Honorable Gina Dashman – Department 57

Biographical Information

  • Education:
    o UC Berkeley BA
    o George Washington University Law School JD
  • Pre‐bench legal experience:
    o 30+ years as civil litigator, defense and plaintiff
    o Partner: Haapala, Thompson & Abern LLP [civil litigation, insurance defense and mediation]
    o Of Counsel: Stein, Rudser, Cohen & Magid [civil litigation and mediation]
    o Partner: Buresh, Kaplan Jang and Feller [insurance defense]
    o Associate: Epstein, Becker, Stromberg and Green [corporate transactions]

Judicial Experience

  • Pre‐bench civic and professional activities:
    o Pro Tem Judge, Settlement Mentor, Discovery Facilitator
    o Co-founder and Steering Committee: Bay Area Women Lawyers Retreat “BAWLR” (2019-2021)
    o President: Women Lawyers of Alameda County (2018-2019)
    o Board Member: Contra Costa County Bar Association (2018-2019); Chair, Governance Committee
    o Board of Governors: California Women Lawyers (2016-2018); “So You Wanna Be a Judge,”  Program Chair; Rose Bird Award, Program Chair
    o Treasurer: CCCBA/Women’s Section (2013-2015)
    o Volunteer Judge: Appellate Advocacy Competition, Berkeley Law
    o Volunteer Coach: Mediation and Negotiation Skills, UC Hastings School of Law
  • Current civic and professional activities:
    o Government Committee, CCCBA
    o Member, California Judges Association
    o Volunteer Judge: Contra Costa County High Schools Moot Court Competition (2021)
    o Member, National Association of Women Judges
  • Continuing legal education faculty:
    o Trainer, UD law and Civil Harassment Law to Pro Tem Judges
  • Important published decision(s)
    o Cohen v. McIntyre (1993) 16 Cal. App. 4th 650
    o Williams v. Superior Court (2021) 71 Cal. App. 5th 101
  • Recent publications:
    o CEB, Neighbor Disputes, Law and Litigation, (originally published 2013 and updated annually): Chapter 3, “Earth Movement: Landslide, Subsidence and Drainage”

Courtroom Policies

  • Rules from bench except in small claims cases
  • Prefers in person hearings and trials
  • Preference for parties to engage in mediation prior to trial
  • Typical weekly schedule:
    o Civil discovery law and motion: Wednesdays and Fridays 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    o Civil discovery ex parte applications: Daily at 11:00 a.m. by submission only
    o Civil Harassment (and other non-domestic violence restraining orders): daily at 1:30 p.m.
    o Small claims: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
    o Unlawful Detainer: Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 p.m.
  • Teleconferencing:
    o Zoom and telephonic appearance upon written request
  • Motions:
    o Civil Law and Motion only: normal briefing schedule with tentative rulings the day before. Email department and opposing sides by 4:00 p.m. the day before the hearing if you intend to argue identifying specific issues you plan to present.
  • Briefs:
    o Conciseness and headings appreciated
  • Discovery:
    o Per code
  • Settlement conferences:
    o Not applicable
  • ADR:
    o Congress of Neutrals is available every afternoon to offer mediation services. Strong preference for mediation prior to hearings.
  • In limine motions:
    o Not applicable
  • Voir dire:
    o Not applicable
  • Jury instructions:
    o Not applicable
  • Witnesses:
    o Live witness testimony permitted but court will determine if witness testimony is duplicative and will limit witnesses in certain cases
  • Sanctions:
    o Yes, in discovery disputes
  • Documents:
    o Preference is to exchange documents in advance, but same day exchange is required prior to hearing
  • Decorum:
    o Demonstrate respect, patience and courtesy to others and the court
  • Court reporters and translators:
    o Electronic recording (no live court reporters needed)
    o Translators, as needed
  • Computers in the courtroom:
    o No restrictions if used for Power Point presentation, displaying evidence, checking calendars
  • Audio‐visual:
    o None available. If parties wish to display audio or video recording, please bring your own device
  • Cameras in the courtroom:
    o Per local rules
  • Advice:
    o Come prepared and willing to mediate
    o Attorneys’ fees motions on noticed motion only
    o Avoid interruptions
    o Respect the process and the people involved