Judge Marla Anderson
Judge Marla Anderson

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Superior Court Presiding Judge Carrie Panetta has announced the retirement of Judge Marla Anderson, effective April 30, after nearly 30 years of service on the Monterey County Superior Court.

In 1995, Anderson was appointed to the Monterey County bench by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. During her tenure, Anderson presided over civil, complex, criminal, juvenile and probate cases, serving in all three of the Monterey County courthouses — King City, Monterey and Salinas. She served as Presiding Judge from 2013-15 and Assistant Presiding Judge from 2011-12. 

While Presiding Judge, Anderson facilitated advancements in the court’s administration of justice. She oversaw the implementation of a new court-wide electronic case management system (allowing the courts to go paperless), authored the court’s first governance document, restructured court leadership and made major changes to the court department calendars.

Most notably, Anderson was a member of the influential Judicial Council of California, including representing the Council in Sacramento as chair of the Council’s Legislation Committee. During her tenure as Chair, she was instrumental in helping to pass key reforms in California, including the use of remote hearings, the moratorium on statewide evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, changes to the exercise of peremptory challenges in jury trials, and many of the provisions of the CARE Act and Racial Justice Act.

Anderson was also chair of the Judicial Council’s Litigation Management Committee and a member of the Executive and Planning Committee. In 2017, she was appointed by former California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System and later appointed to the Workgroup on Bail Reform and the Workgroup on Post Pandemic Initiatives.

Anderson has been a leader in statewide judicial education as well. She served as faculty for the Judicial Council’s Center for Judicial Education and Research throughout her time on the bench.

Most importantly, Anderson was selected to be the Dean of the B.E. Witkin Judicial College from 2013-14 and the Assistant Dean from 2011-12. Every new judicial officer is required to attend the Judicial College within two years of taking office.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Anderson worked as an associate at a civil law firm in Sacramento and as a Deputy District Attorney in Monterey County. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of California Davis King Hall, her Master of Arts from the University of Southern California and her Bachelor of Arts from Loma Linda University.

Anderson’s community involvement extends far beyond the bench. She has served on the Boards of AIM for Youth Mental Health, Kinship Center, Monterey County Community Foundation, Monterey Rape Crisis Center, Monterey County Legal Services, Hartnell College Foundation, and she currently serves as a Board of Trustee of All Saints Day School.

Her tireless efforts have been recognized with the following awards: Monterey County Women Lawyers’ Association, Lady Justice Lifetime Achievement Award; Charles Houston Bar Association, Judicial Excellence Award; California Association of Black Lawyers, Champion of Justice Award; La Sierra University, Alumnus of the Year Award.

“Judge Anderson has been a fearless champion of access to equal justice for all, through her efforts in education, legislative enactments, and community involvement,” said Presiding Judge Panetta. “She will be remembered as a leader on the court. She is well respected throughout the state for her dedication to the rule of law, her fairness and impartiality, and her diligent work on behalf of courts statewide through the Judicial Council. Although she will be missed on the bench, her colleagues know that they will continue to see Judge Anderson in the community continuing to serve its residents off the bench.”

About her retirement, Anderson stated, “It has been an honor to wear a robe of service as a judge and a humbling privilege and joy to serve on the Judicial Council of California. It has been an opportunity of a lifetime to serve the public by advancing the cause of an equal, fair, accessible, diverse, and inclusive justice system for all Californians.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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