For over 30 years, Judge Joan Lewis has been committed to serving the legal community with compassion, deference, and toughness. During her 20-year judicial career as a Superior Court Judge, she spent five years in the Family Law Division and then presided over a Civil Independent Calendar for the last 15 years until her retirement. Throughout her time on the bench, she handled a multitude of settlement conferences in both the Civil and Family Law divisions. Prior to her appointment, Judge Lewis tried civil cases in private practice for 10 years, focused on representing healthcare professionals in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Judge Lewis has been consistently active in leadership positions on judicial committees, including serving on the court’s Executive Committee and as chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee. She has received numerous awards, including the Friend of the Community Award by the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association in recognition of her commitment to LGBTQ rights and, most recently, the Witkin Award for excellence in the practice of law and advancing access to justice.
Judge Lewis is well known for her thoughtful and fair command of the courtroom. A true people person, she is empathetic and compassionate while maintaining a position of neutrality. While there were many who did not want to see her leave the bench, it is a testament to her abilities and the amount of immense respect the legal community holds for her to see that she is being actively sought out as a neutral in the private sector.
- All Types of Medical Negligence
- Catastrophic Personal Injury
- Class Action
- Family Law
In her spare time, Judge Lewis enjoys theatre, travel, tennis, and overall physical fitness activities.
- Neutral, Judicate West (2019-Present)
- Judge, Superior Court of San Diego County (1998-2018); Family Law Division (1998-2003); Civil Independent Calendar Judge (2003-2018) Civil Independent Calendar, Assistant Supervising Judge
- Attorney and Partner, handling civil matters with a focus on medical malpractice, Lewis-Brisbois (1990-1998)
- Attorney, Ault Deuprey (1987-1990)
- J.D., California Western School of Law (1984 -1987)
- B.S., Arizona State University (1980)
- San Diego Superior Court Executive Committee, Member
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL), Judicial Advisory Board
- California Judges Association (CJA), Executive Committee
- Wallace Inns of Court, San Diego, CA, Master (2017-Present)
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee, Chair
- Recipient, San Diego Defense Lawyers’ Bench and Bar Honoree (2019)
- Recipient, Bernard E. Witkin, Esq. Award for Excellence in the Adjudication of Law (2017)
- Recipient, Friend of the Community Award, Tom Homann LGBT Law Association (2014)
- Co-Author with Heather Hanson, John Gross, Steven Garfin, M.D., “Legal Implications and Strategies for Managing Complications in Spinal Surgery,” Book Chapter: “Complications of Pediatric and Adult Surgery” (2004)
Family Law Issues
- Judge Lewis spent five years in the Family Law division and handled settlement conferences.
- Prior to her appointment, Judge Lewis tried civil cases in private practice for 10 years, focused on representing healthcare professionals in medical malpractice lawsuits.
- During her time on the bench, she handled a multitude of settlement conferences in all types of personal injury disputes.
- She has successfully mediated numerous personal injury cases, encompassing a wide range of incidents such as auto accidents, slip and falls, premises liability, assault and battery, sexual assault, and wrongful death.