Joyce L. Kennard


Associate Justice
April 1989–April 2014

Appointed to the California Supreme Court in April 1989. May 1996 – April 2005: Chair of California Judicial Council’s Appellate Advisory Committee, appointed by the Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council.

Appointed Associate Justice on the state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles (Division Five) from April 1988 to April 1989; judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court from February 1987 to March 1988; Associate Justice pro tempore on state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles (Division Three) from September 1987 to November 1987; judge on Los Angeles County Municipal Court from February 1986 to February 1987; senior attorney on state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles from 1979 to 1986; Deputy Attorney General in Los Angeles from 1975 to 1979.

Higher Education: In 1974, graduated from the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and at the same time received a Master of Public Administration degree from U.S.C.’s School of Public Administration. In 1971, received a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude degree in German from U.S.C., and in 1970 an Associate in Arts degree.

Academic Honors: University of Southern California – Gould School of Law (9/71 to 6/74): Recipient of American Jurisprudence Award in Torts University of Southern California – School of Public Admin. (9/73 to 6/74): Recipient of the "Pfiffner Award for the Outstanding Thesis of the Academic Year" 4.0 grade point average

University of Southern California (2/70 to 8/71):
      Recipient of academic scholarships
      Member of Phi Beta Kappa
      Member of Phi Kappa Phi (honor society for academic excellence)
      Completed two academic years in a year and a half while working 20-hour week

Pasadena City College (9/68 to 2/70):
      "Honors Extraordinary" in German
      Recipient of Clara Bates Giddings Scholarship for excellence in German
      Member of Alpha Mu Gamma (national honor society for foreign languages)
      Recipient of Alpha Mu Gamma scholarship
      Member of the state scholarship society of Alpha Gamma Sigma
      Dean’s list each semester (completed 2 years of college in 1-1/2 years while working 20-hour week)

Special Recognition: Chapter in a book, The Counselors, conversations with 18 courageous women who have changed the world, by Elizabeth Vrato, published in March 2002; law review article entitled Joyce L. Kennard: An Independent Streak on California’s Highest Court (65 Albany Law Rev., p. 1181, July 2002).

Judicial Awards/Honors:     * Judicial Council’s award presented by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Chair of the Judicial Council, San Francisco, October 9, 2004, “In recognition of her dedicated service and in grateful appreciation of her significant contributions to improving the administration of justice through outstanding leadership of the Appellate Rules Revision Project.”

    * Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from San Joaquin College of Law, May 2004.

    * First Justice Rose Bird Memorial Award from the California Women Lawyers, San Francisco, March 2001.

    "In recognition of her excellence as a jurist and her commitment to elimination of discrimination and judicial independence."

    * Legal Impact Award 2000 from the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose, California, March 2000.

    "In recognition of her partnership in the community working for justice, dignity, and equality."

    * Award from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, October 1997.

      "In recognition of her leadership and firm dedication as a jurist."

    * Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, May 1997.

    * Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Lincoln Law School, May 1997.

    * Award from the San Francisco Women Lawyers Alliance, February 1997.

      "In recognition of her contribution to women and women in the legal profession."

    * The "1996 Spirit of Excellence Award" from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, and accompanying proclamation by the Governor of the State of Maryland, February 1996.

      "To recognize the contributions to the legal profession of lawyers and Judges of color who have actively paved the way to success for other minority lawyers."

    * The St. Thomas More Medallion Award from the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society and Loyola Law School, November 1995.

      "To honor an individual who has made outstanding moral, intellectual, and professional contributions to the legal profession and society."

    * The Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), November 1994.

      "To recognize you as a trailblazer in Asian-American achievements on a national level."

    * Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Whittier Law School, May 1994.

    * American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, August 1993.

      "To honor outstanding women lawyers throughout the country who have achieved professional excellence within their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for other women lawyers."

    * Award from the ABA Task Force on Opportunities for Minorities in the Judicial Administration Division and Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, August 1992.

      "For your unique contributions to the law in our society and your accomplishments as a leader in the judicial system."

    * Attorney General Award from the Asian and Pacific Islander Employee Advisory Committee of the Attorney General’s Office, May 1992.

      "For outstanding scholarship and distinguished judicial achievements."

    * "Justice of the Year 1991" Award from the California Trial Lawyers Association, November 1991.

      "In Recognition of Her Untiring Efforts and Enlightened Approach Toward the Improvement of the Administration of Justice."

    * Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Southwestern University School of Law, May 1991.

    * Award from the Asian/Pacific Women’s Network, Los Angeles, March 1991.

      "For outstanding accomplishment as a Supreme Court Justice."

nbsp;   * Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from California Western School of Law, December 1990.

    * Award from the San Fernando Valley Bar, October 1990.

      "In recognition of outstanding achievement and contributions to the legal profession."

    * Ernestine Stahlhut Award from the Women Lawyers’ Association of Los Angeles, October l990.

      "To honor a woman in the legal profession who has attained the respect, admiration and affection of the bench and bar by her outstanding character, her dedication to service and her significant contributions to the cause of justice; a person who has challenged women in our profession to excel and who has been an encouragement to young women in our society to seek the law as a profession."

    * Honorary Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine School of Law, May l989.

Community Service Awards:

    * Public Service Award from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Los Angeles, December 2001.

      "For your outstanding service to the API Community 2001."

    * Award from the Council of Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Active Leadership (C.A.P.I.T.A.L.), Sacramento, March 1997.

      "In recognition of her outstanding achievement in the Asian and Pacific Islander community."

      Accompanying award from the Asian Bar Association of Sacramento. "In recognition of her personal and professional accomplishments and her unfailing commitment to the legal profession and the Asian Pacific Islander community."

    * Award from the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame, and accompanying proclamations from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer; Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey; Marin County Supervisors John B. Kress, Harold C. Brown, Jr., Steve Kinsey, Annette Rose, and Harry J. Moore; Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni; and State Senator John Burton, March 1997.

      "In recognition of local women of achievement."

    * National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (NAPALSA) Founders Award, October 1994.

      "For your outstanding service to the Asian Pacific American community."

    * The 1994 Access Award from the L.A. County Commission on Disabilities, October 1994.

      "To recognize your accomplishments and your service to the Commission. Your ongoing efforts on behalf of persons with disabilities and the example you set as a role model have earned you the respect and admiration of the entire community."

    * First Annual Netherlands-American Heritage Award from the Netherlands-American Arts and Cultural Foundation, November 1992.

      "To recognize the contributions made by people of Dutch origin to the political, economical and cultural growth of the United States."

    * The 1992 "Chinese-American Pioneers from Southern California in the Judiciary" Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, November 1992.

      "For your professional achievements and leadership in gaining milestones significant to our community and its future generations."

    * First Annual "Women of the 90’s" Award from Robinson’s Department Store, Los Angeles, October 1992.

      "To acknowledge women, who, through their professional and personal achievements, have made significant contributions to our community and the issues that face us in the 90’s."

    * Distinguished Alumni Award from the Community College League of California, November 1991.

      "Exemplifying in Life’s Endeavors, the Value of California’s Community Colleges."

    * Award from the YWCA, Los Angeles, and accompanying proclamation by Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, May 1991.

      "For distinguished leadership and exceptional accomplishments which have been of great benefit to the city of Los Angeles."

    * Award from the Governor’s Hall of Fame for People With Disabilities, November 1990.

      "For uncommon achievements in chosen field of endeavor and for extraordinary contributions to society."

    * Independent Living Center of Southern California Lifetime Achievement Award, October l990.

      "For demonstrated ability to overcome barriers to full participation in family and community life and for leadership in protecting the quality of life by providing compassion and evenhanded administration of the law."

    * Sacramento Women Amputees Group’s Award for Contributing to the Progress of Dignity and Self-Esteem Among Amputees, March 1990.

    * University of Southern California Alumni Merit Award, March 1990.