He has presided over thousands of East County cases, serving mostly criminal court assignments.
“El Cajon loses, literally and figuratively, a grand presence on the local bench," said San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge David Danielsen. "His retirement is a signal of how much things are changing. Another stalwart of justice in the branch is moving on after so many years of outstanding, steady and distinguished service. It just won’t be the same.”
Beginning his court career as a court commissioner in 1989, McGrath was appointed to a judgeship one year later on the El Cajon Municipal Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian.
McGrath joined the Superior Court in 1998 upon court unification.
Prior to joining the court, McGrath spent 15 years working as a general practitioner in El Cajon with his later practice focused on criminal defense work. He was a partner at Borgerding, Peterson, McGrath, Burnell, Glauser & Waters and an associate, Thacher & Hurst.
“I’ve spent my entire 40-year legal career as an attorney and a judge serving the people of East County," McGrath said. "My thoughts upon retiring are that it will be a little strange to no longer have a presence in El Cajon on a daily basis. As I’m sure it is with most retirees, it is a bitter-sweet prospect.”
A 1973 graduate of the University of San Diego, School of Law, McGrath also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Santa Clara (1970).