Hon. Jacqueline Taber

Nov. 21, 1922 – Nov. 23, 2018

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 9, 2018

Hon. Jacqueline Taber
Hon. Jacqueline Taber: Nov. 21, 1922 – Nov. 23, 2018

Judge Jacqueline Taber passed away peacefully on November 23, 2018, having celebrated her 96th birthday on November 21 surrounded by close friends. She was born in Portland, Oregon to John and Etta Taber, their only child. The family moved to San Jose when Jacqueline was a young child. 

In 1941, Judge Taber moved to Berkeley to attend Cal as an undergraduate and then continued on to law school at Boalt Hall. She passed the California Bar in 1947 and began her 63-year law career. During an era of much discrimination against women, she persevered. After having won the largest non-jury judgment in Alameda County for that time, she gained partnership in a male dominated Oakland law firm. In November 1965, she was appointed by Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown as the first female Judge of the Oakland-Piedmont Municipal Court. 

In 1978, she became the second female Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court after a hard fought election campaign, and served there until her retirement in January 2011 at the age of 88. In her 46 years on the bench, she touched many peoples’ lives. She was a fair but firm adjudicator to those who appeared before her, and was greatly respected by those who worked with her over the many years. As retired Judge Julie Conger said, “We women attorneys looked to Judge Jacky Taber as the paradigm judge we all aspired to be: clear-thinking and logical, tough yet compassionate, devoted to the law and justice.” Judge Dawn Girard recalls that “Judge Taber extended respect and compassion for all who appeared before her, as well as love and respect for her court staff, clerks, reporters, court attendants, and interpreters. She was truly a “daughter of Justice”.

Judge Taber was very active in many organizations, some of which were: Alameda County Bar Association, National Association of Women Judges, California Judges Association, Women Lawyers of Alameda County, California Women Lawyers, Professional Women’s Club, The Queen’s Bench, and Toastmistresses. She was also a fighter for women’s rights, caring, and an avid animal lover. Her many friends will miss her quick wit, lively conversations, encouragement, support, and lunches at her favorite restaurant, Pier 29 in Alameda.

A memorial will be held January 21, 2019, 11am, Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave, Oakland. 

Memorial donations may be made to the East Bay SPCA.