Justice Scotland is a native Californian born in Sacramento on October 19, 1946. Upon graduating from the University of California, Davis, he became a law enforcement officer with the California Department of Justice, 1968-71. He then attended the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, graduating with honors in 1974.
After serving as a Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County, 1974-76, California Deputy Attorney General, 1976-83, and Cabinet Secretary to the Governor, 1983-87, he was appointed a Superior Court Judge by Governor George Deukmejian in 1987. Since 1989, he has served on the Court of Appeal, appointed by Governor Deukmejian. In 1998, he became the Presiding Justice, appointed to the position by Governor Pete Wilson.
He also is an instructor of judicial education and has served in various organizations and committees created to improve the administration of justice, including the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal, a national organization of which he was President in 2006-2007, and the California Judicial Council, the policy-making body for California state courts, to which he was appointed by the Chief Justice of California from 1994 through 1997. And he has served as President of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court, an organization of judges, attorneys, and law students that is dedicated to promoting civility, ethics, and professionalism in the practice of law.
In 2004, Justice Scotland was named Judge of the Year by the Sacramento County Bar Association.
Active in his community, Justice Scotland was named Humanitarian of the Year in 2002 by the Sacramento County Bar Association for his volunteer work on behalf of the Sacramento Children's Home, a residential and treatment facility for abused and neglected children. He also received a Community Service Award from the Center for Youth Citizenship for his volunteer work helping to educate school children about our legal system and their rights and responsibilities as Americans. In 2005, he received a public service award from the American Board of Trial Advocates, Sacramento Valley Chapter, for "having tirelessly given his time and effort to make the community we live in a better place for those less fortunate and in need." In 2007, the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, presented him with its Volunteer Leadership Award. And in 2008, Friends CARE (Children in At Risk Environments) honored him with an award for his "continued support of the children left behind."
Married to Susan Silva Scotland, with a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren, he enjoys family events, theater, basketball, and running, including having completed marathons and team triathlons. Justice Scotland retired from the Court in 2010.