After ending her 2-year term as Presiding Judge in December 2018, the Honorable Teri L. Jackson currently presides over civil trials. A member of the San Francisco Bench since September 2002, her judicial colleagues elected her in October 2016 as the first female African American Presiding Judge in San Francisco after serving for two years as the first female African American Assistant Presiding Judge.
From 2011 to 2015, she presided over asbestos and CEQA litigation. In 2016, she was the Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division. Prior to that Judge Jackson presided over a wide array of civil and criminal trials. Judge Jackson’s leadership and expertise has led to numerous statewide judicial appointments and assignments. In October 2016, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye appointed Judge Jackson as one of 11 Judges statewide to serve on the Pretrial Detention Reform Work Group. The work group studied pretrial detention practices and provided sweeping recommendations that led to the landmark Senate Bill 10, which changed California’s pretrial release system from a money-based system to a risk-based release and detention system.
She has been an invited lecturer throughout the country and around the world on subjects such as mass tort litigation, complex commercial litigation, diversity in the legal profession, and litigation best practices. Among all of these duties, Judge Jackson also has found time to teach and speak to members of the community. Since January 2006, Judge Jackson has been teaching as an Adjunct Law Professor for the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. Since January 2005 until December 2006 and January 2012 until the present, Judge Jackson held the position of Adjunct Law Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She also was a Law Instructor for the San Francisco Law School from October 1984 to May 1992.
Recently, Judge Jackson has opened up her courtroom on Friday afternoons for students, young lawyers, and members of the public to be able to come in and talk about concerns and struggles they are currently facing.
Governor Gray Davis appointed Judge Jackson to the San Francisco Bench in August 2002. She is the first African American female judge to be appointed to the San Francisco Bench. Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Jackson was an attorney for nearly five years with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, in San Francisco, where she specialized in complex litigation, employment defense, real estate, trade secrets, bankruptcy and white-collar defense in federal and state courts.
Before entering into private practice, Judge Jackson served as an Assistant District Attorney in the San Mateo County Attorneys Office from 1981 to 1984, and the Office of the San Francisco Attorney from May 1984 until November 1997. She held numerous Managing Attorney positions in Misdemeanor Trials, Domestic Violence and Homicide Units.
Judge Jackson earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Judge Jackson was a member of numerous professional associations, including the California Judges Association; Northern California Association of Business Trial Lawyers; and American Inn of Court, Edward J. McFetridge. She also was a member of several civic associations, including the Young Scholars Program; Board of Directors, Peninsula Community Foundation; Mid-Peninsula Boys and Girls Club; the San Francisco Soroptimist; and the Mural Music and Arts Project.
Judge Jackson has received numerous awards and recognition for her contributions and achievements. Most recently, she was the recipient of the California of Black Lawyers Judicial Excellence Award and the Charles Houston Bar Association’s Pass the Torch award. In November 2015, Judge Jackson was the recipient of the Champion of Diversity award from the Minority Bar Coalition. She was recognized in April 2013 for her leadership in the community with the Leadership Award from the Mural Music and Arts Project. March 2008, Judge Jackson was the recipient of the Madam C.J. Walker Pioneer Award. She earned recognition in September 2007 from the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. In April 2006, she received the A. Philip Randolph Institute Roseina Tucker Award.