Judge Ortega's Biography


The Honorable Liliana Ortega, Superior Court Judge, Division II

January 2021 to Present

After 20 years of experience practicing law, Liliana Ortega was elected to the Arizona Superior Court for Santa Cruz County in 2020.    

Judge Ortega graduated from the University of Arizona in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.  She received her law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 1998.  During law school, she clerked for former Pima County Superior Court Judge, John Leonardo.  Since then, she has devoted her career to public service.

After law school, Judge Ortega worked for the Pima County Attorney’s Office where she handled misdemeanor and appellate cases.  In 2001, she moved to Morenci, Arizona and prosecuted for the Greenlee County Attorney’s Office as its Chief Deputy.  In 2006, she joined the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office and shortly after, became the Chief Criminal Deputy.  There, she supervised the criminal division’s caseload and attorneys, managed grant writing and administration, and handled media relations and community outreach.   In addition to her supervisory and administrative duties throughout her career, she prosecuted a wide variety of cases including drug smuggling, juvenile offenses, property crimes, sex offenses, homicides, and handled complex litigation.

Judge Ortega is currently assigned to domestic relations and probate cases.  She lives in Tubac, Arizona.