Judge Michael M. Markman | Trellis: Legal Intelligence + Judicial Analytics

The Honorable Michael M. Markman

Alameda County Superior Court, Department 16 (website)

Court Info

Alameda County Superior Court, Department 16 (website)

Clerk phone: +1 (510) 267-6932


The Hon. Michael M. Markman is a judge for the Alameda County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench by former governor Jerry Brown in 2013. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Jon S. Tigar (Ret.).

He is a registered Democrat.

Judge Markman graduated with his B.A. in political science and history from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994. He went on to earn his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1997. While in law school, Markham served as the editor in chief of the Hastings Communications & Entertainment Law Journal.

Markman began his legal career at Heller Ehrman LLP, where he practiced for eleven years and would eventually be made a shareholder at the firm. While there, Markman specialized in intellectual property litigation with an emphasis on patent, copyright, and trade secret litigation. Then, in 2008, he became a partner at Covington and Burling LLP, where he continued his practice of intellectual property litigation in the wireless telecommunications, software and internet industries. He would remain with the firm until his appointment to the bench in 2013.

Markman also taught as a lecturer at UC Berkeley School of Law, where he taught pre-trial civil litigation from 2005 to 2008.

He has served on the board of directors for the Legal Access Alameda, the North Oakland Community Charter School, and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.

His judicial committees have included the Court Executive Committee, the Family Violence Council, the Rules and Forms Committee, and the Court Security Committee.

While on the bench, Judge Markman has served as a supervising judge of the Alameda County Administration Building and has presided over the civil direct, complex litigation, and asbestos calendars. He has also served as presiding judge of the Appellate Division.

Judge Markman is notorious for using a chess clock to keep track of time limits that he imposes on counsel during a trial. His time limits are firm and include the cross-examination of witnesses as well as the counsels closing arguments. He also requests counsel use juror questionnaires for voir dire.


J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1997)

B.A. from University of California, Berkeley (1994) (Political Science, History)


Partner at Covington and Burling LLP (2008 to 2012)

Shareholder at Heller Ehrman LLP in San Francisco County, California (2005 to 2008)

Associate at Heller Ehrman LLP in San Francisco County, California (1997 to 2004)

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