Therese M. Stewart
Since 2002, Ms. Stewart has served as Chief Deputy City Attorney under San
Francisco City Attorney, Dennis J. Herrera, overseeing the litigation practice of the City
Attorney's Office and representing San Francisco and its officials in key cases.
Previously, she was a litigation partner at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk &
Rabkin, where she handled complex business litigation in state and federal courts.
Ms. Stewart heads a team of deputy city attorneys representing Plaintiff City and
County of San Francisco in the Marriage Cases pending in the California Supreme
Court. She defended Mayor Newsom when his issuance of marriage licenses to same-
sex couples was challenged in 2004.
Ms. Stewart has represented parties and amici in LGBT civil rights cases,
including the airlines' challenge to San Francisco's Equal Benefits Ordinance, a lesbian
police officer discrimination suit against the City of Sacramento, an early equal
protection challenge to the State's denial of equal benefits to partners of lesbian and gay
employees, and the High Tech Gays case challenging the Defense Department's denial
of security clearances to lesbians and gay men.
In the 1990's, Ms. Stewart served as the first Co-Chair of the Bar Association of
San Francisco's Committee on Sexual Orientation, which developed guidelines for legal
employers on eliminating sexual orientation discrimination. In the 1980's, she served on
the Board of the Lesbian Rights Project (currently known as the National Center for
Lesbian Rights), and her firm later assisted NCLR in changing its name and obtaining
non-profit status. She also served on the Board of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual
Freedom, San Francisco's lesbian and gay bar association.
In 1999, Ms. Stewart served as the first openly gay President of the Bar
Association of San Francisco. She co-founded BASF's School-To-College Program,
which provides mentoring and guidance to inner city high school students to help them
prepare for, select, and apply to college.
Ms. Stewart serves on a Task Force of the California Judicial Council's
Commission on Judicial Independence, and the Boards of the Northern District of
California Historical Society and the Legal Aid Society/Employment Law Center. She
has previously been a lawyer delegate for Northern District of California to the Ninth
Circuit and a State Bar delegate to the American Bar Association.
Ms. Stewart received her B.A. with Distinction from Cornell University in 1978
and her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1981, where she was Order of the Coif and
received Am Jur awards in Constitutional and Criminal Law. Ms. Stewart was Editor-in-
Chief of Ecology Law Quarterly and a research assistant to Professors Paul Mishkin and
William Fletcher. From 1981-1982, she was a law clerk to Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of
the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Ms. Stewart and her domestic partner, Carole Scagnetti, are the parents of a
brilliant and talented 19-year old Mt. Holyoke student, a mellow but vocal Samoyed, and
an oversized, very busy Jack Russell Terrier.