Senior Judge D. Lowell Jensen Retires

For the past 28 years, Judge D. Lowell Jensen has been a distinguished jurist on this bench. There are, of course, the many facts of his career which serve to demonstrate his intellect and accomplishments. He spent more than 25 years as a prosecutor for Alameda County, including serving as District Attorney from 1969-81.

He also served in the United States Department of Justice from 1981 until 1986, where he was the rare individual to be able to bring persons of disparate views to consensus. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan nominated him to the seat on this bench vacated by William H. Orrick, Jr. and Judge Jensen has served here ever since — having had chambers in San Francisco, Oakland, and now San Jose.

Perhaps what is most remarkable about Judge Jensen is how throughout his entire career he has treated all of those around him with respect, kindness and an unerring sense of his duty to serve justice. He has been described variously as “a crackerjack of a prosecutor,” a “straight-shooter,” and “a gentleman of the old standard.” All of these descriptors are true and yet they do not tell the whole story.

Many years ago, Judge Jensen said in an interview “I’ve been in the public business a long, long time … I would hope I've had some impact.” The hundreds of lawyers Judge Jensen so ably mentored; the colleagues for whom he provided a wise sounding-board; the litigants who brought cases before him and who, win or lose, left feeling that their matters had received his utmost attention; and all of the defendants who came before him and left his courtroom feeling that they had been genuinely heard and seen not only for what they had done, but for who they could possibly be — all can attest that Judge Jensen's impact has indeed been profound.

                                                                            – Chief Judge Claudia Wilken

Read more about Judge Jensen:

Veteran Northern District Judge Stepping Down (from the Daily Journal)

Northern District Judge D. Lowell Jensen Set to Retire (from the Recorder)