Daughter of attorney Tom Killefer, Judge Gail Killefer received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1975 and her J.D. from Vermont Law School in 1980. After graduation, she worked as an associate at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard and McPherson, then as a law clerk to the Honorable Barrington D. Parker at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 1981 to 1982, and then as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Torts Branch, in Washington D.C. from 1982 to 1989. She then joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco where she served as chief and deputy chief of the Civil Division, passing the California bar in 1991. Thereafter, she opened Killefer Mediation, a private law and mediation practice that ranged from employment to False Claims Act cases. She also volunteered on the neutral panel for the San Francisco federal court starting in 1993 and has consulted with the L.A. state court system helping to set up an early neutral evaluation program. In 2010, she joined the U.S. District Court, Central District of California as ADR Program Director. From 2001 to 2010, she also taught mediation as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She was appointed to the bench in 2019 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. She is a democrat.
Co-author, The Discretionary Function Exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act: Dalehite to Varig to Berkovitz, 25 IDAHO L. REV. 291 (1988-89)