After graduating from the University of San Diego Law School in 1976, Judge. Kuns served as a criminal prosecutor for 2 ½ years in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. In 1980, she moved to the Santa Ynez Valley and established a private law practice, engaging in both criminal and civil litigation. In November 2008, she was appointed to the Superior Court Bench by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She currently presides over the Drug Court and Mental Health Court calendars in Department 3 in Santa Maria.
Over the past thirty years she has worked extensively as a volunteer, primarily with youth. In the 1980s, she was an adult advisor for the YMCA’s Youth & Government Program. For 18 years she volunteered her time as a legal coach for the Santa Ynez High School Mock Trial Program. Since her appointment to the bench, she has continued to work with the Santa Barbara County High School Mock Trial Competition, now sitting as a judge during competitive rounds. Over the past 15 years, Judge.Kuns has also volunteered her time as a judge in the Santa Barbara County Teen Court Program.
From 2004 through 2008, Judge Kuns served on the international Board of Trustees for People to People International, an organization founded by President Eisenhower to bring people from different cultures and countries together through cultural and educational exchange and humanitarian projects. She traveled as an adult leader for PTPI student programs to Russia and Eastern Europe, and was an adult advisor at five Global Youth Forums. She has also traveled as an adult delegate for People to People International to Cuba, Egypt, and Eastern Europe. In 2013, she traveled to Calcutta, India, to visit a girls’ school (PACE Universal) that educates young girls who would otherwise be at high risk for prostitution or trafficking.
Judge. Kuns grew up on ranches in Colorado and New Mexico, and received her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego. She is the mother of twin daughters.
Judge Kuns presides over
Dept. SM3 in the Santa Maria