Orange County Superior Court, Department - (website)
Hon. Mary Fingal Schulte retired from the Orange County Superior Court in 2017 after 20 years on the
bench. She enjoyed a distinguished judicial career as a respected trial judge, having herself been an
experienced trial lawyer and civil litigator for nearly 20 years before her appointment to the bench. In
2016, Judge Schulte received the Trial Judge of the Year Award from the Orange County Chapter of the
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
For the last 14 years of her judicial career, Judge Schulte held various civil assignments and has presided over general jurisdiction civil trials, probate and mental health hearings and trials, appellate panel hearings, and long cause family law trials. She was Supervising Judge of the Probate/Mental Health Panel from 2009-2014, and Assistant Presiding Judge of the Appellate Panel from 2008-2009. In
addition, she was actively involved in several court committees, including the executive committee; the
temporary judge committee, where she developed and supervised the first courtwide training program
for the court’s temporary judges and a settlement training program for the Probate Panel’s temporary
judges; and the arbitration and mediation committee.
Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Schulte began her legal career as a Deputy District Attorney for
the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. She was then in private practice in Orange County for 13
years as a business and tort trial attorney, including nine years as a partner at Martin Wilson Fingal &
MacDowell, with an emphasis in construction, premises and products liability litigation, insurance
coverage, and medical malpractice cases.
Judge Schulte is very proficient in French.
- Judge at Orange County Municipal Court (1997 to 1998)
- Attorney at Martin, Wilson, Erikson & MacDowell (1988 to 1997)
- Attorney at Martin & Wilson (1987 to 1988)
- Deputy district attorney at Orange County District Attorney's Office (1978 to 1981)