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About Ari

Superior Court Judge, County of Santa Cruz – January 2009-present

Ari was elected to the bench in June 2008, becoming the first elected judge in our county in almost 20 years.  Since taking the bench in January, 2009, she has had assignments in the Felony Criminal Trial Court, the Misdemeanor Criminal Trial Court, and in Family Law.  Ari is presently serving in Dependency Court. Ari has served six and a half years in the criminal courts and four years in family law.  She has handled hundreds of significant criminal and family law matters.  Ari has also served on the misdemeanor appellate panel.

Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office – 1997-2008

Ari was already an experienced prosecutor by the time she came to Santa Cruz in 1997 to join the District Attorney’s Office.  She was recruited by then District Attorney Art Danner to join the homicide team, due to her significant experience in handling such difficult cases.  

When Bob Lee became District Attorney, he appointed Ari to be the Head of the Homicide Unit and Head of Trial Operations.  She began that assignment in 2001 and continued in it until her election to the bench.  

Click here to read about some of Ari's cases.


Ari graduated from U.C. Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1982. She graduated with the  honor of  the Order of the Coif.  Ari was also presented with the Jamison Award, which is an honor awarded  to the single student who achieved the highest standard of excellence in advocacy and scholarship.  While at Boalt Hall, Ari and her moot court partner took first place in the Traynor California state wide moot court competition and she won the McBaine Best Brief Award.  After graduating from Boalt, Ari won a coveted federal clerkship, clerking for the honorable Albert W. Coffrin, United States District Court, District of Vermont.  

Complete Career History

Paid for by Ariadne "Ari" Symons for Judge
343 Soquel Avenue, #137
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
FPPC #1419781

Treasurer Fred Keeley
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