Richard M. Aronson, Associate Justice

Richard M. Aronson, Associate JusticeRichard M. Aronson was appointed to the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three by Governor Gray Davis and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments on November 23, 2001. From October 2000 until his appointment as Associate Justice, Justice Aronson was selected to serve as justice pro tempore on the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three. Appointed to the California Superior Court in March 1996 by Governor Pete Wilson, Justice Aronson completed assignments on the civil law and motion calendar, felony criminal trials, family law, and civil trials. From June 1989 to March 1996, he was a superior court commissioner, appointed by the judges of the Orange County Superior Court. In 1991, he became the first commissioner to receive a trial court assignment and served on the Felony Criminal Panel until 1996.

Justice Aronson’s prior experience includes service, between 1988 and 1989, as a senior staff attorney at the Court of Appeal. From 1980 until 1988, he was an Orange County Public Defender and served as the supervisor of the Writs and Appeals Department and the Homicide Panel. From 1976 to 1979, he served as a deputy district attorney for San Bernardino County. His duties included major felony prosecutions, including homicides.

Justice Aronson was admitted to the United States Central District Court of California and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1983. He was admitted to the United States Supreme Court in 1987.

Justice Aronson’s professional affiliations and activities include:

  • Judicial Council, Indigent Appeals Budget Oversight Committee, 2002
  • California Judges Association, 1990 to present
  • California Court Commissioners Association, 1990-1996
  • California Judges Association, Criminal Law and Procedures Committee, 1991-1992
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • San Bernardino County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • California District Attorneys Association, 1976-1979
  • Robert A. Banyard Inn of Court Member, 1999-present; Board of Director, 2000-2001

Justice Aronson’s teaching and educational activities include:

  • Adjunct Professor, Chapman University Fowler School of Law, 2014 to present
  • Instructor, California Judicial Education and Research, California Judicial College, 1994-1997
  • Instructor, California Judicial Studies Program, 1992 (Felony Sentencing)
  • Program Coordinator and Instructor, California Law & Procedure Institute, 1992-1993 (Orientation for New & Returning Judges)
  • Moderator and Instructor, Continuing Education of the Bar, 1994 (Issues in Search and Seizure)
  • Moderator and Instructor, Continuing Education of the Bar, 1991 (Civil Discovery in State Courts)
  • Instructor, Rutter Group, 1990 (Civil Procedure Before Trial)
  • Mock Trial Judge, Constitutional Rights Foundation and Whittier Law School

Justice Aronson has been involved in numerous civic and charitable activities, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, National Junior Basketball, Orangewood Home for Children, Santa Ana Stay In School Program, St. Edward’s Parochial School, and the Victim Assistance Program. He is currently a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of San Diego School of Law.

Born in 1950 in Los Angeles, Justice Aronson is a graduate of Notre Dame High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate from the University of San Diego, and a master of laws degree from the University of Virginia. He is married and has two children. In 2008, Justice Aronson received the University of San Diego School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Justice Aronson retired from the Court of Appeal on June 30, 2021.