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

Presided over felony and misdemeanor trials, family law and dependency matters.

Monterey College of Law, Instructor

Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility – 2011-2014

Assistant District Attorney, Santa Cruz County - 1997 - 2008

Head of Trial Operations, Chief Deputy in the District Attorney’s Office - 2001-2008. 

Assistant District Attorney, 19A Prosecutorial District, North Carolina - 1991 - 1995

Adjunct Professor, Wake Forest University School of Law - 1991 - 1995

Professor of Trial Advocacy

Deputy District Attorney, Sexual Assault / Child Abuse Unit    Orange County, California - 1988-1990

Special Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force - 1987

Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Washington D.C. - 1983-1987

Judicial Clerkship, United States District Court, Vermont The Honorable Albert W. Coffrin - 1982-1983

Legislative Assistant, Legal Affairs Division

Governor Brown’s Office, Sacramento, California -1980-1981

Assistant Program Evaluator, California Arts Council - 1979-1980


Professional Activities

Criminal Justice Council of Santa Cruz County

Chairperson – August 2015-January 2019

Interim Chairperson – August 2013-August 2015

Member – October 2011-August 2013:  January 2019 - present

The purpose of the Criminal Justice Council is to create a forum for discussion of and recommendations for programs and plans for solutions to criminal justice issues.

Mediation in Family Court

Article published in the Santa Cruz County Bar Briefs, October 2016

17th Annual California Youth Court Summit

Presentation:  Violence Within Families (Youth) – June 2016

The California Youth Court Summit is sponsored by the California Association of Youth Courts, the Judicial Council of California and the Center for Families, Children and the Courts.  

Behavioral Health – Criminal Justice Collaboration

Conference for a Safer, Healthier Santa Cruz County  May 2016

Host and Moderator

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Panel Member “Public Safety:  Creating Safe and Thriving Communities” – November, 2015

Serial Inebriate Program Sobriety Center

Site Selection Committee Chairperson – 2015

Turning the Curve on Youth Violence:  Acting on What Works

Panelist, Straight Talk on Justice – August 2013

Certified Yoga Instructor – providing free yoga classes to court personnel weekly since 2011.

Member, State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct - 2000-2003

The committee issues advisory opinions on questions involving professional ethics submitted by the Board of Governors, local bar associations or individual bar members. Worked closely with 15 other members to draft such opinions.

7th Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium - June, 2003

Panel Moderator: Criminal Law Practice - Trying Your Case to the Press?

5th Annual Statewide Ethics Symposium - June, 2001

Panel Member: Criminal Practice: Behind the Blue Line: What are the Ethical Obligations of a Prosecutor who Suspects a Police Officer is Not Being Truthful?

Santa Cruz County Superior Court Pro Bono Panel of Attorneys -2000 - 2008

Pro Bono representation of minors in family law court in cases where the highly conflicted nature of the parental dispute causes the court to find that the minor needs independent counsel.

Santa Cruz County Bar Association Attorney of the Month, July/August, 2000 

Recognition for community service activities

Women Lawyers of Santa Cruz County, Member, 1997-present

Seminar Instructor (generally week-long intensive instruction)

National District Attorney Advocacy Center, South Carolina:  Instructor, May, 1998.

N.C. District Attorney’s Association: Homicide Symposium Panelist, 1995.

Top Gun Prosecutorial School, 1993 - 1995.

California District Attorney’s Association:

Homicide Symposium, 1990, 2005. Mental Defenses Seminar, 2006. Violence Against Women Act Trial Advocacy Skills Workshop, March 1998.

Adult Sexual Assault Prosecution, Child Sexual Assault Prosecution, 1987-1990. New Prosecutor’s College, 1987-1990.

Hastings College of Law, Criminal Justice Institute: Instructor, 1997, 1998.

Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (two week sessions; civil and criminal litigation)

UCLA, 1988. UNC Chapel Hill, 1991.Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (two week sessions; civil and criminal litigation)

UCLA, 1988. UNC Chapel Hill, 1991.

Legal Commentary, WSOC TV - People v. Orenthal James Simpson, 1995.

Contributing Author, Criminal Trial Practice Manual, 2 Vol., Washington D.C.  1985.

“Legal Updates” - Periodic videotape lectures for law enforcement personnel. 

Founding Committee Member - Orange County Sexual Assault Response Team

Frequent guest speaker to community groups regarding the judicial system.


Community Activities

Stroke and Disability Center, Cabrillo College

Advisory Board – 2014-present

Founder, Project Pajamas – 2007-present

Bi-annual drive to collect new pajamas for homeless and disadvantaged children.

Volunteer – SC Animal Shelter

April 2017 - present

VIP Mentors - 2005

Volunteer organization pairing attorneys with parolees from the California Youth Authority or California Department of Corrections to mentor while readjusting into society.

Santa Cruz County Cultural Council, Medici Circle Member - 2004, 2005

Board of Directors, New Life Services, Inc. - 1998 - 2001

Residential rehabilitation program for drug and alcohol abusers; battered women’s shelter

Board of Directors, Shakespeare Santa Cruz - 1997 - 2003

Rotary, International - Santa Cruz Sunrise Chapter - 1997 – present

Board of Directors, D.C. Rape Crisis Center, 1986

Volunteer, Conservation International, Guatemala, 1996 - spent two months living in and working to preserve the rainforest in Guatemala.

Education and Honors

J.D. University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall, 1982

McGeorge School of Law, Evening Division, 1979-80

B.A. Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada 1978 St. Andrews University, Fife, Scotland

Boalt Hall: Order of the Coif;

Jamison Award - honor to the single student who achieved the highest standard of excellence in advocacy and scholarship.

Moot Court Honors: First Place - Traynor California state-wide competition;

McBaine Best Brief Award, Boalt Hall Moot Court Competition.

First in a class of 206, McGeorge School of Law.


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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