time. He started as an associate, rising through the ranks to become a partner in 1988. Ten years later, Donner left the firm and established his own practice as a founding partner of Donner, Fernandez & Lauby. He worked in that capacity until his appointment to the bench.

Born and raised in California, Donner is speculated to be a descendant of the ill-fated Donner party. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served for four years.

He is registered as a Republican.

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