Friday, November 16, 2001
Davis Nominates Ashmann to This District’s Court of Appeal
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
Gov. Gray Davis yesterday nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Judith Ashmann to Div. Two of this district’s Court of Appeal.
If confirmed, she would fill the vacancy that will be created by the anticipated confirmation of Justice Candace Cooper as presiding justice of the Court of Appeal’s newly created Div. Eight.
Ashmann, 57, was among several trial judges whose names were sent to the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation as potential appointees. The others included Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Madeline Flier, Laurie Zelon and Gregory Alarcon and Ventura Superior Court Judge Melinda Johnson.
Cooper and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Boland—nominated for associate justice in Div. Eight—face confirmation hearings next Wednesday. If Cooper, Ashmann, and Boland are all confirmed, there will be one vacancy left for the governor to fill in this district, another associate justice position in Div. Eight.
A hearing date for Ashmann has not yet been set.
After 20 years as a trial judge, Ashmann said she is looking forward to the opportunity to try something new.
“The biggest difference will be the intellectual challenge the Court of Appeal provides,” Ashmann told the MetNews.
“With the Superior Court, you’re on your own,” she said. “With the Court of Appeal, consensus and collegiality is very important.”
The change is something she says she has been considering for the past few years.
“After I got my 20 years this year, I decided it would be a good time to have some different judicial experience,” Ashmann said.
She began her career in the criminal justice system by serving as a deputy probation officer for seven years.
Attending classes at night, she graduated first in her class from Whittier College School of Law in 1972.
After graduation, Ashmann served as deputy attorney general and as deputy city attorney and special counsel to the Los Angeles City Attorney. She also worked as the executive assistant United States attorney for the Central District of California from 1979 to 1981.
She was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, and handled a criminal calendar and served as supervising judge of the Van Nuys/Encino branch of the court.
Elected to the Superior Court in 1986, Ashmann continued to hear criminal cases in the San Fernando Valley—she also served for a time as supervising judge of the North Valley District—until transferring downtown in 1998 to begin hearing civil cases.
“After hearing criminal cases for 18 years, I decided to get some good solid experience in civil,” Ashmann said.
She was awarded the San Fernando Valley Bar Association’s Judge of the Year Award in 1995 for her success as North Valley District supervising judge in quickly relocating San Fernando’s court operations in the wake of the Northridge Earthquake. Ashmann has also received “Judge of the Year” awards from the San Fernando Criminal Courts Bar and the Criminal Justice Section of the Los Angeles Bar Association.
Ashmann is a regular instructor at the Center for Judicial Education and Research and she has chaired several CJER technology committees.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company