The Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, J.D. (1989)

University of Southern California, M.A. (1978)

University of Southern California, B.A. (1975)

Honors & Awards

  • Daily Journal Top 100 Women Litigators in California
  • Northern California Super Lawyer

Nanci E. Nishimura is a Principal at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP where she practices civil litigation focusing on antitrust, business litigation and consumer class actions. Ms. Nishimura received a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California, and attended Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Following a career in the United States and Japan as a business development and marketing consultant, she received her J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She worked at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the International Trade Commission, and served as a Legislative Analyst to Senator Daniel Inouye.

Ms. Nishimura's experience in civil and criminal appellate litigation includes First and Fourth Amendment and civil rights. She wrote the brief on the merits and appeared before the United States Supreme Court in Hanlon v. Berger, 526 U.S. 808 (1999). She co-authored, "An Invasion of Privacy: The Media's Involvement in Law Enforcement Activities," 19 Loy. L.A. Ent. L.J. 313 (1999). Published cases, among others, include Berger v. CNN Inc., 188 F.3d 1155 (9th Cir. 1999); Ayeni v. Mottola, 35 F.3d 680 (2d Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 514 US 1062 (1995), aff'g Ayeni v. CBS Inc., 848 F. Supp. 362 (E.D.N.Y. 1994); Brunette v. Humane Society of Ventura County, 294 F.3d 1205 (9th Cir. 2002); Aquila, Inc. v. Superior Court, 148 Cal. App. 4th 556 (2007); Regents of University of California v. Superior Court, 165 Cal. App. 4th 672 (2008); In re LIBOR - Based Fin. Instruments Litig., 27 F. Supp. 3d 447 (S.D.N.Y., June 23, 2014); In re Ambac Bond Insurance Cases, 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1230 (Cal. App. 1st Dist, February 18, 2016).

In March 2018, she was elected first woman chair of the Commission on Judicial Performance, where she was originally was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the 11 member Commission (2011-2015; re-appointed in 2016); formerly served on Senator Barbara Boxer's Judicial Appointment Committee for the Northern District of California (2015); and on the State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission (JNE) (2005-2008); Board of Governors and first Vice President for the California Women Lawyers (District 3). She is also a member of the San Mateo and Los Angeles County Bar Associations, Consumer Attorneys of California, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the American Bar Foundation. She is a frequent lecturer for California Women Lawyers, and past member of the LACBA Litigation Section Trial Practice Inn of Court.

Ms. Nishimura is on the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center Foundation, a joint state-private facility to promote science education throughout California, and past president of the Board of Directors of The MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation. She is a frequent speaker to promote science and math education in California. In addition, she is on the Board of Trustees and Commission of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco; the Rotary Club of San Mateo; and the creator of Storytime for Children with Abby Rabbit, an interactive reading and development program for children.

Community/Civic Activities

Board of Trustees and Commission of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco

Board of Trustees of the California Science Center Foundation

Past President of the Board of Directors of the MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation

Member, Rotary Club of San Mateo

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Professional Affiliations

California Women Lawyers, First Vice President

Commission on Judicial Performance

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