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Dean Hansell – Denison

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge

Road to Greatness


In 2016 California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Denison Phi Dean Hansell to serve as a California Superior Court judge in Los Angeles County. Hansell won re-election for judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California outright in the primary election on June 5, 2018. Hansell’s current term ends on January 2, 2023.

Prior to this appointment, Hansell was a partner with the law firm of Hogan Lovells US, LLP and remained until his appointment to the Superior Court. While at Hogan Lovels, he focused on complex litigation and class actions in the consumer protection, insurance and reinsurance, labor and employment, privacy, environmental and government regulatory fields.

Before joining the firm, Hansell worked as a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, as Assistant Illinois Attorney General for Environmental Control, and as a prosecutor with the Federal Trade Commission. He also served as a Police Commissioner of Los Angeles from 1997 to 2001.

A noted community leader, Hansell has served as chair of the Los Angeles County Citizens Oversight Commission on the Sheriff’s Department Working Group and has served on the boards of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Foundation, the California Bar Foundation, the Los Angeles City College Foundation, Denison University, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

In 1997 he was appointed Los Angeles Police Commissioner, Hansell previously served as Commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Board and the cable television commission (the Board of Information Technology Commissioners of Los Angeles). Hansell is the co-author of the leading treatise in the United States on reinsurance law called The Law of Reinsurance, and 15 book chapters and articles.

Hansell, a native of Salem, Ohio, graduated with a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Denison University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Chancery Club, Omicron Delta Kappa (national leadership honorary) and Phi Delta Theta. Hansell is also a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Hansell has received numerous awards and recognition for his civic work, including the Distinguished Service Medal from the Los Angeles Police Commission, the inaugural Founders Award from GLAAD, the Co-President’s Award from the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, the Alumni Citation from Denison University, the Humanitarian Award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Pro Bono Award from Asian Pacific American Legal Center (now Asian Americans Advancing Justice) and the Herman Humanitarian Award from Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim.

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