Scott Steiner (judge)

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Scott A. Steiner (born 1973) is a Judge of the Orange County Superior Court in California, former Deputy District Attorney, former Chairman of the Orange Planning Commission, and former Adjunct Professor of California Evidence and Criminal Procedure at Chapman University School of Law.[1] He is the son of former Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman William Steiner.

Education and early career[edit]

Steiner graduated with honors from the University of California, Irvine in 1996 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. He attended law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, from which he graduated in 1999. Steiner grew up in a political family and credits his father, former Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman William G. Steiner, for influencing his career choice.[2]

In December 1999, Steiner began work as a Deputy District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney's Office. In 2005, he was selected by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to serve as head of the Hate Crime Unit of that Office.[3] In 2008, Steiner was promoted to the Gang Unit. In that same year, he began teaching as an adjunct professor of California Evidence at Chapman Law School.[4]

Election to the Orange County Superior Court[edit]

On June 8, 2010, Steiner won election to the Orange County Superior Court of California.[5] He was elected without opposition, becoming at age 36 one of the youngest elected Superior Court Judges in California. He succeeded Judge Margaret Anderson, who endorsed him[6] and supported his campaign efforts. Steiner began a six-year term on January 3, 2011. On June 7, 2016, Steiner was re-elected, receiving broad support from the legal and political community. He was sworn into a second six year term on January 3, 2017.

Misconduct and censure[edit]

In September 2014, Steiner was censured by the California Commission on Judicial Performance for engaging in sexual activity with two women in his chambers. Following an investigation, the commission stated that sexual behavior, although consensual, "in the courthouse is the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge," censuring Steiner on five separate counts. Following his censure, Steiner remains active on the bench, and was re-elected to a six year term on June 7, 2016 with broad support from the legal and political communities.[7]


Steiner married fellow University of California, Irvine alum, Caron Tam, in 1998 and they have two children. He is an enthusiastic distance runner, and is often seen at ultra-marathons throughout the state.[8]


  1. ^ Chapman University School of Law - Adjunct Faculty retrieved 1st July 2010
  2. ^ Outstanding Alumnus University of California, Irvine, April 18, 2011
  3. ^ OC Weekly Archived 2009-03-12 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 1st July 2010
  4. ^ [1] retrieved 1st July 2010
  5. ^ Orange County Registrar of Voters retrieved 1st July 2010
  6. ^ OCregister retrieved 16th June 2010
  7. ^ Orange County Register Retrieved 11th May 2016
  8. ^ Outstanding Alumnus University of California, Irvine, April 18, 2011