Hon. Lise A. Pearlman

Hon. Lise A. Pearlman

Presiding Judge of the State Bar Court, Retired

For the past 16 years, Judge Lise A. Pearlman has been a private arbitrator and mediator in civil cases and a consultant and expert witness in professional responsibility. She has a reputation as an extremely dedicated, hardworking neutral who shows consideration and concern for the perspectives of all parties. Attorneys find her to be a very quick study and extraordinarily bright with impressive legal knowledge and a reassuring manner. Recognized as an excellent settlement judge, Judge Pearlman's ability to quickly hone in on key issues and keep parties focused on resolution of their differences has made her very successful in bringing even extremely challenging cases to closure.


  • Member: California Judges Association; National Association of Women Judges; California Women Lawyers (Past Representative, District 3); Alameda County Bar Association (Past Vice President); WLAC (Past President); APRL; California Dispute Resolution Council; Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California
  • Author, The Sky's The Limit: People v. Newton, The Real Trial of the 20th Century? published in 2011 and winner of the U.S. Book News International Book Award for books on law and two other finalist awards. Co-author, Vol. 1 Cal. Forms of Jury Instructions [contract cases]; author, numerous published State Bar Court Review Department opinions and MCLE articles; frequent lecturer at educational programs for attorneys


General civil matters with an emphasis in business/commercial, securities, real property, employment, landlord tenant, family law, legal malpractice and personal injury.


Judge Pearlman received widespread acclaim for her role as the first Presiding Judge of the California State Bar Court from 1989-1995 in establishing that new court as highly professional, efficient and fair. She received her appointment from the California Supreme Court, after a merit selection process involving well over 300 candidates statewide. Her prior career involved 14 years of experience in private trial and appellate practice focusing on business and tax disputes, class actions, and real estate litigation. A major highlight of her practice was serving as co-counsel before the U.S. Supreme Court in the first class arbitration recognized in the United States. In her third year at Boalt Hall School of Law, she was chosen as an extern for Justice Tobriner of the California Supreme Court.

After graduating in the top five percent of her law school class, Judge Pearlman became a Teaching Fellow at Stanford University Law School and then clerked for Chief Justice Donald Wright of the California Supreme Court. In 1984, she held the distinction of being the first woman named sole managing partner of an established law firm in the state of California, an experience she credits with giving a jumpstart to her consensusbuilding skills. From 1997 to 2000, she served on the newly created Oakland Public Ethics Commission, chairing it from 1998-99.


   J.D., 1974, Boalt Hall School of Law, Order of the Coif, Law Review
   B.A., 1971, Yale University, Classics, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Judge Pearlman is available throughout California.

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