Meet Judge Andrew Cheng

As a Chinese American with deep ties to the community, Judge Andrew Cheng relishes the opportunity to work every day to make the world a little bit better with good decisions. A lifelong Democrat, former Deputy City Attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney, Cheng gives back to the community through mentoring, teaching and civic outreach.

The son of Chinese immigrants, Cheng grew up in the Midwest, one of two Asians in his high school (the other being his sister). They experienced the challenges of growing up amongst people who had no exposure to people of different ethnic backgrounds.   As valedictorian of his high school class, Cheng won a full-tuition, merit-based scholarship to Columbia University, from which he graduated summa cum laude.  He then graduated from Yale Law School in 1992.

After graduating from law school, Cheng was a law clerk for a federal district court judge and practiced in the private sector for two years before joining the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office in 1997, drawn by the opportunity to work on groundbreaking litigation against the tobacco industry. As an Deputy City Attorney for San Francisco, Cheng worked to achieve a $500 million settlement from tobacco companies that resulted in the renovation of Laguna Honda Hospital.

Cheng then served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California and as deputy chief of the Civil Division from 2006-2009. As deputy city attorney and assistant U.S. attorney, he argued cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California First District Court of Appeal.

Since his appointment to the San Francisco Superior Court in 2009, Judge Cheng has presided over criminal, civil, and probate cases including the Robin Williams trust dispute. In 2016, he issued a ruling that sided with veterans who argued they were being pushed out of the War Memorial Veterans Building. This ruling allowed veterans to continue to use the San Francisco War Memorial at no cost.  He also expanded the use of assisted outpatient treatment for those suffering from mental illnesses at San Francisco General Hospital.  

Judge Cheng levied a $3.5 million settlement on a notorious landlord who evicted a family from its home of 21 years to rent the unit at a higher price. It was the largest judgment in a single-unit landlord-tenant case in the nation.  He has been endorsed by the San Francisco Tenants Union.  In its endorsement of Cheng, the group noted, "We found that Andrew Cheng, running for seat 4, had a reputation in our community for being the kind of judge we need —for humility, fairness towards a variety of litigants, willingness to listen to every argument made, and enough respect for laws (including the Rent Ordinance!) to consistently reach fair results."

Judge Cheng currently presides over civil, criminal, and probate trials and serves as a settlement judge for civil mediations and settlement conferences.  He has taught at both U.C. Berkeley School of Law and U.C. Hastings School of Law and serves on the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.  He has been a member and elder of Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco since 1992.

Judge Cheng has been married for 24 years to Yvonne, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and part of a family of fifth-generation Californians. They have three children,

 

Judge Andrew Cheng Endorsements

Officials

  • Governor Jerry Brown
  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein 
  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier
  • Former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher
  • State Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma
  • Senator Scott Wiener
  • Former Senator Mark Leno
  • Assemblymember David Chiu
  • Assemblymember Phil Ting
  • Mayor Mark Farrell
  • City Attorney Dennis Herrera
  • Assessor Carmen Chu
  • Sheriff Vicki Hennessy
  • District Attorney George Gascon
  • Former City Attorney Louise Renne
  • Board President London Breed
  • Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer
  • Supervisor Jane Kim
  • Supervisor Aaron Peskin
  • Supervisor Katy Tang
  • Supervisor Norman Yee
  • Supervisor Catherine Stefani
  • Former Supervisor Angela Alioto
  • Former Supervisor, Reverend Dr. Amos Brown
  • Former Supervisor Sophie Maxwell
  • Former Supervisor David Campos
  • City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees President Rafael Mandelman
  • Board of Education Commissioner Rachel Norton
  • City College Vice President Alex Randolph
  • Former CA Democratic Party Chair John Burton
  • Former Chief of Police Greg Suhr
  • Former Justice Harry Low
  • Former Ambassador to Australia Jeff Bleich
  • Former Public Defender Geoff Brown
  • Former Superior Court Judge Jim Collins
  • Former Superior Court Judge Nancy Davis
  • Former Superior Court Judge Donna Hitchens
  • Former Superior Court Judge Philip Moscone
  • Former Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard
  • Former U.S. Attorney Joe Russoniello
  • Former U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan

Groups and Organizations

  • San Francisco Democratic Party
  • San Francisco Republican Party
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • San Francisco Examiner
  • Bay Area Reporter
  • Sing Tao Daily
  • Service Employees International Union
  • San Francisco Tenants Union
  • Irish Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Women's Political Committee 
  • All 50 San Francisco Superior Court judges
  • All First District Court of Appeal justices
  • San Francisco Firefighters Local 798
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers No. 6
  • Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • California Asian American Judges
  • California Latino Judges
  • Potrero Hill Democratic Club
  • Community Alliance for Jobs and Housing
  • Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Police Officers Association 
  • The Association of African American California Judicial Officers
  • San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association
  • Judiciary Committee of the California Association of Black Lawyers
  • City Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Democratic Women in Action
  • United Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Young Democrats 
  • Edwin M. Lee Asian Pacific Democratic Club
  • Asian American Bar Association 
  • Queen's Bench Bar Association 
  • Community Tenants Association
  • District 5 Democratic Club
  • Irish Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Tenants Union
  • Chinese American Citizens Alliance

Community Leaders

  • Bob Feldman
  • Len Tillem
  • Ingrid Evans
  • Owen Clements
  • Mark Mackler
  • Harold Kahn
  • Gale Mondry
  • Brian Bringardner
  • John Kaman
  • John Munter
  • Susan Horst
  • Anthony Kline
  • Charlotte Woolard
  • Donna Hitchens
  • Wade Rhyne
  • Jeffrey Bornstein
  • Rick Seabolt
  • Jan Platt
  • William Roger Gargano
  • Malcolm Smith
  • Alexandra Ross
  • Benjamin Reyes
  • Asha Jameson
  • William Campbell
  • M David Minnick
  • JoAnn Prior
  • Michael Markman
  • Ana Gonzalez
  • Vanessa Wu
  • Michael Candela
  • Edward Kallgren
  • Michael Lee
  • Joan Haratani
  • David Kremer
  • Donna Lee Chignell
  • David Ammons
  • Charles Harrington
  • Philip Moscone
  • Trenton Norris
  • Claire Holl
  • Jonah Ross
  • Erin Murphy
  • Kathleen Dowling McDonough
  • Nancy L. Davis
  • Kathleen Purcell
  • Matthew Kahn
  • David Burk
  • Barry Abbott
  • Eduardo Ramirez
  • Alexander Lee
  • Gilles Portaz
  • Sandra Pons
  • Bruce Fisher
  • Paul Sloan
  • Amy Madsen
  • Joel Friley
  • Anita Jean Denz
  • Gilbert Eisenberg
  • Wesley Hsu
  • Judith Craddick
  • Luis Pons
  • Nancy Tung
  • Janet Gamble
  • David Troup
  • Cynny Sheehan
  • Carolyn Shuman
  • Tom Hart
  • MaryEllen Jirak
  • Michael Wong
  • Russell Fudge
  • Ioana Petrou
  • Kay Harnish-Ladd
  • Yau Lee
  • Robert Cartwright, Jr.
  • Cheryl Mills
  • Carson Niello
  • Drew Williams
  • Greg Free
  • Stuart Hanlon
  • Andrew Schwartz
  • David Bigeleisen
  • Danny Chou
  • Patricia Carlin
  • Molly Priedeman
  • Beth Jay
  • Stephen Pons
  • Ashley Pons
  • Marianne Badawi
  • Judith Bishop
  • Michael Kremer
  • Lawrence Kern
  • Frank Leidman
  • Laurie Weisberg
  • Eric Goldman
  • Scott Cmiel
  • Peggy Cmiel
  • Howard Epstein
  • Arthur Shartsis
  • Joel Zeldin
  • Michael Tsang