San Francisco Superior Court, Department 303 (website)
Clerk phone: +1 (415) 551-3726
Court Reporter: +1 (415) 551-5931
Bailiff: +1 (415) 551-3728
The Hon. Newton J. Lam is a judge for the Superior Court of San Francisco County in California. He was appointed by former governor Gray Davis on December 21, 2001.
Lam earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He then received a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Lam began his legal career in the Office of the Public Defender of San Francisco County in 1981. He then joined the Office of the Mayor of San Francisco, where he served as a public safety assistant.
During his tenure in the mayor’s office, Lam helped address the problem of jail overcrowding. He participated in the development of a drug court, designing a procedure through which individuals with drug problems would be managed outside of the county jail system. He was subsequently appointed as court commissioner of the Municipal Court of San Francisco, where he was responsible for making decisions about ‘own recognizance releases’ and ‘supervised releases’. He was eventually tasked with administering the entire drug court.
Lam was raised in Chinatown in San Francisco, California. The civil rights movement of the 1960s and the 1970s inspired him to pursue a legal career as a public defender.
He is married to U.S. Magistrate Maria-Elena James. He enjoys listening to country and western music.
J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Bachelor's degree from University of California, Berkeley
Commissioner at Superior Court of California in San Francisco County, California (until 2001)
Public Safety Assistant at Office of the Mayor of San Francisco in San Francisco County, California
Deputy Public Defender at Office of the Public Defender in San Francisco County, California (from 1981)