Neutral Profile



  • Based in Northern California, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


With two decades of experience on the Sacramento County Superior Court bench, Judge Hersher has presided over hundreds of civil litigation matters, including business and corporate disputes, eminent domain, wrongful death, environmental, insurance, and civil rights. She is now available for mediation, arbitration, and private judging assignments, including neutral case, testimony and evidence evaluation.

Prior to becoming a judge, she was a litigation partner with Downey Brand LLP, and tried cases representing both sides in many facets of law. During this time, she participated in court ADR programs, including serving as Judge Pro Tem for the Sacramento County Superior Court settlement department and as an Early Neutral Evaluator for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District.

Over the course of her 37 years in law, Judge Hersher has earned a reputation for fairness and firmness with an unprecedented work ethic. She shares her mission as a private judge stating, “My goals are to provide a collaborative and collegial process through which disputes are resolved with engaged support, and all aspects of the process are founded in neutrality, integrity, respect, legal scholarship, and decisiveness.”

Practice Areas

  • Business Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment
  • Medical Negligence
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Malpractice

Experience Summary

The following is a sampling of the various cases Judge Hersher presided over as a Superior Court Judge.

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Hobbies & Interests

Throughout the decades, Judge Hersher continues to dedicate her time as an instructor, panelist, and author on a myriad of topics in civil law and proceedings in trial for colleges, law schools, bar groups, courts, and judges. She is also involved in many charitable organizations within the local community. In her spare time, she enjoys hikes, travel, and landscape design.

Experience Summary


Member of the California Judicial Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions


Attorney and Judicial experience with respect to a broad range of disputes involving small/large businesses and corporations involving contract interpretation, partnerships, trade secrets, unfair business practices, and false claims.


Judicial handling of multiple party/multiple public entity and qui tam actions involving major national/international cell phone corporations and businesses.


Judicial trial work regarding claims for violation of federal and state civil rights.


Attorney and Judicial experience regarding independent contractor versus employee status, breach of contract, indemnification, fee disputes, fraud and misrepresentation claims, misappropriation.


Judicial experience involving nursing home/assisted care living facilities involving elder abuse/neglect.


Judicial and attorney experience with pre-condemnation, and active and inverse condemnation cases, along with related theories of trespass, nuisance and CEQA.


Judicial and attorney experience regarding sexual harassment, disability, age, sex and race discrimination and retaliation. Parties included individuals, businesses, corporations, and public entities.


Judicial experience regarding CEQA, groundwater, and soil contamination cases.


Judicial trial work involving Medicare fraud billing.


Attorney and judicial experience regarding insurance coverage in environmental and business disputes including multiple layer issues.


Judicial and attorney experience covering broad range and monetary value associated with personal injury and property damage cases, involving pedestrians, vehicles, trucks, homes, businesses, and properties.


Judicial trials involving legal malpractice and catastrophic medical negligence/malpractice.

Legal Career

  • Full Time Neutral, Judicate West (2021-Present)
  • Judge, Sacramento Superior Court (2000-2021); Served in civil, complex, law and motion, and writs
  • Litigation Partner, Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rohwer LLP (1984-2000); Areas of law included contracts, eminent domain, real estate, personal injury and employment discrimination.

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D. University of California, Davis Martin Luther King School of Law (1984 )
  • M.A. Fellowship, Georgetown University (1975)
  • B.A. State University of New York - Albany, New York, English, Magna Cum Laude (1972)
  • Sacramento County Grand Jury Advisor (Effective January 2020)
  • California Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions (2012-2021)
  • California State Federal Judicial Council (2012-2021)
  • Leonard M. Friedman Bar Association, Founder, and Judicial Chair (2009-2015)
  • Judicial Master, Anthony M. Kennedy Inns of Court, Sacramento (2000-2013); Life Member (1991-Present)
  • California Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness (2005–2007)
  • Standing Committee on Gender, Race, Religious and Ethnic Fairness, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1999–2000 )
  • California Women Lawyers, Member (1984-Present)

Achievements & Awards

  • Recognition for Founding and Success, Leonard M. Friedman Bar Association (2021)
  • Co-author, California Civil Jury Instruction Handbook for Thomson Reuters (2014-2018)
  • Trial Judge of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates, Sacramento Region (2017)
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Capital City Trial Lawyers Association (2015)
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Sacramento County Bar Association (2012)
  • Justice Frances Newell Carr Achievement Award for Advancing the Rights of Women and Children in the Law, Women Lawyers of Sacramento (2003)
  • Humanitarian of the Year, Sacramento County Bar Association (2000)
  • Bayard Rustin Award for Civil Rights, Creation, Sacramento Area Hate Crimes Task Force, Sacramento (1995)
  • Consultant, California Judges Benchbooks

Legal Experience

  • Business Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment
  • Medical Negligence
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Malpractice

Recent Representative Cases