The Journey Begins
Therese Stewart, a true legal luminary, has made her mark on the justice system. Appointed in June 2014 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., as an Associate Justice in Division Two of the First Appellate District, Stewart’s career has been nothing short of exemplary.
A Role Model and Advocate
Stewart’s impact extends well beyond the courtroom. She actively contributes to the legal community, serving on various committees and editorial boards. Notably, she brings her expertise to the Center for Judicial Education and Research Committee on Appellate Practice Curriculum. Additionally, Stewart plays an advisory role in the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section’s Judicial Intern Opportunity Program.
A Voice for LGBT Rights
Stewart’s commitment to justice knows no bounds. Collaborating with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joshua Wayser, she co-chairs the LGBT Bench Officers Committee of the California Judges Association. This role allows her to advocate for the fair and equal treatment of LGBT individuals within the judicial system.
Sharing Knowledge and Shaping Minds
As an esteemed panelist and speaker, Stewart has shared her insights at numerous events. From the Academy of Appellate Lawyers to the California Judges Association, her contributions have influenced legal professionals at all levels. Stewart’s expertise has been sought by organizations such as the Rutter Group, the Northern District Historical Society, and the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section.
From City Attorney to Chief Deputy
Before joining the court, Stewart dedicated 12 years to public service as the Chief Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. Her leadership skills were put to the test as she oversaw a diverse civil litigation practice, managing a team of about 300 employees, including 200 attorneys. During her tenure, Stewart litigated groundbreaking cases pertaining to marriage equality, making significant strides for the LGBTQ+ community.
A Stellar Legal Career
Stewart’s journey began at the prestigious San Francisco law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin. As an associate, she honed her skills by litigating a wide range of business cases at both the trial and appellate levels. Her dedication and expertise paved the way for her partnership in 1988.
Making a Difference Beyond the Courtroom
In addition to her legal achievements, Stewart has always been committed to giving back to the community. She served on the Board of Directors for various organizations such as the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid at Work) and the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. As the first openly LGBT President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Stewart co-founded the Bar’s School-To-College program, which assists San Francisco youth in pursuing higher education.
Recognitions and Accolades
Stewart’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. She has been a recipient of prestigious awards such as the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award in 2013 and the California Lawyer California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award in 2009. The Legal Aid Society honored her with the Mathew O. Tobriner Award in 2010, and she received the LGBT Bar Association’s Dan Bradley Award in 2008. Stewart’s dedication to her profession and community was recognized further when the Daily Journal named her a Lawyer of the Decade in 2010.
A Life of Achievement
Stewart’s educational background is as impressive as her legal career. She received her B.A. with distinction from Cornell University in 1978. Later, she graduated Order of the Coif from Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley School of Law in 1981. Her path to success was bolstered by a clerkship with Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch on the Eleventh Circuit from 1981 to 1982.
Personal and Passionate
Beyond her professional endeavors, Stewart is a devoted family person. She is a proud third-generation San Franciscan and resides in the city with her wife, Carole Scagnetti. Their daughter, a public and media relations professional, brings further joy and fulfillment to their lives. Completing their vibrant household is their beloved canine companion, a Jack Russell Terrier-Chihuahua mix.