Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst received a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA in 1965. While working as a Deputy Probation Officer, she enrolled in Whittier Law School and graduated magna cum laude in 1972. She began her legal career working for the State Attorney General’s Office in Los Angeles, where she handled women’s rights, civil rights and consumer fraud issues. She left that office in 1976, and became Special Counsel to City Attorney Burt Pines, where she provided counsel on policy matters, managed the office’s legislative program, and advised on various legal issues and law reform.
In 1979, Justice Ashmann-Gerst joined the United States Attorney’s Office as the Executive Assistant. She was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1981, and elected to the Superior Court in 1986. For 18 years, Justice Ashmann-Gerst primarily handled criminal matters in the San Fernando Valley, serving as the Supervising Judge of the North Valley District of the Superior Court. She then transferred downtown, presiding over a fast track civil caseload. She was elevated to the Court of Appeal in December 2001.
Pursuing her interest in judicial education, Justice Ashmann-Gerst has taught ethics and computer use for judges, and has been an instructor at the California Judicial College and the Continuing Judicial Studies Program. She chaired the Judicial Technology Education Committee, and was a long-term member of the Court Technology Advisory Committee. Justice Ashmann-Gerst was appointed to the California Judicial Council in 2011, the policy-making body of the California courts, and serves on its internal committees for Technology and Rules and Projects. She was named San Fernando Valley Bar Association Judge of the Year in 1995; Los Angeles County Bar Association, Criminal Section, Judge of the Year in 1994; and the San Fernando Criminal Courts Bar Judge of the Year for 1990-1991.
Justice Ashmann-Gerst is active in the legal community, including the National Association of Women Judges, California Women Lawyers, and California Judges Association. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
Married to attorney Robert J. Gerst, with one son, two stepsons and four grandchildren, Justice Ashmann-Gerst enjoys travel, skiing, and playing golf.