Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, November 16, 2022


Page 1


Memorial Service Set for Judith C. Chirlin

Served as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge for 24 Years


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A memorial service for Judith C. Chirlin, who served on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1985 to 2009, is slated for Tuesday.

It will be held at 2 p.m. at Temple Ahavat Shalom, 18200 Rinaldi Place in Northridge.

Chirlin died on Saturday at age 74. Judicate West, for which she served as a neutral, announced that Chirlin “suddenly and peacefully passed away.”

The alternate dispute resolution firm commented:

“Judge Judy was one of a kind and made a lasting impression on everyone she met. She loved the law and being a judge, and considered her post-judicial career with Judicate West as a labor of love.

“For decades, she was deeply committed to supporting our communities in many ways—from mentoring high school students in conflict resolution to teaching court reform to Judges from all over the world. She also served on dozens of boards and committees, was the Director for the Western Justice Center, and Co-Founder and President of the Judicate West Foundation. Her passion for giving back was endless.

“Judge Judy leaves a legacy for women lawyers and judges in the California judicial system, and a warm place in the hearts of all who knew her.”





Numerous Awards

Chirlin’s honors include the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s 1996-97 “Outstanding Trial Jurist of the Year Award,” the “Joan Dempsey Klein Outstanding Jurist Award” presented in 1998 by the California Women Lawyers, the “Distinguished Service Award” conferred in 1998 by the National Association of Women Judges, and the “Trial Judge of the Year Award” bestowed in 1999 by Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. She also received the 1999 “Distinguished Service Award” from the National Center of State Courts, the 2002 “Ernestine Stahlhut Award” from the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and the 2008 “Professionalism Award” for the federal Ninth Circuit from the Salut American Inns of Court.

After earning her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in 1969, she attained a master’s degree from Rutgers the following year, and her law degree from USC in 1974.

In 1977-78, Chirlin was in the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Fellows Program, the first woman admitted to it since its founding in 1973. She was on the staff of the administrative assistant to Chief Justice Warren Burger and worked on projects to improve the administration of justice.

Law Firm Partner

A partner at the law firm of Darling, Hall & Rae from 1983-85 and an associate there from 1981-82, she specialized in business litigation. She was a protégé of prominent attorney Matthew “Sandy” Rae, now deceased.

She was appointed to the Superior Court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian on May 15, 1985, and she took the oath of office on June 14 of that year.

Chirlin served on numerous boards, committees and task forces at the city, state, and national levels.

On Aug. 19, 2003, while on a mission to evaluate aspects of the Iraqi legal system, Chirlin left a United Nations office building in Baghdad less than two hours before it was bombed. That suicide bombing claimed 20 lives and injured at least 100 persons.

The judge was a frequent traveler. She made numerous trips Russia and Eastern, delivering talks before judges on the need for independence of the judiciary.

Chirlin was an avid horseback rider.


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