Honorable Charles “Steve” Treat — Department 12

Biographical Information

  • Education: Michigan State University, B.A, Political Philosophy; University of Chicago, J.D.
  • Pre-bench Legal Experience: Judicial clerkship, Hon. John Wisdom, U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, New Orleans, Louisiana; Judicial clerkship, Hon. William Brennan, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court; Civil litigator with appellate specialty, Latham & Watkins, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat


Judicial Experience

Judge Treat was appointed to the bench on October 3, 2005. This is his first appointment.


Recent Publications

Judge Treat recently completed writing a law review article on statutes and rules for collecting attorney’s fees for prevailing parties. 12 JFK L Rev 1 (2009).


Courtroom Policies

Counsel are not required to ask permission to move around in the courtroom unless they are seeking sidebar.


In Limine Motions

Counsel should meet and confer on motions in limine.


Voir Dire

Counsel should remember that the only permissible questions are those reasonably related to challenges for cause.


Jury Instructions

At the misdemeanor level, the judge usually prepares the instructions. Judge Treat does, however, look at lists presented to him. If counsel seek any unusual instruction, they should let him know before the instructions are prepared.



Witnesses are routinely excluded from courtroom when they are not testifying.



Keep your tempers and remain civil to all participants. Only one person talks at a time; and if the judge is talking, that’s the one who is talking.


Cameras in the Courtroom

There is a court rule that governs cameras in the courtroom.



Be prepared and be polite.