Three people standing next to each other, each holding an award


Judicial Council Honors 2023 Distinguished Service and Aranda Access to Justice Award Recipients

See photos and videos from the awards presentation held earlier this month to honor this year’s honorees.
Nov 28, 2023

View photos on Flickr

The Judicial Council of California honored two recipients of its 2023 Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes people and organizations for their extraordinary leadership and contributions to the administration of justice in California. One jurist was honored with the Aranda Access to Justice Award, which honors a judge demonstrating a long-term, tireless commitment to improving, and promoting fairness and access to the courts, especially for low-and moderate-income Californians. The Aranda Award is cosponsored by the Judicial Council, California Judges Association, and California Lawyers Association, in association with the California Access to Justice Commission. 

Watch the videos below to learn about each recipient:

2023 Distinguished Service Award Honoree
Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon

Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon was the first woman to be named presiding judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in that court’s 170-year history. During her tenure as presiding judge, she worked with judicial and legislative representatives to make difficult decisions on court closures made necessary by budget cuts to the courts. Presiding Justice Edmon has also been instrumental in supporting efforts to expand the diversity of California’s judiciary and has worked to expand legal assistance to those who can’t afford it.


2023 Distinguished Service Award Honoree
Justice Marsha Slough

Justice Marsha Slough has been a leading voice on key branch initiatives through three consecutive terms on the Judicial Council. She chaired the council’s Executive and Planning Committee and played a key role in drafting emergency court rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. Justice Slough also chaired the Pretrial Reform and Operations Workgroup, which launched pretrial pilots that have since grown to include programs in all 58 counties.


2023 Aranda Access to Justice  Award Honoree
Judge Mark A. Juhas

Judge Mark A. Juhas has dedicated his career to improving services and access to justice in family court, particularly for low- and moderate-income, self-represented litigants. That work included a program to educate and promote the practice of family law to attorneys statewide and a national movement to connect practical training for newer lawyers to help provide affordable legal assistance to low- and moderate-income clients.

Learn more about the award recipients and their work

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