A longtime legal professional and former judge in the Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, California, Paul Seeman is currently a consultant in juvenile justice and criminal justice reform with Kanawha Consulting, where he also works on projects related to access to mental health services and non-profit organization and governance.
Paul Seeman spent the early years of his career as an attorney in private practice in the San Francisco Bay area. After completing his B.A. with Highest Honors at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a J.D. at the University of California’s Boalt Hall, he started his own practice in Berkeley, California, where he focused his efforts on criminal and juvenile appeals and trials. He placed a secondary emphasis on areas such as disability rights, small business, immigration, and international environmental law.
In 1991, Paul Seeman began serving as a Referee Pro Tem in the Alameda County Juvenile Court under the legendary presiding judge, the Hon. Wilmont Sweeney. In 2004, he became a Commissioner in that court, where he served in both dependency and delinquency assignments, and helped develop a number of pioneering programs, including a dependency Drug Court, a Collaborative Mental Health Court, and a direct-calendaring process for all juvenile cases including dependency-delinquency crossover cases. He also taught extensively on juvenile justice issues, with the Center for Judicial Education and Research (“CJER”), at UC Santa Cruz, and at other professional conferences and meetings including Beyond the Bench and at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Annual Conference. In 2009 he was given the Wilmont Sweeney Award as California Juvenile Court Judge of the Year.
That same year, 2009, Paul Seeman was appointed as judge in the Alameda County Superior Court. In this role he continued in a leadership role, serving on the Judicial Council’s Task Force for Criminal Justice Collaboration on Mental Health Issues, as the vice chair of the CJER Juvenile Law Education Committee, and as Chair of the Alameda County Collaborative Court Committee.
After resigning from the bench in 2013 Paul Seeman founded Kanawha Consulting, and continues his lifetime involvement in legal system reform.