Judge Jean Dandona was born at West Point, New York. After graduating from West Anchorage High School, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) and secondary teaching credential from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1978 she graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (Order of the Coif, Thurston Society).
Judge Dandona was a civil litigator for twenty years in the fields of personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, professional liability, business, real property, contract, and construction law. In 1999 she became a research attorney for the Santa Barbara Superior Court and in 2001 became the supervising research attorney. She was appointed to the bench by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008.
Judge Dandona is assigned to a criminal misdemeanor and felony trial calendar and the Appellate Division. She is currently a member of the Judicial Council Criminal Law Job Aids Workgroup.