South Bay Seat

Khodadad Darius “Ko” Sharif


Years admitted to practice in California: 21
Years practicing in San Diego: 21
Years as a member of the SDCBA: Since 2005
Areas of practice: Civil Litigation, Family Law, and Criminal Defense

Pro Tem Judge with the San Diego Superior Court (Since December 2007)
Fee Arbitrator with SDCBA (Since 2006)
American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh Inn- 2014 to present
Southwestern College-Adjunct (February 2016 to present)
Southwestern College-Grievance Chair (August 2016 to present)
Member of the Iranian American Bar Association
Past Marshal, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity—First Supreme Senate of the Second Century
Past Chair of the School Site Council-CVESD

SDCBA Sections or Committees

  • LRIS Panel Membership
  • Fee Arbitration Committee
  • Civil Litigation Section
  • Family Law Section
  • Ethnic Relations and Diversity Committee (ERDC)
  • Community Service Committee

Past Committee memberships at the SDCBA

  • Children at Risk Committee
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • Appellate Court Committee
  • Bankruptcy Law Section
  • Bar History Committee
  • Construction Law Section

Leadership positions at the SDCBA

Attorney Coach for Otay Ranch High School Mock Trial (2010-2011 thru 2014-2015).

Description of what inspires you

Born in Iran and raised in America, I’ve always asked myself, “why?” and “how?”  The impact of witnessing a revolution as a child has left me asking how do governments work? What is law?  How do laws protect the people?  After following my older brother’s footsteps to San Diego, I graduated from University City High School in 1987 and in my quest for the answer, I went on to study Political Science at San Diego State University and ultimately earned my law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.   My passion for law is rooted in my passion for politics; while studying Political Science at State, I came to realize the value of our legal system and its stability, the strength of our Constitution, and the true meaning of our democratic system.  Our system can operate and remain a forceful democratic institution, fighting for our individual rights, if, and only if, willing and able people participate in it.  Our democratic system is about access to justice and the legal system.  It is about understanding it and knowing our civic duties and obligations in exchange for those democratic values.  It is the opportunity to be heard and knowing that you can make a change.  This is the key to increasing civic participation.  I am inspired knowing that more people are engaged in our legal system.  I have found that when people are disengaged and disenfranchised, they lose faith in the system.  An effective democratic system only exists when people are engaged. 

This knowledge inspires me to promote the importance of our courts and legal system, and to make them accessible thereby safeguarding our civil and a constitutional society.

Description of what you would bring to the SDCBA Board

Commitment to community involvement.  My goal will be to generate more vibrant involvement in our legal system from the South Bay community.    My experiences as an attorney coaching the Otay Ranch High School Mock Trial team in Chula Vista and my involvement at my children’s then elementary school, teaching a GATE program, and coaching a Mock Trial competition were all extremely rewarding.  During my time there, I came to meet some very bright students with aspirations and dreams of becoming lawyers.  However, South Bay’s involvement in the Mock Trial competitions has since declined.  I want to revive the program to ensure future opportunities are available for the students.  Whether through High Schools, through Chula Vista Elementary School District, or in cooperation with Southwestern College, SDCBA can make the commitment to educate the community and reach the hearts of our future lawyers.

Noticeably, Chula Vista is devoid of a Small Claims Court.  As a pro tem, having heard many Small Claims matters, I see a need for our South Bay residents to have access to the Small Claims court.  Many of the South Bay litigants forego their claims and do not drive up to the Downtown courthouse.  I would like to see the Small Claims program reinstated and the mediation programs expanded in South Bay.