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Los Angeles Superior Court, Department 2 (website)

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The Hon. Patricia Nieto is a judge for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California. She was appointed by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2008 to succeed Alan Kalkin.

Nieto was raised in a lower middle-class neighborhood, completed high school and was ranked tenth in her graduating class. She then attended the University of Kansas and received a B.A. in Anthropology and Linguistics.

She attended and graduated from the University of Southern California School of Law in 1977. She then worked with a general litigation firm that handled civil, criminal, family, worker's compensation, labor, and immigration cases.

She opened a law office as a solo practitioner in 1985 specializing in juvenile dependency and delinquency cases. In 2001, she became a part-time bench officer in juvenile court and, in 2005, was given a permanent assignment to preside over a juvenile delinquency court. She routinely heard 40-50 cases per day with cases involving serious felony charges. She handled detention hearings, pre-trial hearings and motions, trials, disposition and fitness hearings. In July of 2007, she was selected as a Superior Court Commissioner.


  • J.D. from University of Southern California (1977)
  • B.A. from University of Kansas (1974)


  • Court commissioner at Superior Court of Los Angeles County in Los Angeles County, California (2007 to 2008)
  • Juvenile court delinquency referee at Superior Court of Los Angeles County in Los Angeles County, California (2005 to 2007)
  • Part-time hearing referee at Juvenile court of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Los Angeles County, California (2001 to 2004)
  • Sole Practitioner at Private Practice (1985 to 2004)
  • Associate, later Partner at Nieto, Paz, Romero & Sanora (1981 to 1985)
  • Associate & law clerk at Gomex, Paz, Rodriguez & Sanora (1976 to 1981)