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October 10, 2002



Harry R. Sheppard, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, is pleased to announce that Jo-Lynne Q. Lee, who was an attorney with the law firm of Griffith, Castle & Schwartzman has been appointed to the office of Judge by Governor Gray Davis on August 22, 2002. Judge Lee took the oath of office of Judge of the Superior Court on October 4, 2002, and assumed her judicial officer duties immediately thereafter. The Presiding Judge assigned Judge Lee to Department 519 at the Hayward Hall of Justice, for the 2002 calendar year.

Judge Lee is the first Chinese-American woman to serve on the Alameda County Superior Court. Judge Lee stated, "I am looking forward to the challenges presented by this appointment and I thank Governor Davis for his confidence in my ability to meet the responsibilities of this office."

Judge Sheppard stated, "The Court is indeed fortunate to have an individual with such a solid professional track record, join the judicial branch of government."

Judge Lee has been assigned to hear criminal trials, preliminary hearings and civil case management.

Judge Lee began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County, New York, where she prosecuted criminal offenses from 1974 to 1977. She then accepted a staff position on an 18-month research project studying trial court delay with the National Center for State Courts in San Francisco. After completing this project, she joined the United States Attorney's Office in San Francisco where she prosecuted federal crimes from 1978 to 1980. In 1981, Judge Lee joined the insurance defense firm of Robinson & Wood in San Jose and for the next four years she handled the defense of large, complex construction defect cases. From 1985 to 1998, Judge Lee worked with the Oakland law firms of Kennedy & Wasserman and Kennedy, Gong, Mitchell & Combs, where she handled construction defect, environmental, employment and other civil litigation. In 1998 she joined the law firm of Griffith, Castle & Schwartzman. She and other attorneys in her firm practiced exclusively as court-appointed Special Masters, Court-Appointed Discovery Referees, and private Mediators and Arbitrators in construction defect litigation and other real estate disputes.

Judge Lee is a member of the Alameda County Bar Association, Asian-American Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Contra Costa County Bar Association. She served on the Boards of the Rotary Club of Oakland, YMCA of Oakland, and Redwood Day School. She is also a member of the Alameda Point Restoration Advisory Board, which works with the Navy Personnel and State and Federal Regulators to provide community oversight of the Environmental Restoration of Alameda Point, a former U. S. Navy Installation in Alameda.

Judge Lee earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Brooklyn College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a juris doctorate degree from Columbia University Law School.

The contact for this information release is James Brighton, Bureau Chief, Planning, Research and Court Services, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, at (510) 272-5093.

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