Image left: Commissioner McLaughlin
Appointed as a Commissioner in January of 2004 by the San Diego County Superior Court Presiding Judge and Executive Committee, Commissioner McLaughlin currently presides over a busy family support court, where many litigants appear without legal representation. Her past assignments include other high volume courts, including misdemeanor arraignments, felony drug court, traffic, small claims and unlawful detainers. Commissioner McLaughlin has a keen awareness of the hardships faced by many of the litigants who come before her on a daily basis.
Image right: Commissioner McLaughlin and her colleagues Judges Cindy Davis, Terrie Roberts, and Tamila Ipema
As a new attorney and graduate of Boston University School of Law, Ms. McLaughlin traveled across the country to become a deputy Public Defender in one of the largest and finest Public Defender offices in the United States. She was determined to seek justice on behalf of indigent defendants and spent 13 years doing this work. After handling virtually every type of criminal case, Commissioner McLaughlin served for four years as an Assistant United States Attorney in San Diego. She was known as a prosecutor with a honed sense of justice, fairness and equity. Commissioner McLaughlin has always been active in her community. She served as the president of her local community’s council for many years.
Image left: Commissioner McLaughlin was presented the award for Excellence in Service by National Association of Women Judges' President Karen Donahue, Nashville 2021
Through the National Association of Women Judges, Commissioner McLaughlin is currently serving as the District Director for California and Nevada, and as the Co-Chair of the National Women in Prison Committee. Another focus for her has been the development and presentation of panels that focus on solutions to combat racial disparities in the justice system. Locally, Commissioner McLaughlin began a book club at the women's jail where judges meet monthly with incarcerated women to discuss books and exchange ideas. Along with a dedicated group of San Diego judges and attorneys, she has also been a driving force in bringing reentry workshops and resource fairs to the jail to assist the women upon release.
Image right: Commissioner McLaughlin and her daughter, Siena.
On a personal note, Commissioner McLaughlin is the proud parent of three: a daughter in her final year at Notre Dame Law School, and two adult stepchildren who reside in San Diego. Her husband Joseph works for an engineering firm with an expertise in security design. She enjoys spending her time cooking and baking, or trail running and hiking with her dogs.
Image left: Commissioner McLaughlin's two dogs, Enzo & Frankie