The Honorable Ming W. Chin joined ADR Services, Inc. in 2021 after a highly decorated and illustrious career marked by exemplary public service, including 24 years as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. He is deeply respected and admired among his peers, not only for his remarkable intellect and strength of character, but also for his great dedication and contributions to the California judiciary and to the legal community at large. As a mediator, arbitrator, referee, and appellate consultant at ADR Services, Inc., Justice Chin continues to service the business and legal communities by resolving complex and divisive matters through alternative dispute resolution.
Justice Chin was appointed to the California Supreme Court by Governor Pete Wilson in 1996, becoming the first Chinese-American to serve on the court. During his tenure, he became known for his prolific output, authoring landmark decisions and key opinions across the full range of civil and criminal matters, often drawing upon his prior experience in the fields of arbitration, business litigation, family law, and criminal law. Justice Chin previously served on the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, as an Associate Justice and later Presiding Justice of his division. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeal, he served two years as a Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court.
Born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, as the youngest of eight children to parents who immigrated to the United States from China, Justice Chin spent his formative years working on his family’s rural potato farm seven days a week, developing a formidable work ethic that would serve him well throughout his career. After his family relocated to California, Justice Chin attended the University of San Francisco, studying political science and simultaneously serving four years in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). After graduating from the University of San Francisco, School of Law, Justice Chin answered the call to public service as a Captain in the United States Army for two years, including a year in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War.
Upon returning home from military service, Justice Chin began his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. After four years, he left the District Attorney’s office to become an associate in the Oakland based business and employment litigation firm of Aiken, Kramer & Cummings. He pursued that trial practice for fifteen years, becoming a partner in the firm and gaining considerable civil experience in the courtroom, including obtaining two judgments in excess of $1 million dollars, until his appointment to the bench in 1988.
Justice Chin has served on the leadership committees of several state and local bar associations and was the first Asian-American to serve as President of the Alameda County Bar Association in its more than 100-year history. He is Vice Chair of the California Judicial Council and has chaired the Council’s Commission for Impartial Courts, Court Technology Advisory Committee, and Science and the Law Steering Committee. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of San Francisco, where he was a member of the Executive Committee and chaired the Academic Affairs Committee. In 2009, the Judicial Council of California named him the California Jurist of the Year.
Supreme Court of California, 1996-2020
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, 1990-1996
Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, 1988-1990
Captain, United States Army, 1967-1969