Western Regional logo.jpg

102. Fireside Chat with the Chief Justice – How to Become a Judge – The Making of a CA Supreme Court Justice

DATE: Thursday, July 20, 2017      TIME: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
LOCATION: USPTO, 1st Floor, California Room

The panel will include discussion on Chief Justice’s path to becoming Chief Justice, advice on how to become a judge and a discussion of the Chief Justice’s mission of improving the public’s access to justice. 

No CLE credit will be provided for this panel.


Gene Woo

Staff Attorney, California Department of Insurance


Gene Woo has been employed by the California Department of Insurance as a staff attorney since December 2000. At the Department, he has been responsible for reviewing policy forms concerning Long Term Care insurance and Variable Annuity and Life insurance products.  He has also worked on Qui Tam litigation on behalf of the Department and represented the Department in litigation against Sutter Health, concerning improper billing for anesthesia services,  that resulted in a $46 million settlement.  He is assists the Department’s Fraud Division in administering fraud grant programs in the Auto, Urban Auto, and Health and Disability insurance areas.  These programs are funded by assessments on insurance policies. 

He is a 1979 graduate with honors of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and Economics.  He obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1985.  While at Davis, he had an opportunity to study with the future Mayor of Sacramento, Darrel Steinberg, and the future Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

He has served as board member and treasurer for the Asian American Bar Association for the Greater Bay Area.  He has also served as a Regional Governor and Secretary for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.  He also acted as the chair of the NAPABA Affiliate of the Year award committee.


Chief Justice of California, California Supreme Court

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Tani Cantil Sakuye.jpg

Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th Chief Justice of the State of California. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011, and is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye was nominated to office in July 2010, unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments in August 2010, and overwhelmingly approved by voters in the November 2010 general election. At the time she was nominated as Chief Justice, she had served more than 20 years on California trial and appellate courts, including 6 years on the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in Sacramento.

As leader of California’s judicial branch of government and chair of the Judicial Council, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye has focused on a vision for improving the public’s access to justice, building partnerships to lead the judicial branch out of the state’s worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, and using ongoing self-assessment to improve the branch’s efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability. She has also taken a leadership role in revitalizing civic learning and engagement in the state.