The Hon. Sunil R. Kulkarni is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former governor Jerry Brown on August 29, 2013, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Marcel B. Poche.
Kulkarni earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993. He then completed a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1996.
He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. Oliver Wanger of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in 1996. The following year, he joined Morrison & Foerster, first as an associate, then as a partner. While there, he specialized in complex civil litigation, handling patent, intellectual property, general commercial, and securities cases. During his secondment from Morrison & Foerster, he worked as patent litigation counsel for Apple, Inc., where he managed several of its patent infringement cases.
Then, in 2011, Kulkarni moved to the Office of the General Counsel of the University of California. He served as senior counsel there for two years, handling administrative hearings as well as copyright, patent, and labor issues. He held this position until his appointment to the bench in 2013.
Kulkarni served as Vice President of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California. He has also sat on the Board of Directors of Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto.
Although he was born in Los Angeles, California, Kulkarni was raised in King City, California. He was the first South Asian American to be appointed to a state judgeship in Northern California. His wife is a psychiatrist at Stanford University, and he enjoys playing racquetball as well as attending sporting events and the theater.
Kulkarni is registered as a Democrat.
J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1996)
B.S. from University of California, Berkeley (1993) (Mechanical Engineering)
Senior Counsel at Office of the General Counsel of the University of California (2011 to 2013)
Partner at Morrison and Foerster (1998 to 2011)
Law Clerk at United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno County, California (1996 to 1997)