The Hon. Shirley K. Watkins is a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench in 2014 by former governor Jerry Brown. She filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Cynthia Rayvis (deceased).
She is a registered Democrat.
Judge Watkins received her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego in 1979. She went on to earn her J.D. from California Western School of Law in 1982.
After graduating from law school, Watkins practiced as an attorney for the law firms of Sheldon Deutsch from 1982 to 1985, Gantz and Forer from 1985 to 1988, and Matthew B.F. Biren from 1988 to 1991. She became a senior partner at the Law Offices of Watkins and Stevens in 1991 and remained there until 1997 when she became a senior litigator at the Law Offices of Michels and Watkins. Then, in 2014, she joined the law firm of Fraser, Watson, and Croutch LLP as a partner. Her area of practice focused primarily on medical malpractice cases. Watkins remained at the firm until her appointment to the Superior Court that same year.
Judge Watkins also served as a neutral for Alternative Resolution Centers starting in 2014.
Her memberships have included the American Board of Trial Advocates, the State Bar of California, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Japanese American Bar Association, and the Southern California Mediation Association, just to name a few.
Her awards have included the 2019 San Fernando Valley Bar Association's Administration of Justice Award, the 2014 and 2012 Lawyer of the Year by the Best Lawyers in America, and the Top Women Attorneys from the Southern California Super Lawyers in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Judge Watkins has authored and co-authored numerous articles for the Advocate and Plaintiff Magazines on subjects ranging from jury selection to medical malpractice.
J.D. from California Western School of Law (1982)
B.A. from University of California, San Diego (1979)
Partner at Fraser, Watson and Croutch LLP (2014 to 2014)
Neutral at Alternatives Resolution Centers in Los Angeles County, California (from 2014)
Senior Litigatior at Law Offices of Michels and Watkins in Los Angeles County, California (1997 to 2013)
Senior Partner at Law Offices of Watkins and Stevens in Los Angeles County, California (1991 to 1997)
Attorney at Matthew B.F. Biren in Los Angeles County, California (1988 to 1991)
Attorney at Gantz and Forer in Los Angeles County, California (1985 to 1988)
Attorney at Sheldon Deutsch (1982 to 1985)