U.S. District Court Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler, half of a well respected Orange County judicial team, died "peacefully" last night at home after a long illness that kept her away for years from her duties inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
After serving stints as a deputy district attorney, municipal judge, superior court judge, state appellate justice and in Newport Beach private practice, Stotler won a lifetime appointment to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1984.
The University of Southern California undergraduate and law school graduate was married to current Orange County Superior Court Judge James Stotler.
He cancelled hearings last week to spend time with his wife.
During Stotler's incapacitation, President Barack Obama appointed Harvard Law School graduate Josephine L. Staton to the Orange County federal bench.
Sources say a private burial ceremony is planned but there also will be a public memorial honoring her numerous legal and personal accomplishments.
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Stotler, an Alhambra native who dreamed of being a police officer as a child, was hailed by admirers as the "First Lady" of Orange County's law community having become the area's first female deputy district attorney in 1967 as well as the first female federal judge when the court's Los Angeles branch opened a courthouse in OC in 1988.
In addition to Staton, Orange County's undersized, overworked federal bench now includes David O. Carter, Andrew J. Guilford, Cormac J. Carney and James V. Selna.