Honorable David E. Goldstein — Department 6

Biographical Information

  • Education: J.D., U.C. Berkeley School of Law, member of California Law Review; B.A., summa cum laude, U.C. Davis, in Political Science/Public Service, with minors in Biological Anthropology and Rhetoric/Communications.
  • Pre-bench Legal Experience: 1995-2015 Attorney, Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office.

Judicial Experience

  • 2022-Present: Criminal Division Supervising Judge, with a Direct Calendar Felony Trial docket. Backup Misdemeanor Master Calendar and Probation/Felony Arraignment judge.
  • 2021: Supervising Judge, Pittsburg Courthouse, with a Direct Calendar Felony Trial docket.
  • 2020: Felony Fast-Track (Pretrials, Probation/PRCS/Parole Calendars, post-preliminary hearing Arraignments/Bail, Pro Per motions, PC 987 funding evaluation).
  • 2019: Felony Criminal Specialty Calendars (Pre-preliminary hearing Arraignments/Bail hearings, Law and Motion, Preliminary Hearings, Domestic Violence Court).
  • 2018-2021: Appellate Division (Limited Civil, Misdemeanors, Traffic)
  • 2015-2018: Misdemeanor Trials and Calendars, Richmond Courthouse.

Judge Goldstein currently chairs the court’s Jury and Criminal committees, is a past chair of the Diversity/Bench-Bar Outreach committee, and is a member of the court’s Executive, Bail, Security, Rules, and Ethics committees. In 2016, he was appointed to the statewide Judicial Council’s Criminal Law Advisory Committee by former Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, where he served a 3-year term and acted as a liaison to the Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness. Judge Goldstein is believed to be the first former public defender designated to act as Criminal Division Supervisor in the court’s history. He was the last judge to handle the court’s Felony Fast Track calendar before the court converted to a Direct Calendaring system in 2021.

Current Civic & Professional Activities

  • Pupilage Group Leader, Robert McGrath American Inns of Court.
  • Judicial Mentor on behalf of the Contra Costa County Bar Association.

Typical weekly schedule

Felony jury trials are heard M-Th, 10:30-4:30. Non-trial matters including preliminary hearings are heard M-Th 8:30-10:30. However, pretrial conferences are handled over Zoom, counsel only, at 11:45 a.m. M-F. Fridays are reserved for long-cause preliminary hearings, motions, sentencings, and re-sentencing petitions. All cases are set at 8:30 in the morning, with very limited exceptions made to accommodate attorney scheduling conflicts, primarily for Friday motion hearings.


Used for pretrial conferences, CDC inmate re-sentencing hearings, and emergency attorney absences only. All other appearances must be in- person, with PC 977 allowances for non-critical stages of the proceedings. However, re-scheduling requests on time waived matters can typically be accomplished over email, or by way of stipulation via unreported minute orders.

Motions – What days of the week are they heard?

PC 1538.5 “motions to suppress”, Pitchess and other Discovery motions, and PC 995 motions to dismiss are all heard on Friday mornings. Bail motions are heard M-F mornings. Section 17 reduction motions are heard at time of preliminary hearings, which are scheduled every day of the week, mornings only.


Yes, preferred for all motion work. Briefing deadlines are normally determined by the Local Rules of Court, except the Judge independently sets the briefing schedule for complex matters like PC 187 re-sentencing petitions.


See Penal Code section 1054 et seq…

Settlement Conferences

Everydayoftheweekat11:45a.m.overZoom. Onirregularscheduleifrequestedandcourtisavailable.


Not applicable to the criminal calendar.

In Limine Motions

Due over email the Friday before trial by noon. Same goes for proposed jury questionnaires As the party bearing the burden of proof, the DA’s in limine brief must include tentative, CALCRIM jury instructions. Defense CALCRIMs are submitted after the evidentiary phase has closed.

Voir Dire

Court holds hardship hearings first, followed by court voir dire, attorney voir dire, cause hearings, and peremptory challenges. Typically, no timelimitsareimposedforattorneyvoirdireinfelonycases,butexceptionscanbe–andhavebeen–made. Thecourtallowsand encourages written jury questionnaires, but doesn’t require them. The parties bear the burden of proposing, printing, copying, distributing, and collecting written questionnaires.

Jury Instructions

The court uses CALCRIM and considers party proposals for “special” and pinpoint instructions.


Non-testifying witnesses must remain out of the courtroom absent a specified statutory exception.


Very rare, not preferred. Please don’t test the limits of this rule.


All intended trial exhibits should be pre-marked with the clerk before being presented to witnesses or shown to the jury.


Light humor enjoyed, informal settlement discussion encouraged, civility demanded.

Court Reporters & Translators

Translators as needed. The department has a designated court reporter.