Judge David Finkel (Ret.)


Judge David Finkel (Ret.)David B. Finkel, Judge of the Superior Court (Ret.), a resident of Santa Monica for 47 years, was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2006. He served as vice chair in 2009 and chair in 2010. 

Finkel has had a long and distinguished career in public service and education. He is a retired judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and a former judge and presiding judge of the Santa Monica Municipal Court. He also served on the Santa Monica City Council and as mayor pro tem. 

Upon retiring from the bench in 2002, he served as an arbitrator and mediator for six years. Until his election to the SMC Board of Trustees, he was an adjunct professor of political science at the college, teaching U.S. and California government and politics with an emphasis on constitutional law. Since fall 2008, he has resumed teaching that course as a volunteer. He also tutors students in political science, law, and English. He is also a former faculty member of the California Judges College, teaching judicial ethics and fairness, and was a member of the Ethics Committee of the California Judges Association.

He received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law. 

He has been married to Bruria Finkel, an accomplished artist, sculptor, and curator and an active leader in the community, for 48 years. He is the father of four children, all of whom received their early education in Santa Monica public schools. He has four grandchildren – the oldest a scholarship student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, second oldest a scholarship student at Columbia University, and the two youngest in high school and elementary school.