McGeorge School of Law

Kevin Culhane

Adjunct Professor of Public Policy
Kevin Culhane

JD, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
JSM, Stanford Law School


Kevin R. Culhane is a Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento. Judge Culhane presides over complex civil and criminal trials, and serves periodically in the Court’s Civil Settlement Conference department. He recently completed a two-year term as the Presiding Judge of the Sacramento Superior Court. 

In addition to his duties on the bench, for the last 40 years, Judge Culhane has served as Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He also presents regularly for the California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER). He is the author of numerous academic publications, including a multi-volume treatise on civil practice, and an academic text on Advanced Torts. He previously served as President of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court in Sacramento and is a recipient of the Kennedy Inn’s Voice of Conscience Award.

Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Culhane was a senior partner at the Sacramento firm of Hansen, Culhane, Kohls, Jones & Sommers. Originally established by Judge Culhane, Hartley T. Hansen and Robert T. Matsui in 1977, the firm handled civil trial and appellate matters for over 32 years. He served as Vice-President of the State Bar of California and received the State Bar’s Outstanding Service Award in 1989. In addition, he served two terms as a member of the Judicial Council of California, and was the recipient of the Council’s Distinguished Service Award in 1993. Throughout his career, he served on numerous State Bar and Judicial Council Committees, including the Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee, the Committee on Gender Bias in the Courts, the Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Committee on Professional Liability Insurance, the Committee on Multi-Disciplinary Practice, and the Commission on the Future of the Legal Profession.

After assuming the bench in 2008, Judge Culhane completed assignments in Civil Trials, Criminal Trials, Law and Motion, Family Law and Traffic/Small Claims. He was named as the ABOTA Judge of the Year in 2012, the Capitol City Trial Lawyers Judge of the Year in 2013, and The Sacramento County Bar Association’s Judge of the Year in 2017.

Judge Culhane received his JD degree in 1976 from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and his JSM degree from Stanford Law School in 1977.