Her tenure on the appellate court was preceded by nine years as a trial judge in the municipal and superior courts. In 1985 Governor George Deukmejian appointed Justice Richli to the San Bernardino County Municipal Court, Central District and then elevated her to the San Bernardino County Superior Court in 1990. While on the superior court, Justice Richli served as the Presiding Judge of the San Bernardino County Juvenile Court, in addition to handling complex civil and criminal cases and various other assignments.
Before her appointment to the bench in l985, Justice Richli was a prosecutor for the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office. She served as a trial deputy from 1978 to l984, and as a Senior Deputy District Attorney handling high profile assignments to the special career criminal prosecution unit and the sex crimes unit. From l984 until her appointment to the bench, she served as supervising deputy district attorney in charge of the municipal court operations in the Ontario office. Before becoming a deputy district attorney, Justice Richli worked as in-house counsel for the City of Redlands. From l968 until her acceptance to law school in l974, Justice Richli taught English and American History classes in senior high schools in the states of Maryland and California.
Justice Richli was honored in l999 as Alumnus of the Year by Pepperdine University School of Law and in 2001 as the Kaufman-Campbell Distinguished Jurist of the Year by the San Bernardino County Bar Association.
In l977 Justice Richli received her Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar. She graduated cum laude from Columbia Union College in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English and History, and did postgraduate work in American Literature at the University of Maryland and Loma Linda University.
Throughout her judicial career, Justice Richli has been a faculty and planning committee member for a number of judicial education programs sponsored by the California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) and the California Judges Association (CJA). She currently serves on the Judicial Council's Appellate Indigent Advisory Oversight Committee and is a member of the California Judges Association Appellate Court Committee. She also was appointed by the Chief Justice to the Advisory Committee on the Brown v. Board of Education Symposium and Commemoration. In addition she has sat as a special master for the Commission on Judicial Performance and as associate justice pro tempore on the California Supreme Court, 2003. Justice Richli has taught legal research and writing at the University of California, Riverside, judged National Law School Moot Court finals, and lectured at California Peace Officer's Training and Standards courses. She is a currently a member of the Pepperdine University School of Law Board of Visitors, an advisory board to the Dean of Pepperdine University Law School. Justice Richli has attended the California Judicial College, The National Judicial College, and the Appellate Courts Institute at New York University Law School; numerous CJER and CJA seminars and classes; and national Federal Appellate Court and American Bar Association seminars and institutes.
Justice Richli's community activities have included membership on the San Bernardino Salvation Army Advisory Board, San Bernardino County Children's Network Policy Council, Children's Diagnostic Advisory Board, Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Committee and San Bernardino Symphony Board of Directors; advisor to the Historical Keyboard Society of Wisconsin; and Judge at the National High School Debate and Mock Trial Contests and Teen Courts.