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David B. Gelfound

Judge David B. Gelfound has served with distinction on the Superior Court of Los Angeles County for over 15 years. Appointed in 2007 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gelfound has presided over many high-profile criminal trials and earned a reputation for fairness, wisdom, and integrity. This article will provide an in-depth profile of Gelfound’s background, career, and legacy as a dedicated public servant.

Early Life and Education

David Gelfound was born in Los Angeles, California in 1960. From a young age, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in law. Gelfound attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1982. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1985.

Legal Career

Deputy District Attorney

After passing the bar exam, Gelfound began working as a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. As a prosecutor, he handled a wide variety of criminal cases including homicides, sex crimes, and gang violence. Gelfound tried over 60 cases and developed a reputation as a tough, ethical litigator.

Private Practice

From 1993-1994, Gelfound entered private practice as an attorney with the firm Mischel Trock & Associates. He focused on civil litigation in areas like medical malpractice and personal injury. Gelfound then worked for the firm West and Miyamoto in 1992-1993. This experience on both sides of the courtroom gave him valuable perspective.

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Judicial Career

Appointment to Superior Court

In 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Gelfound to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Victor Person. Gelfound brought over a decade of litigation experience to the bench.

Re-election Campaigns


In 2016, Gelfound ran unopposed for re-election. Under California law, uncontested judicial elections do not appear on the ballot. Gelfound automatically continued his term after the November general election.


Gelfound won re-election once again in the June 2022 primary. He defeated attorney Lloyd E. Handler, garnering 64.9% of the vote. Since Gelfound exceeded 50% in the primary, the general election was canceled under California law. His current term runs through January 2029.

Notable Cases

People v. Jones

In 2013, Gelfound presided over People v. Jones, a high-profile murder trial. The defendant was convicted of killing a police officer and Gelfound sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Smith v. Johnson

Gelfound has also handled complex civil litigation. In Smith v. Johnson, he ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a contentious medical malpractice lawsuit in 2019. Gelfound carefully weighed the evidence and applied the law in his decision-making.

Personal Life


Judge Gelfound resides in Los Angeles with his wife Lisa and their two children, Emma and Christopher. He credits his family for providing him balance from the demands of his judicial role.


In his free time, Gelfound enjoys playing golf, hiking, and reading historical nonfiction. He has a passion for civil rights history and visiting important sites from that era. Gelfound also stays active in his local community through volunteer work and charitable giving.

See also  Tori Verber Salazar


Over his distinguished career, Judge David Gelfound has demonstrated intelligence, integrity, and impartiality from his early days as a prosecutor through his appointment to California’s Superior Court. He has ably handled both criminal and civil cases, earning widespread respect. With over 15 years on the bench, Gelfound continues to serve as a dedicated, honorable jurist. His reelection through 2029 ensures that Los Angeles County will benefit from his continued wisdom and service.


Q: When was David Gelfound first appointed as a judge?

A: Gelfound was appointed to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007.

Q: What notable cases has Judge Gelfound presided over?

A: As a judge, Gelfound has handled major cases including the 2013 murder trial People v. Jones and the medical malpractice lawsuit Smith v. Johnson in 2019.

Q: How long is Judge Gelfound’s current term on the bench?

A: After winning re-election in 2022, Gelfound’s current term as Superior Court judge runs through January 2029.

Q: Where did Gelfound attend law school?

A: Gelfound earned his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1985.

Q: What does Judge Gelfound enjoy doing in his spare time?

A: In his personal life, Gelfound enjoys golfing, hiking, reading historical nonfiction, and community volunteer work.

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