The Honorable Zel Canter

Santa Barbara County Superior Court, Department retired


The Hon. Zel Canter (Ret.) was a judge for the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown in 1981.

Canter received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. He went on to earn his J.D. from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law.

Canter moved to Santa Barbara in 1968 when was hired on as a deputy county counsel for Santa Barbara County. After a brief stint there, he also worked for one year as a deputy public defender and four years as a deputy district attorney in Santa Barbara County.

Then, in 1974, Canter entered into private practice, where he would specialize in civil litigation. He remained in that capacity until his appointment to the Superior Court seven years later.

During his tenure on the bench, Canter presided over a high-profile civil case between the pop-star Michael Jackson and a concert promoter who were both involved in a contract dispute. Ultimately the jury determined that Jackson was at fault, and he was ordered to pay the promoter $5.3 million.

In his retirement, Canter looked forward to spending time sailing on his 30-foot sailboat.

Recent Rulings by Hon. Zel Canter

Recent Rulings by Hon. Zel Canter

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