Tricia Bigelow was confirmed as the Presiding Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight, in February 2010. She served as an associate justice in the same division beginning in June 2008. Prior to her elevation to the appellate court, Presiding Justice Bigelow was assigned the superior court in downtown Los Angeles, where she presided over general jurisdiction fast track civil trials and long cause criminal trials.
In 2015, Presiding Justice Bigelow received the Bernard S. Jefferson Award for distinguished service to judicial education from the California Judges Association. In 2014, she was awarded the California Judicial Council Ronald M. George Award of Excellence, which honors members of the judiciary for their extraordinary dedication to the highest principles of the administration of justice statewide. She was Dean of the annual Bernard E. Witkin Judicial College from 2006 to 2008, where she was responsible for overseeing the education of all newly-appointed judges in California. She chaired the Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Law Education Committee from 2006 to 2008.
Presiding Justice Bigelow has written educational materials and lectured to a wide variety of judges and lawyers on judicial ethics and fairness, jury instructions, civil motions and trials, criminal motions and trials, felony sentencing, and sex crimes. She has co-authored three publications for The Rutter Group: Sex Crimes: California Law and Procedure, Sentencing California Crimes, and California Three Strikes Sentencing. She recently travelled to Uganda to assist the judiciary in implementing a plea bargaining system.
Presiding Justice Bigelow is a board member of the Association of Business and Trial Lawyers, a member of the Board of Visitors at Pepperdine University School of Law, and an advisory member of the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System.
Before her appointment to the bench, Presiding Justice Bigelow was a deputy attorney general for the State of California, assigned to the Criminal Division. While there, she handled hundreds of felony appeals and presented oral arguments before a number of California Courts of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was promoted to the positions of Supervising Deputy Attorney General and Trial Coordinator of the Los Angeles office, where she oversaw both a team of deputy attorneys general and all criminal investigations and trials. She was promoted to the Special Prosecutions Unit, where she handled organized crime and major fraud trials. She was cross-designated as both a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney and an Assistant United States Attorney.