Sponsored by the Orange County WIL section, Judge Sherrill Ellsworth, Riverside County Superior Court Presiding Judge, addressed the OC JRCLS chapter at a lunch in April. Approximately 80 people attended the event, held for all members of the chapter. Judge Ellsworth, as far we have have been able to discern, is the sole LDS woman presiding judge in California and one of only a very few LDS woman currently serving as a judge in California. (See Comment, below.)
Judge Ellsworth shared her journey as a lawyer and a judge, noting that she had three children when she went to law school and felt some disapproval from members in her ward. That has ameliorated as she continued to progress in her profession, raise her family, and serve in the church, serving both as a Relief Society and Young Women president in her ward.
As Relief Society president and prosecutor, she said she sometimes made "home visits" in the morning and jail visits in the afternoon. Both situations entailed treating others with empathy, respect, and dignity.
Judge Ellsworth's advice: "We need a legion of LDS women, whether stay-at-home moms or working, who are strong and capable of leading and standing up for our principles and who have opinions." Have opinions about politics, drugs, drunk drivers, etc., and act on those opinions, says Judge Ellsworth.
Judge Ellsworth's presentation was bracing, humorous, and honest.
In the photos: Top: Debbie Gubernick, a member of the Executive Committee of the Orange County JRCLS, and Judge Sherrill Ellsworth, Riverside CA Superior Court Presiding Judge. Bottom: OC JRCLS lunch attendees.