On March 1, 1996, Justice Ming W. Chin became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California. Governor Pete Wilson appointed him to that position on January 25, 1996. On March 1, he was confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and sworn in by the Governor. Justice Chin previously served as the Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three, in San Francisco beginning January 2, 1995. He was appointed to that position by Governor Pete Wilson on August 17, 1994, and in November 1994 was elected to a 12-year term. Previously he was an associate justice of that court, having been appointed to that position by former Governor George Deukmejian. Prior to that appointment, he served as a judge of the Alameda County Superior Court. Before his appointment to the bench, Justice Chin was a partner in an Oakland law firm, where he specialized in business and commercial litigation.
Justice Chin obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science as well as a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of San Francisco and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1970; he also has been admitted to practice before the federal courts, as well as the United States Tax Court. After he graduated from law school, Justice Chin served two years as a Captain in the United States Army, including a year in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star. He then served three years as a deputy district attorney for Alameda County, where he tried numerous felony and misdemeanor jury trials and progressed to the position of felony trial deputy. In 1973, Justice Chin was recruited by the Oakland law firm of Aiken, Kramer & Cummings, Incorporated, to head its trial department. He became a principal of the firm in 1976.