Justice Cynthia Aaron was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal in January, 2003. She was rated "exceptionally well qualified" for appointment to the Court of Appeal by the California State Bar's Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeal, Justice Aaron served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. She was appointed to that position in 1994.
Justice Aaron received her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1984. She received a B.A. in psychology, with distinction and departmental honors, from Stanford University in 1979, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Justice Aaron began her legal career as a trial attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. In 1988, she left Federal Defenders to form a law firm with a colleague. Justice Aaron left her law firm in 1994 when she was appointed to the position of United States Magistrate Judge.
Justice Aaron was appointed to the State - Federal Judicial Council by Chief Justice George in 2003. The Council provides a vehicle for direct and personal communication between judges of the state and federal courts in California concerning matters of mutual interest and concern, such as developing methods to improve the two court systems, and improving the quality of representation and ethics of attorneys. Justice Aaron served on the Council until 2010. In 2004, the Chief Justice appointed Justice Aaron to the Appellate Advisory Committee, which is charged with making recommendations to the Judicial Council for improving the administration of justice in appellate proceedings. Justice Aaron served on this committee from 2004 to 2007.
In 2005, Justice Aaron was the recipient of the AJC Judge Learned Hand Award, in recognition of her leadership and commitment to equity, justice and excellence in the application of law.
Justice Aaron has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at both the University of San Diego School of Law and California Western School of Law, teaching trial practice. Justice Aaron was president of the San Diego County Judges Association from 2001 - 2002, and was a member of the Board of Directors of that organization from 2000 to 2003.
Justice Aaron is married and has one son in high school and two adult stepchildren.