Justice Maria E. Stratton is the Presiding Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight.
Justice Stratton was born in Santa Monica, California and raised in San Diego, her father’s last duty station in the United States Navy. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California and received her law degree from Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley (now Berkeley Law). She served as law clerk to United States Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson at both the U.S. District Court (before his elevation) and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
After clerking, Justice Stratton worked as a Deputy Federal Public Defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. She was an associate at Overland, Berke, Wesley, Gits, Randolph and Levanas for a short time before joining Talcott, Lightfoot, Vandevelde, Woehrle & Sadowsky where she practiced criminal and civil litigation for 10 years as an associate, partner, and a managing partner.