Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Justice Chin of the California Supreme Court to Speak at Commencement Ceremony March 01, 2010
Justice Chin of the California Supreme Court to Speak at Commencement Ceremony

The Honorable Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, will deliver the keynote address at Southwestern's 95th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 16 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

An accomplished jurist, scholar, practitioner and decorated war veteran, Justice Chin has served in the legal profession for 40 years. He has authored landmark decisions in areas such as DNA, hate crimes, toxic tort insurance coverage, and surrogate parents.

"Our students are in for a treat," Dean Bryant Garth said. "Justice Chin has the stature, experience, insight, and wit to make a perfect commencement speaker." This will be Justice Chin's second time addressing Southwestern graduates, as he previously spoke at the law school's 1996 commencement ceremony, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Justice Chin was elevated to California's highest court in 1996 after serving as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three, in San Francisco. He previously presided over the Alameda County Superior Court.

Justice Chin earned his B.A. in political science as well as his J.D. at the University of San Francisco and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1970. After law school, he served two years as a Captain in the United States Army, including a year in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star. He then served three years as a deputy district attorney for Alameda County, where he tried numerous felony and misdemeanor jury trials and progressed to the position of felony trial deputy. Just prior to joining the bench, Justice Chin was a partner in the law firm of Aiken, Kramer & Cummings in Oakland, where he specialized in business and commercial litigation.

Justice Chin was the first Asian American to serve as President of the Alameda County Bar Association and was a member of the Judicial Council Appellate Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Racial and Ethnic Bias. For his alma mater, he served on the USF Board of Trustees and the USF Law School Board of Counselors, and was an Adjunct Professor of Law. In 1988, he was selected as the USF Alumnus of the Year. USF Law School also named him Alumnus of the Year in 1993, and presented him with the St. Thomas More Award in 1996. Justice Chin was selected as the Outstanding Judge of the Year in 1989 by the Southern Alameda County Bar Association, and received the 1997 Learned Hand Award from the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

Justice Chin has frequently lectured on DNA, genetics and the courts to groups including the American Bar Association's Judicial Division, the State of California's Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER), the National College of Probate Judges, the Wisconsin Supreme Court Judicial Education Committee, and the Chulabhorn International Science Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a frequent lecturer in judicial education and gave the Traynor Lecture at the Witkin Judicial College in June 2008. He is also co-author of California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation (The Rutter Group 2009).