The Honorable Darleen Ortega has been a Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals since 2003. Before joining the Court of Appeals, she practiced law first in Detroit, Michigan (1989 - 1992) and then in Portland where she specialized in complex civil cases and appeals (1992 - 2003).
While in private practice, Judge Ortega was active in the state and local bar associations, including as
a member of the Oregon State Bar Judicial Administration Committee
a member of the Multnomah Bar Association Equality Committee
co-chair and founding member of Oregon Women Lawyers Judicial Endorsement Committee
a member of the Board of Oregon Women Lawyers.
Judge Ortega is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs and to law student groups on equipping women and minorities to succeed as lawyers and improving understanding among the diverse groups that make up Oregon's legal profession and the community it serves. She currently serves on the Oregon Supreme Court/Oregon State Bar Task Force on Access to State Courts for Persons with Disabilities and chairs the Surveys Work Group for that task force.
Judge Ortega was born in Montebello, California and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles, moving to Banks, Oregon with her family when she was 10. She graduated with honors from Banks High School at the top of her class (1980), George Fox College (now University) in Newberg (B.A. summa cum laude, Writing and Literature, 1984), and University of Michigan Law School (J.D. magna cum laude, 1989).
Judge Ortega is active in a Friends church in Newberg, where she works with teens and plays piano and sings. An avid amateur film critic, she publishes an annual "top 10" movie list for a growing email group.