Hon. Carlos T. Bea
Judge Bea was born in San Sebastian, Spain, to Cuban parents. He attended elementary school in Havana and Los Angeles, and high school in Los Angeles. He received both his B.A. (in 1956) and J.D. (in 1958) from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Judge Bea played basketball for the Cuban Olympic team in the XV Olympiad at Helsinki, Finland (1952), the Real Madrid team (1953, 1955), and the Stanford Varsity team (1953-56). He became a naturalized citizen in 1958, shortly before he commenced practice in San Francisco with Dunne, Dunne & Phelps, where he served as an associate and then partner. In 1975, Judge Bea started his own law office, which specialized in civil trial practice. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), having tried more than a hundred cases to verdict.
Judge Bea has taught courses in civil litigation advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, and as a Lecturer at Law at Stanford Law School. He has lectured on trial practice subjects for the Continuing Education of the Bar, the California Judges Association, The Rutter Group, and the San Francisco Bar Association. Judge Bea has also lectured in Brazil, Chile, and Central American nations for the United States Information Agency.
In 1989, Governor George Deukmejian appointed Judge Bea to the San Francisco Superior Court, and he successfully withstood electoral challenge in 1990. He was re-elected again in 1996 and 2002 without opposition. During his service on the Superior Court, Judge Bea was appointed by the California Supreme Court to the Judicial Council of California’s Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness in the Courts. He was also the host and writer for a weekly television segment on the Spanish-language Six O’Clock News entitled “Conozca la Ley” (Learn the Law), which was broadcast on San Francisco’s KDTV-Channel 14 from 1995-1997, and he was a columnist on the same subject for the San Jose Mercury News.
In 1989, Judge Bea received the Pro Bono Recognition Award from the State Bar of California for his work on pro bono immigration matters. Judge Bea was named Honorary Vice Consul of Spain from 1979-1993, and he received three decorations from the King of Spain and the Spanish government in recognition of his services.
President George W. Bush nominated Judge Bea to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in April 2003, and he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in September 2003. His chambers are in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife Louise. They have four grown sons.