The Honorable Michael D. Coughlan

San Joaquin County Superior Court, Department M1


The Hon. Michael D. Coughlan is a judge for the San Joaquin 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 retirement of the Hon. James E. Cadle (Ret.).

He is a registered Republican.

Judge Coughlan received his B.A. from the University of the Pacific in 1977. After graduating from law school, Coughlan worked nights as a claims adjuster for the American Automobile Association to pay for law school. He went on to earn his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1986.

Coughlan began his legal career in private practice, which included practicing eight years as a managing lead attorney with the California State Auto Association beginning in 1993. He then entered into a civil litigation solo practice, where he specialized in insurance coverage, personal injury, commercial litigation, mediation, and arbitration. He remained in private practice until his call to the bench in 2005.

Coughlan also served as a judge pro tem.

While on the bench, Judge Coughlan has presided in the Criminal Division at the Manteca Branch and has presided over the San Joaquin County Superior Court's Adoption Day. He has served as a Presiding Juvenile Judge and also served on the Court's Executive Committee.

He was born and raised in San Francisco, California.