The Honorable Sharon A. Chatman

Santa Clara County Superior Court, Department 39

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Biography

The Hon. Sharon A. Chatman is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California. She was appointed to the bench by former governor Gray Davis in 2000. Over the course of her judicial career, she has supervised its three domestic violence courts and presided over its Family Law Division.

Chatman attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where she was a point guard for its women’s basketball team. After she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1974, she spent the next two decades coaching high school and college basketball at Andrew P. Hill High School, De Anza College, and San Jose State University.

Then, in 1986, Chatman retired from coaching. She enrolled in the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she completed a J.D. in 1989.

Immediately after graduating, she accepted a position in the Office of the District Attorney of Santa Clara County. She worked as a deputy district attorney for nearly a decade, handling gang violence, sexual assault, and murder cases.

Chatman has served as a faculty member for the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence and the National Institute on Fatherhood, Visitation, and Domestic Violence.

She is a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award from the Santa Clara County Bar Association, the Social Justice Award from the NAACP, the Woman of Vision Award from the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Alba Witkin Humanitarian Award from the California Judges Association.

She was also the founder of the Phenomenal Women Awards as well as the Red Power Divas.

Chatman was raised in Bakersfield, California, where she spent her time weeding the cotton fields.

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