Lance A. Ito was appointed to the Municipal Court of the Los Angeles Judicial District in December of 1987 by Governor George Deukmejian and served as a member of that court executive committee and as the supervising judge of the Traffic Court, one of the busiest courthouses in the nation. He was elevated by Governor Deukmejian to the Los Angeles Superior Court in July of 1989 and has served twice of the member of that court’s executive committee. From 1993 to 2000 Ito served as chair of the Judicial Council Court Interpreters Advisory Panel and has taught the course on the effective use of spoken language interpreters at the B.E.Witkin Judicial College for the past two decades. He remains an ardent advocate for equal language access to the courts. Ito was the court Vienna Convention on Consular Relations compliance coordinator. Ito has served on assignment on three occasions with the Second District of the Court of Appeals. He has served as the emergency preparedness coordinator for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Judge Ito attended John Marshall High School (in Los Angeles), received his BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his JD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ito began his legal career with Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger, a medium sized law firm then located in Hollywood where he handled civil litigation, family law and intellectual property matters. In 1977 he joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and was assigned to Branch & Area Operations, Complaints, Central Trials and Organized Crime divisions. Ito was one of the original four lawyers to staff the Hardcore Gangs Unit, now a nationwide model for gang crime investigations. He met his wife, then an LAPD Homicide Detective, at 3 a.m. at a gang related homicide crime scene in Eagle Rock.

Now retired, Ito resides in Pasadena with his wife, Margaret York, retired Chief of the Los Angeles County Police and Deputy Chief of the LAPD.


Superior Court Trial Judge of the Year
Career Achievement Award Los Angeles County Bar Association / Criminal Justice Section
Lifetime Achievement Award
Orange County Asian Pacific Bar Association
Public Service Award American Cancer Society Spirit of Diplomacy Award
International Protocol Officers Association
Daniel Inouye Trailblazer Award National Asian Pacific Bar Association
Robert Takasugi Judicial Excellence Award Criminal Courts Bar Association Asian Americans for Equality Leadership and Public Service Award
John Marshall High School – Los Angeles Distinguished Alumni Award