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ACBA Distinguished Service Award Spotlight – Cheryl Poncini

We are honored to give our annual Distinguished Service Award for Government Attorney to Cheryl Poncini, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office

Join us for our Virtual Installation and Distinguished Service Awards Night to help welcome our new board of directors and Distinguished Service Awards recipients on January 21, 2021 from 5PM – 8PM. RSVP or learn more here

Cheryl Poncini
Cheryl Poncini, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office

Cheryl Poncini, a Past-President of the ACBA, is a Deputy District Attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she has worked for over 40 years in a variety of assignments in both the juvenile and adult divisions.  She is currently assigned to the Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Unit.  Cheryl is also a member of the Fellowship Grants Board of Founder Region Soroptimists, a community-based non-profit that works to improve the lives of women and girls locally and internationally through education and economic empowerment.

When did you know you wanted to be a lawyer? 

When I was in college.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you be doing instead?   

If I had not become a lawyer, I would have gone back to school and learned more about the tech industry. (When I was in college, computers filled entire rooms and there was no such thing as a laptop or the internet. When the tech industry took off, I had been a lawyer for several years, liked the work I was doing and was not seriously interested in changing to the tech industry at that point.) 

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were first admitted to practice?   

The importance of relating legal issues to the realities of life.  The law does not exist in a vacuum. 

What is the biggest challenge facing you as a lawyer today? 

There seems to be a growing segment of the population which does not believe in the rule of law and the importance of settling disputes via the legal process.

What is your favorite part of being a lawyer?   

Seeing that your work can result in justice happening in a case.

What is your dream vacation? 

I have been very fortunate to take a few dream vacations.  But, what a dream vacation means to me today is very different from what it meant to me a year ago, before COVID-19 impacted everything.  Now a dream vacation to me is going anywhere – near or far – without the worry of being exposed to COVID-19, social distancing or wearing a face mask while enjoying simple things such as a nice meal in a restaurant or a scenic walk.

What are you reading now?   

A James Patterson novel.

What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?   

I was on a television game show many years ago.  I won!

What person, living or dead, real or fictional, would you like to have dinner with?    

President & Mrs. Obama.  I would love to  hear their perspective on how the world has changed since they left the White House four years ago.

Why do you choose to be a member of the ACBA? What is the greatest benefit you have enjoyed as a member? 

I became a member of ACBA many years ago.  It has been a great way to meet others in the legal profession whom I probably would not otherwise have met due to being in a legal specialization (criminal law) that is different from that of many ACBA members.

This post is brought to you by ACBA Installation and Distinguished Service Awards Night Event Sponsor Donahue Fitzgerald LLP.

Donahue Fitzgerald LLP