Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. appointed Charles A. Smiley to a judgeship on the Alameda County Superior Court in 2012. Between 2016 and 2019, he served as Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court. In January of 2020, he begins a two-year term as Assistant Presiding Judge of the Alameda County Court system.
Judge Smiley began his legal career as a deputy public defender working in various roles that include trial lawyer and branch supervisor. Prior to his judicial appointment, he worked for the court as a court commissioner presiding over family law, traffic, and small claims cases.
Outside of the courtroom, Judge Smiley has remained active in teaching, volunteering with legal organizations, and pursuing various projects. He has taught trial advocacy for a total of ten years between UC Hastings and Berkeley Law. He continues his work as a frequent attorney instructor at State Bar Continuing Legal Education events. He also leads instruction to other judges as part of the Judicial Council’s ethics program.
In 2017, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye appointed him to the Power of Democracy Steering Committee, a statewide interdisciplinary effort led by the Chief to promote quality civic education and engagement to California’s young people. He is a past president and director of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court and former board member of the California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), the Charles Houston Bar Association (CHBA), and the Wiley Manuel Law Foundation, Inc. He has received numerous awards for his work as judge and commissioner including the Hon. Thelton Henderson Judicial Excellence Award from CHBA and the 2018 Hon. Bernard S. Jefferson Judge of the Year Award from CABL.
Judge Smiley completed his undergraduate studies in 1989 at UC Berkeley. He resides in Oakland with his family.