Caltrans Executive Biographies

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Jeanne E. Scherer

Chief Counsel, Legal

Jeanne E. Scherer, Chief Counsel

Jeanne Scherer is the Chief Counsel of Caltrans Legal, responsible for managing a staff of 148 attorneys and investigators, paralegals, legal secretaries, district claims officers and administrative personnel. The Legal office is the only state office that handles all its own legal affairs, including transactional work and litigation in the State’s judicial forums.

The Caltrans Legal office was established on August 22, 1911, by a Governor’s Order to handle all matters pertaining to State Highways pursuant to the State Highway Act. Carrying on this proud tradition-the Caltrans Legal Division is regarded as the nation’s premier government transportation legal office with locations in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Jeanne has an extensive background in risk management and litigation defense. She began her legal career in the private sector, representing a variety of national and international corporate clients and public entities in general liability and contract litigation. Jeanne joined the Caltrans Legal office as a deputy attorney in 1991 and successfully litigated a number of cases in superior and appellate courts statewide before being promoted to Assistant Chief Counsel in 2006 and Deputy Chief Counsel in 2012. Jeanne is the first attorney to sit on the Caltrans Design Management Board and the Project Delivery Advisory Committee. Jeanne was appointed to Chief Counsel by Governor Jerry Brown on August 18, 2015.

A nationally recognized expert in tort liability and risk management issues, Jeanne has spoken at numerous national conferences and is a member of the Transportation Research Board Committee for Tort Liability and Risk Management, as well as a subject matter expert on a variety of National Cooperative Highway Research Program panels.

Jeanne graduated from the University of California, at Davis (B.A.) and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

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MS 49
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