San Diego County Superior Court

The new San Diego County Superior Court in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris StoneAfter more than two decades of service, Judge Joan M. Lewis is retiring from the San Diego Superior Court bench, it was announced Thursday.

Appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson in 1998, Lewis began her judicial career presiding in family court, and in 2003 until her retirement, presided over Superior Court Civil Independent Calendar cases.

In September 2017, Lewis received the Witkin Award for excellence in the practice of law and advancing access to justice.

Presiding Judge Peter Deddeh said that throughout her career, Judge Lewis handled a variety of challenging assignments.

“During her 15 years in a Civil Independent Calendar Department, Judge Lewis established herself as one of the division’s most capable jurists,” Deddeh said. “Her colleagues on the bench also recognized Judge Lewis’ outstanding leadership skills, electing her to the Executive Committee several times during her 20-year career. Judge Lewis’ ability to lead was also prominently displayed in her role as the Assistant Supervising Judge for the entire Civil Division of the San Diego Superior Court.”

A native of New York, Judge Lewis earned degrees from State University of New  York at Upstate Medical Center; Arizona State University, and eventually earning her law degree from California Western School of Law.

“It is an understatement to say that it has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the bench in San Diego on behalf of the State of California,” Lewis said. “My judicial colleagues have always been an inspiration to me, and are amongst the finest in the state. It has also been a privilege to preside over very bright and experienced attorneys who bring their best to the legal system every day.”

Judge Lewis’ last day is Friday. She said she plans to stay active in the legal community, providing private dispute resolution as a mediator and arbitrator.

–City News Service