Halim Dhanidina


Associate Justice for the Second District of the California Court of Appeal


Halim Dhanidina is an associate justice for the Second District of the California Court of Appeal.  He is the first South Asian American to serve as an appellate justice in the State of California and the first Muslim appellate level judge in the United States.  He was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2012, making him the first Muslim judge in California history.  He presided over 72 jury trials in the Superior Court and has heard over 100 appeals to date.  He previously prosecuted cases for the L.A. County District Attorney for 14 years, while serving on the boards of the APABA-LA and SABA-SC where he developed crime prevention programs for the Asian Youth Center and South Asian Network. 

He has taught as an adjunct professor of law at Whittier Law School, Western State School of Law, Glendale University College of Law, and Chapman University Law School.  He also teaches judicial education courses for judges statewide.  He is a board member for Muslim-Jewish NewGround, and he sits on the Advisory Board of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, as well as the Orange County Advisory Council of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Judge Dhanidina earned a B.A. in International Relations from Pomona College in 1994, where he founded the Muslim Students Association, and a J.D. from the U.C.L.A. School of Law in 1997, which named him the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association Alumnus of the Year in 2013.  He was a founding member of APABA-LA, and has received the South Asian Network’s Community Empowerment Award, the Muslim Public Affairs Council Foundation’s Community Leadership Award, the Muslim Legal Fund of America’s Trailblazer in Justice Award, and the South Asian Bar Association Foundation’s Trailblazer Award.  In 2017, Judge Dhanidina was recognized by the California State Assembly for his contributions to the legal profession, and he also received the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award.


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