March Chapter Meeting

Mar. 17, 2010Judge Quentin Kopp

California High Speed Rail” 

The Honorable Quentin Kopp, Member of the Board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Venue: URS Corp, 1333 Broadway, Suite 800, Oakland, CA, 94612-1924  google map

Judge Quentin Kopp is a member of the board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and is the former chair.  He is a retired Superior Court judge, retired state senator and chair of the Senate Transportation Committee (a key supporter of the Caltrans retrofit program), member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and in addition to many other positions.

He will discuss the impacts and future of High Speed Rail in California, especially as it relates to the $2.25 billion in federal stimulus funds that were received by the State of California on January 28, 2010.  Judge Kopp is a dynamic and engaging speaker so the presentation should be of great interest to all EERI NC Chapter Members.


The Honorable Quentin L. Kopp was appointed to the San Mateo Superior Court on January 1, 1999, by Governor Pete Wilson and was administered the oath of judicial office on January 2, 1999.

Judge Kopp retired effective January 31, 2004, but was immediately accepted in the Assigned Judges Program of the California Judicial Council. By order of the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Judge Kopp has been assigned almost continuously to the San Mateo County Superior Court since February 1, 2004, with intermittent assignments to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Humboldt County Superior Court, Sonoma County Superior Court, Napa County Superior Court and Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

On June 13, 2006, the state Senate appointed him to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, charged with implementing high-speed train service from Los Angeles to San Francisco at 200 miles per hour. He was elected chairman of the Authority on August 9, 2006.

Prior to judicial appointment, Judge Kopp practiced trial law in San Francisco and Northern California. He served in the California State Senate from December 1, 1986, until December 7, 1998, and as a member of the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors to which he was first elected in November 1971, and re-elected four times thereafter. He was president of such board in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1982.

Judge Kopp’s election to the California State Senate on November 4, 1986, represented election of the first non-incumbent Independent to the Senate since 1878. His re-election in 1990 constituted the first time in California history an Independent was re-elected to the Legislature. That historical milestone was reiterated by his re-election as an Independent to a third term in the Senate in 1994.

Judge Kopp served as an ex-officio member of the California Transportation Commission from 1988 until 1998, as a member of the California Law Revision Commission from 1995 until 1998, and a member of the Little Hoover Commission from 1996 until 1998. As an elected local and state legislator for 27 years, Judge Kopp also served as a leader on virtually every regional governmental policy-making body affecting the Bay Area, including:

  • Board of Supervisors representative to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), 1976-1986, and Chairman of MTC, 1983-1985;
  • Member, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors, 1973-1974;
  • San Francisco designee to the Board of Directors of the County Supervisors Association of California (CSAC), 1976-1986 and president of CSAC, 1980-1981;
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, 1977-1986, and vice-president, 1984-1986;
  • Board of Supervisors representative to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, 1978-1979;
  • Board of Supervisors representative to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), 1972-1978.

Judge Kopp was the founder and chairman of the Bay Area Super Bowl Task Force which brought Super Bowl XIX to Stanford Stadium in January 1985.

Judge Kopp is also past president of the San Francisco and California Junior Bar Associations, a former director of the Bar Association and Lawyers’ Club of San Francisco, and a lecturer for 10 years at the annual State Bar Convention. He served from 1962 until 1965 in the American Bar Association House of Delegates as a delegate from the Young Lawyers Association.

Judge Kopp maintained his own radio talk show on KGO-AM Radio in San Francisco from 1982 until 1992, and was a weekly commentator on KTVU-TV in Oakland from 1992 until his appointment to the bench. He was born in Syracuse, New York, educated at Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, and served as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1952 until 1954.

Judge Kopp is married to the former Mara Sikaters. He has three children, sons Shepard of the law firm of Geragos & Geragos in Los Angeles and Bradley, a musician and ferryboat deck hand, and daughter Jennifer, executive director of the Napa Valley Grape Growers.

Appointed by the Senate President pro Tempore

EERI Northern California Chapter | c/o EERI National | 499 14th Street Suite 320 | Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA |