Judge Tara M. Desautels | Trellis: Legal Intelligence + Judicial Analytics

The Honorable Tara M. Desautels

Alameda County Superior Court, Department 1A (website)

Court Info

Alameda County Superior Court, Department 1A (website)

Clerk phone: +1 (510) 891-6041


The Hon. Tara M. Desautels is a judge for the Alameda County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010. She filled the vacancy created by the death of the Hon. Barbara J. Miller (deceased).

She is a registered Democrat.

Judge Desautels graduated with her B.S. in international relations and law and organization from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1993. She went on to earn her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1997.

After law school, Desautels joined the Alameda County District Attorney's Office as a deputy district attorney, where she would work from 1997 to 2005. During her time there, Desautels served on the Child Sexual Assualt Team and as a liaison to the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force.

She then left the public sector to become a senior associate with the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where she specialized in corporate investigations, white-collar defense, antitrust and unfair competition claims. She would remain with the firm until her appointment to the Superior Court in 2010.

Her accomplishments on the bench have included serving as the supervising judge of the Master Calendar and the General Criminal and Unlawful Detainers Calendars at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse. She served as the Supervising Judge for the General Civil Calendar at the Hayward Hall of Justice and also served as an assistant presiding judge for the court. Judge Desautels has also presided over the Girls Court in the Juvenile Delinquency Department at the Juvenile Justice Center. The Girls Court provides juvenile girls who are categorized as either commercially sexually-exploited children or those who are at risk of becoming a victim of such with multi-agency legal support. They also help individuals who are at risk of escalating juvenile delinquent behavior.

She has served as a chair of the Child Abuse, Listening, Interviewing, and Coordination Center, a member of the Women Lawyers of Alameda County, the Superior Court's Executive Committee, and the Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA).

She received the Distinguished Service Award for Judge from the ACBA in 2018.

Desautels was born in London.


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

B.S. from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service (1993) (International Relations, Law and Organization)


Senior Associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (2005 to 2010)

Deputy District Attorney at Alameda County District Attorney's Office in Alameda County, California (1997 to 2005)

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