The Honorable Timothy J. Schmal

Santa Cruz Superior Court, Department 2


The Hon. Timothy J. Schmal is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Cruz County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former governor Jerry Brown in 2018, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Heather D. Morse.

Schmal earned a B.A. from California State University, Fresno in 1979. He then received a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1982.

He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Peter Anello (deceased) of the California Court of Appeal for the First District in 1981. The following year, he taught as a legal research and writing instructor at Santa Clara University School of Law.

He then joined Gassett, Perry and Frank as an associate, eventually rising to partner in 1988. After working with the firm for fourteen years, he moved to Burton, Volkmann and Schmal. He practiced there as a partner for eleven years before joining Burton, Schmal and DiBenedetto in 2008. Then, in 2014, he left the firm in order to start his own private practice as a sole practitioner.

Over the course of his legal career, Schmal specialized in civil litigation with an emphasis on governmental tort liability. He also focused on landslide and subsidence litigation, property litigation, civil rights litigation, and construction-related litigation.

Schmal was born in Hammond, Indiana. When he is not on the bench, he enjoys running, golfing, and backpacking. He is the father of two adopted daughters.

He is registered as a Democrat.

Recent Rulings by Hon. Timothy J. Schmal

Recent Rulings by Hon. Timothy J. Schmal

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