|Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California|
March 1, 1996
|Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three|
January 2, 1995 - March 1, 1996
|Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, First District|
August 1990 - January 2, 1995
|Born||August 31, 1942|
Klamath Falls, Oregon, U.S.
Carol Joe (m. 1971)
|Children||Jennifer and Jason|
|Alma mater||University of San Francisco, (B.A., J.D.)|
|Hanyu Pinyin||Chén Huìmíng|
Chin was born and raised in Klamath Falls, Oregon. His family moved to San Jose, California, and he attended Bellarmine College Preparatory, graduating in 1960. Chin then received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of San Francisco in 1964. Subsequently, he studied at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and obtained a Juris Doctor in 1967. After graduating, he was commissioned a Captain in the United States Army, and in 1969 was awarded both a Commendation Medal and Bronze Star for his meritorious service in the Vietnam War.
After Chin's discharge, he practiced for three years as a deputy district attorney for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, and was promoted to felony trial deputy. In 1973, Chin entered private practice with Aiken, Kramer & Cummings, and focused on litigation. He is well-known among California employment lawyers as one of the four current authors of the Rutter Group practice guide on employment litigation.
In 1988, Chin was appointed as a Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court. Then, in August 1990, Governor George Deukmejian elevated Chin to the position of Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, First District. On August 17, 1994, Governor Pete Wilson appointed Chin as the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, beginning January 2, 1995. In November 1994, he was elected to a 12-year term.
On January 25, 1996, Governor Wilson appointed Chin as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Chin was confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and sworn in on March 1, 1996. He was retained by the electorate in 1998 and 2010. On December 16, 2014, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye named Chin to the California Judicial Council for a two-year term.
In his first decade on the court, he authored the most majority opinions at the Supreme Court. Among Chin's notable cases is his 2008 majority opinion in Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Assn., Inc. v. Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, a landmark California separation of powers case regarding Proposition 218.
Chin has received a series of honors from his alma mater. In 1988, he was selected as the USF Alumnus of the Year. In 1993, he was named USF Law School Alumnus of the Year. Finally, in 1996 USF Law School presented him with the St. Thomas More Award.
In the decade prior to April 1, Uelmen notes, Chin, who's on the conservative wing of the bench, had authored 158 opinions for the California Supreme Court, 12 more than Chief Justice Ronald George, his closest competitor.
former ACBA Board President and California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin
Past winners have included...Ming Chin
Southwestern awarded Justice Chin an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1996.
| Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California
1996 – present
|| Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three
1995 – 1996
|| Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, First District
1990 – 1995