Judicial Profile: Department 17
Honorable Barry P. Goode

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Biographical Information
Harvard Law School
Kenyon College
Pre-bench Legal Experience:
  • Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Gray Davis, Sacramento, CA (February 2001-November 2003)
  • Attorney, McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, San Francisco, CA (1974-2001)
  • Special Assistant to Adlai E. Stevenson, III, United States Senate, Washington D.C., (1972-74)
Political Affiliation:
Democratic Party.
Member of the Bars of
California, Massachusetts, United States Supreme Court, Sixth and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Various United States District Courts
Judicial Experience
November 2003 to present; Assistant Presiding Judge (2011 - 2012); Presiding Judge 2013.
Current and Selected Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities
  • Nominated to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by President Clinton (1998, 2000, 2001)
  • Member, American Law Institute (elected 1995)
  • Member, Access and Fairness Advisory Committee of the Judicial Council of California (2004-present) and Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee of the Judicial Council of California (2010-present)
  • Member, California Supreme Court Historical Society Board of Directors (2011-present)
  • Elkins Family Law Task Force (2008-2010); Elkins Law Implementation Committee (2010-present)
  • Member, Blue Ribbon Panel of Experts on Arbitration Ethics (2002)
  • Member, Magistrate Judge Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (2000)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Coro Northern California (1997 to 2003; President, 2000-2001)
  • Founding Member, Executive Committee of the Environmental and Water Law Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco (1987-1990)
  • Adjunct Professor (Environmental Law), University of San Francisco School of Law (Spring and Fall semesters 1981)
  • Expert Panelist, Governor’s Commission to Review California Water Rights Law (1978)
Continuing Legal Education Faculty
Faculty, B.E.Witkin Judicial College (June 2005 - 2011); Cow County Judges Institute (May 2011) and many other presentations to variouse bar organzations.
Recent Publications

Books and Law Reviews

  • Co-Author, Federal Litigation Guide, Vol. 1, Matthew Bender & Co., Inc.(1985) (Author of original versions of chapters entitled “The Mechanics of Motion Practice” and “Voluntary Dismissals and Dismissals for Failure to Prosecute”)
  • Religion, Politics, Race and Ethnicity: The Range and Limits of Voir Dire, 92 Kentucky Law Journal 601 (Spring 2004)
  • A Legislative Approach to the Protection of Sacred Sites, 10 Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 169 (Spring 2004)


“I Am Looking Down, But Things Are Looking Up” and “Reflections on Gravity Induced by an Unintended Dismount” in Rain on the Sage, Buckeye Canyon Press, Bridgeport, California (2003)

Courtroom Policies
Judge goode is sitting in the complex civil litigation department. These policies apply to his current assignment. The complex litigation department uses e-filing and e-service. Judge Goode has posted on the Court's web site "A Handy Guide to Department 17." You should make sure that is is read by those in your office who actually do the f-filing of documents; you should read it too.
Judge Goode has morning calendars at 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday and law and motion on Friday at 9:00 a.m. (The 8:30 a.m. calendar is for limited civil jurisdication matters.) Other things being equal, Judge Goode tries to dispose of quick matters first so parties are not kept waiting for only a brief appearance. Judge Goode likes to start his calendars as promptly as possible. Counsel should be in court on time.
Case Management
Judge Goode believes in active case management. As soon as reasonably possible, he likes to determine what pre-trial work remains so reasonable settlement conference and trial dates can be set. He also seeks to determine whether there are key issues that are impeding resolution of a case and that can be decided eith by motion or a bifurcated trial. Judge Goode disfavors trial continuances absent good cause.
Combining Appearances
If you have two matters scheduled within a few days of one another (e.g. an Order to Show Cause and a Case Management Conference) the judge encourages you to call it to his attention (if in open court) or to present a stipulation so the appearances can be consolidated, if possible, saving the attorneys an extra trip to court.
Trial Estimates
Attorneys should be prepared, at case management conferences, with careful estimates of how much time it will take to try their case—and why. Trial estimates must be realistic. Judge Goodes' Issue Cconference Order requires parties to sumit an Excel spreadsheet with witness-by-witness time estimates.
Settlement Conferences
Judge Goode rerely presides over settlement conferences. In most instances the parties arrange to use a private mediator.
The day of trial is not a time to start talking settlement. Judge Goode expects the parties to be ready to choose a jury at the time set for trial.
Substitution of Attorneys
If you are substituting into a case, be sure to file the appropriate Judicial Council form before making your appearance.
Requests for Continuance
If there is a need for a continuance of a matter counsel should meet and confer and present an appropriate stipulation.
Judge Goode generally permits telephone appearances at case management conferences.

Judge Goode reads all papers timely submitted to him. He generally does not consider papers that are not filed on time; indeed, they are unlikely to be in the file when he reviews it. Be familiar with Code of Civil Procedure §1005 and Local Rule 7.

Memoranda and declarations should focus tightly on the facts of the case and the relevant law. Reason is more persuasive than ad hominem attack. Deal forthrightly with law or precedent that is unfavorable or distinguishable. At oral argument expect to be asked about the weaknesses of your position and the strengths of the opposition. The judge generally rules from the bench.

Judge Goode follows the Civil Law Division’s tentative ruling system.

A tip: Submit a proposed form of order with your moving or opposing papers.

Trial briefs should be clearly organized. Itemize each issue to be decided and marshal the law and facts that support your position with respect to that issue.
Judge Goode believes there should be full and complete compliance with the discovery statutes. Just about every case has some bad facts. Get them (and the good facts) on the table and deal with them early. Cooperate in discovery. If a motion to compel is required, the losing side should be prepared to explain why sanctions should not be imposed. See e.g. CCP §S 2030.300(d), 2031.310(d.).
Settlement Conferences

Parties should comply fully with the local rules and the Case Management Order if one has been issued. Judge Goode reads the settlement conference statements carefully. He finds them most helpful when they list all issues that remain and describe each party’s position on each issue.

Judge Goode believes that parties usually prefer to settle rather than endure the financial and psychological expense of trial. He is prepared to work with counsel to help the parties find common ground. But counsel must be prepared. Do not come to the settlement conference without having first exchanged offers and developed an understanding of the issues that are preventing the parties from settling.

At trial, witnesses must be treated with due courtesy. counsel should have their witnesses lined up and ready to go so there isno "down time" between one witness and the next.
If the law requires it the judge will impose sanctions.
The Issue Conference Order provides the form in which the exhibit list should be prepared. At the Issue Conference Judge Goode dicusses with the parties the extent to which they can stipulate to the admissibility of documents so that trial time is not consumed with matters not in dispute.

Judge Goode insists on courtesy, civility and decorum; and virtually all the attorneys who have appeared in his courtroom comport themselves in that manner.

Lawyers should not interrupt one another or a witness. If a response or motion to strike is in order, Judge Goode will hear it.

Court Reporters & Translators
Judge Goode asks lawyers, witnesses, and parties to remember that court reporters and interpreters have a tough job. Speak clearly, don’t interrupt another speaker and try not to speak too fast.
Computers in the Courtroom
Judge Goode takes notes on his laptop during hearings and trials. He also has access to Lexis- Nexis so if you cite a case that was not in your papers he can look it up. (But why wasn’t it in your papers?) Counsel are free to use laptops in court.
Be familiar with the Local Rules and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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