Hon. Lilys McCoy



San Diego Superior Court

Judge Lilys McCoy headshot

Hon. Lilys McCoy


Prior to her appointment, Judge McCoy was a Deputy City Attorney for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office where she represented the City in a variety of civil litigation matters, including dangerous condition claims, civil rights actions, and state and federal statutory claims. Before joining the City Attorney’s Office, Judge McCoy served as the founding Director of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Center for Solo Practitioners, a lawyer incubator program designed to help alumni start solo practices with a focus on access-to-justice and community service. In addition to the Center for Solo Practitioners, she led TJSL’s Epsten, Grinnell & Howell National Trial Team and taught Federal Evidence, California Civil Procedure, and Solo Practice Concentration. Before her work at TJSL, Judge McCoy practiced civil litigation for 20 years with a focus on individual and class action consumer protection cases. She has tried matters to judges and juries and represented clients in judicial arbitrations, contractual arbitrations, and mediation hearings.

Judge McCoy also participates in a number of local and state bar organizations. She is a Past President of the San Diego County Bar Association, a Past President of Lawyers Club of San Diego, a Past Chair of the Conference of California Bar Associations and a Past Co-President of the Tom Homann LGBTQ+ Law Association. A Master in the Enright Inn of Court, Judge McCoy has been named a Super Lawyer, a Top Attorney by the San Diego Daily Transcript, a Top Attorney by San Diego Magazine, and a Woman of Achievement by California Women Lawyers. Judge McCoy has been a Workshop Leader for the San Diego Inn of Court Evidence and Trial Practice Programs since 2003. She served as President of the Inn in 2018 and currently serves on the Board.


  • University of Arizona College of Law, J.D., 1991
  • University of California at San Diego, B.A. with Department Honors, 1987

Judicial Service

Judge McCoy was appointed to the San Diego Superior Court by Gov. Gavin Newsom in March 2023.

Professional Activities

  • Bernard E. Witkin Award for Excellence in Legal Education, San Diego County Law Library, 2020
  • San Diego County Bar Foundation Award, 2019
  • Charles M. Pfeiffer Award, Conference of California Bar Associations, 2018
  • Commendation from San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez, 2018
  • Service to the Profession Award, San Diego County Bar Association, 2014
  • Co-Presidents’ Award, Tom Homann LGBTQ+ Law Association, 2008
  • Belva Lockwood Award, Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2007
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent Rating™, 2004-2023

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