The Honorable Thierry Patrick Colaw

Orange County Superior Court, Department retired


The Hon. Thierry Patrick Colaw (Ret.) served as a judge for the Superior Court of Orange County in California. He was appointed by former governor Pete Wilson on August 21, 1997.

Colaw earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1974. He then received a J.D. from the University of Santa Clara School of Law in 1977.

Colaw began his legal career in 1977. He first worked as an attorney with Smith & Brissenden, where he specialized in insurance defense litigation until 1979. He spent the next five years working as a civil litigation attorney with the law offices of Vernon W. Hunt. In 1985 he became a partner at Hunt, Colaw & Roe, a position he held until his appointment to the Superior Court of Orange County.

As a judge for the Superior Court of Orange County, Colaw presided over criminal and civil law matters, most of which included class actions, complex multi-party civil cases, toxic torts, multi-party liability cases, construction defect casts, and California Environmental Quality Act cases.

Colaw was awarded Judge of the Year by the Business Trial Lawyer Section of the Orange County Bar Association (2003) and by the American Board of Trial Advocates (2000). He was also awarded the Judicial Civility Award by the Robert J. Banyard Inn of Court in 1999.

Although he was born in Kansas City, Missouri, Colaw attended three high schools in three different states (Florida, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania). He played football at each of these schools. He also ran track.

After finishing high school, Colaw completed two tours of duty in Vietnam with the United States Navy from 1968 to 1972.

Colaw is married with two children. He enjoys watching college football with his brothers and his sons. He likes photography, bicycling, and listening to classical music as well as cooking French cuisine and traveling.

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