top of page

Hon. Marian Gaston


Marian Gaston was appointed to a judicial seat by Governor Jerry Brown on April 13, 2015.  She currently presides over a general misdemeanor courtroom handling arraignments, settlement conferences, sentencings, and probation violations.  She is a regular speaker before legal groups on the topics of evidence-based practices and sentencing trends in the era of decarceration.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Gaston served as a deputy public defender for 19 years including several years in the Juvenile Delinqency Division as an attorney and Assistant Supervisor.  There, she collaborated with other county agengies and non-profits to create a restorative justice diversionary program, and, in partnership with local medical professions, she established a method for assessing detained youth for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  She created a process that allowed defense attorneys to quickly access their clients’ Child Welfare records so that each child’s needs could be identified and appropriate services provided.  She also conducted a research study showing the high prevalence of trauma in the lives of incarcerated minors.

As a public defender, Ms. Gaston litigated the full range of adult criminal cases including homicides and sexual offenses.  While a member of the San Diego County Sex Offender Management Council, she worked with law enforcement and the prosecution to implement policies to prevent sexual assault.

She has taught classes on Contemporary Forms of Social Control at the University of Caliofrnia at San Diego; Sexual Deviance and Crime at Thomas Jefferson School of Law; and trial advocacy at both the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and California Western School of Law.  She also teaches at trial advocacy programs throughout the country for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

Ms. Gaston earned her Juris Doctor from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall, in 1996.  For her undergradute degree she attended Emory University, graduating in 1993 with majors in political science and history.

bottom of page