Justice Tracie L. Brown was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., in November 2018. She serves as an Associate Justice in Division Four.
Before her appointment, Justice Brown served for five years on the San Francisco Superior Court, where she presided over a wide variety of criminal cases, including the Domestic Violence Court. She was also twice elected to the Superior Court’s Executive Committee.
Justice Brown graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1992. After spending a year working in Japan, she received a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1996, where she received several academic awards. After law school, Justice Brown clerked for Judge M. Margaret McKeown on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also worked as an associate for Morrison & Foerster LLP and Cooley LLP. In 2002, she joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Justice Brown tried numerous civil and criminal cases to verdict and argued a variety of appeals before the Ninth Circuit.
In 2002, Justice Brown received the California State Bar’s Jack Berman Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession and the Public, based on her extensive work on a pro bono case representing San Francisco’s Japanese American community. In 2003, she also received the Asian American Bar Association’s Joe Morozumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy. In 2013, Judge Brown was honored with a United States Department of Justice Director’s Award for her work on a successful trial involving a massive online “pill mill,” through which three defendants unlawfully distributed millions of doses of controlled substances.
In addition, Justice Brown has taught trial advocacy at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law since 2013.