Mediator And Private Judge, Attorney

Hon. Kathleen M. McKenna

Kathleen McKenna began private practice immediately after graduating from Santa Clara University Law School in 1993, specializing in Family Law.

In 2000, she has appointed by the San Mateo Superior Court as coordinator of their newly-created Family Law Alternative Dispute Resolution program. In that role, she mediated more than 300 disputes. In May 2001, she was appointed a Commissioner of the San Mateo Superior Court where she sat on the Family Law bench for more than 10 years.

Additionally, Commissioner McKenna accepted general assignments and heard cases in a variety of departments including domestic violence, the Department of Child Support Services, Criminal, Unlawful Detainers, and Small Claims. Commissioner McKenna retired from the bench in March 2014 and, in May 2014, she joined Viola Law Firm.

With more than 28 years of experience in Family Law, including mediating and managing cases to settlement prior to trial, Commissioner McKenna has acquired significant experience in matters concerning custody, support, and property division. She brings her extensive experience to Viola Law Firm as a Mediator, Arbitrator, Private Judge, and Parent Coordinator.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California
    • J.D., 1993
  • University of San Francisco
    • B.S., 1989
    • Major: Business

Representative Cases

  • Melville v. Melville (2004) 122CalApp4th 601
  • Merlet v. Rizzo (1998) CalApp4th 53

Past Employment Positions

  • San Mateo Superior Court, Commissioner, 2001 to 2014

Pro Bono Activities

  • Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, Board of Directors


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