About Judge Mike

Judge Mike Cummins – A Brief Biography

  • Born in San Diego, Michael Richard Cummins moved to San Luis Obispo in 1959 with his brother Steve, mother Joyce and father Carl, who was appointed dean at Cal Poly by then-President Julian McPhee.
  • Mike attended Quintana Elementary (now Bishop Peak) School in San Luis Obispo, and graduated from SLOHigh School.
  • He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Business Administration.
  • Mike attended law school at the University of Arkansas, where he was Student Bar Association president, graduating in 1983, the same year he passed the California Bar and was sworn in as a lawyer.
  • He practiced law in SLO from 1983 to 1989, when he was sworn into the District Attorney’s office in Stanislaus County. While working in this office, Mike tried 81 felony jury trials, with five murder convictions.
  • In January 1994, he was appointed to the Municipal Court bench by then-Gov. Pete Wilson (R), and was elevated to the Superior Court bench in August of 1998 via court consolidation.
  • In 2006, Judge Mike ran unsuccessfully for District Attorney of Stanislaus County. He retired from the bench in August 2006.
  • Soon after, he returned to San Luis Obispo to help his aging parents navigate health issues. He resumed the practice of law in San Luis Obispo that year and remained in private practice until January 2017.

Of Note

  • After moving home to San Luis Obispo, he followed his lifelong passion for music began playing country music as “Judge Mike.”
  • In 2007, he worked with Merle Haggard to obtain his second pardon for the same crime. Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the pardon. Then-Gov. Ronald Reagan had signed Haggard’s original pardon.
  • In 2015, Mike and his band recorded his CD, “Judge Mike and the Lawless – BreakingOut.”
  • Judge Mike and his wife Melissa, dog Rex, and horse Angel live in San Luis Obispo.