DeAnn Salcido was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She is a second-generation trial attorney having followed in the footsteps of her father, Richard R. Castillo. Indeed she decided in elementary school that she wanted to be a lawyer. After watching the film “Kramer vs. Kramer” DeAnn changed her career goal and decided she wanted to become a judge. At age 30 she placed herself on a ten-year plan to become a judge and accomplished that goal at age 37, which in retrospect she now believes was too young.
While studying law at UCLA DeAnn was a semi-finalist in a National Moot Court Competition. In her final year of law school she was selected to intern for one semester for a federal judge, the Honorable James Ideman. That year she was also elected President of the Student Body Association for the law school. This followed her term as President of the La Raza Law Students Association during her second year of law school.
After passing the California Bar exam in 1989, DeAnn worked at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office as a Deputy District Attorney. During her trial assignments at both the Rio Hondo and Pomona Courthouses, DeAnn learned how to be comfortable conducting all phases of trials, whether it be mastering the evidence code or the art of cross-examination. She left the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office after her divorce in 1995.
From 1995 until 2000 she returned to San Diego and worked as a civil litigator. Her areas of practice were employment law, environmental law and personal injury. She typically defended corporate clients such as Bank of America, Chevron and San Diego Transit Corporation. However, while the pay was good DeAnn did not care to put her law degree to work on behalf of corporations for the rest of her career. She knew that her passion was in fighting on behalf of people, not corporations. Hence she took a pay cut and returned to her first career as a criminal prosecutor for the County of San Diego. It was while she was a Deputy District Attorney for San Diego and the President of Lawyers Club of Diego that she was invited to apply to the bench by a representative from the Governor Gray Davis’ office.
In October 2002 DeAnn achieved her dream of becoming a Superior Court Judge when she received the call that the Governor had appointed her to the bench. She was first assigned to Family Court (Jan. 2003- Jan. 2006) and then Criminal Court (Jan. 2006 – Nov. 2010). In May 2010 Judge Salcido became the first sitting whistleblower judge in the United States after she discovered a chronic pattern of placing politics over citizen safety. Soon thereafter the workplace in San Diego Superior Court became a hostile environment. She was forced to resign as a judge after the stress of the hostile environment took a toll on her health and she no longer desired to fight to keep a job she had grown disenchanted with.
She resumed the practice of law in 2011. The motto of her law firm is “restoring honor to the courts and protecting families.” She is now also a tireless advocate for court reform, especially in the family court arena. She speaks nationally on television and radio and film documentaries about the pervasive problems in family court that exist for those unwitting citizens. She has no regrets about becoming a whistleblower judge and is proud to report that she continues to achieve great success in court for her clients.
Not one to ever be stopped from enjoying life, she is “happily divorced” and the mother of two grown sons. Each of her two sons was raised to believe in the “power of one” and the difference that one committed person with a strong work ethic can make in the world.
- California State Bar: November 1989
- University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, Juris Doctorate – June 1989
- University of California, San Diego, BA: Philosophy – May 1986
- Wellesley College: August 1983 – December 1984
- California State Bar Association
- National Association of Professional Women
- San Diego County Bar Association