Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, April 4, 2002


Page 3


Jurist Matches Change of Court With Change of Name


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Readers of opinions from this district’s Court of Appeal may notice an unfamiliar name on opinions coming from Div. Two these days.

That division’s newest member, who was Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Judith Meisels Ashmann, is now Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst.

“I thought it was a nice 20th anniversary present” to her husband, retired attorney Robert J. Gerst, the jurist said.

The occasion of being elevated to the appellate court “seemed the right time” to amalgamate her husband’s name with the one she had used throughout her legal career, she said.

Ashmann said she kept her first husband’s surname after remarriage because it was the name she was known by within the profession.

The justice, who was a deputy probation officer for seven years before she became a lawyer, had worked as a deputy city attorney and deputy attorney general and helped set up the Los Angeles city attorney’s domestic violence unit. She had also lobbied the Legislature and been the executive assistant U.S. attorney for Central District of California and before being appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1981 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.

She won election to the Superior Court in 1986.

As a trial judge, she told the MetNews, she “was doing a lot criminal cases” and “thought it wasn’t a bad idea to have a different name than my husband and son.”

Ashmann was confirmed last December to succeed Candace Cooper in Div. Two. Cooper was confirmed  a month earlier as presiding justice in the new Div. Eight.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company