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Chip Zecher is an experienced attorney committed to public service, justice and equal opportunity under the law. 


In 2019, Chip Zecher was appointed by Governor Newsom to the Board of the University of California Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings). Soon after his appointment, the UC Law community endured the impact of COVID-19, as the streets of the Tenderloin surrounding the university campus overwhelmed city services. His experience with UC Law through this period inspired Chip to volunteer for a local organization researching the root causes of poverty, drug addiction, and homelessness. Understanding the crisis in the Tenderloin and becoming more deeply engaged in the bureaucratic and political barriers that stand in the way of change inspired Chip to deepen his public service and ultimately launch his campaign to serve as a Judge. 

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Chip and his partner Gari James Cuevas at their home in the Sunset.

As the Vice Chair of the UC Law Board of Directors, Chip was an active participant in the determination to rename the College, reviewing the historic record that confirmed historic injustices and atrocities committed by the college’s namesake and founder, Serranus Hastings. The results of the research confirmed what many long understood–Hastings financed an armed militia that killed more than 7,000 Yuki Native Americans in order to remove them from ranch land he purchased in Northern California. As a Board member, Chip Zecher engaged in a deliberate and transparent process that led to the decision to change the name of the College of Law in accordance with the values of the college community, staff and its students. This small act of justice can never change the past but seeks to ensure greater inclusivity, sincere acknowledgment and corrective action in the face of historic racism and violence against Native American people.  


Chip lobbied the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Appropriations committee members to restore funding for next generation digital night vision technology. He was also chosen by Gavin Newsom to serve on his mayoral transition team in 2003. Recently, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the Harker School, the school he also attended as a child.

Growing up, Chip Zecher always knew he would seek a career in the law and comes from a family steeped in the judicial tradition. His mother, Marilyn Pestarino Zecher served as a Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge. Judge Zecher was the first woman judge appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court in 1975, the first woman presiding judge of the Court in the state of California, and was voted Trial Judge of the Year in 1994. Chip lives in the Sunset, where his father’s family has resided since 1936, with his partner Gari James Cuevas - a small business owner in Union Square. He is a 5th generation Californian. Chip and Gari can frequently be found dining in their favorite restaurants on Irving Street.

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The Honorable Marilyn Pestarino Zecher

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Albert Chip Zecher's Prior Service to the Superior Court

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