Honorable David E. Goldstein — Department 6

Biographical Information

  • Education: B.A. in Political Science/Public Service, U.C. Davis; J.D., U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
  • Pre-bench Legal Experience: 1995-2015 Deputy Public Defender, Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office. Legislative Representative for his children’s elementary school’s Parent-Teacher Association. Mock trial judge and evaluator for the Bales Trial Competition at U.C. Berkeley School of Law. Member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association.
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat


Judicial Experience

  • 2015-2018: Criminal Division, Richmond
  • 2018: Appellate Division Alternate Panelist
  • 2019: Felony Criminal Specialty Calendars (Preliminary Hearings, Arraignments, Bail, Law and Motion, Domestic Violence)
  • 2019: Appellate Division Regular Panelist


Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

(1) Board of Directors, Protection Advocacy, Inc., a federally funded organization providing legal services to persons with disabilities, 1991 – 2000; (2) California State Mental Health Planning Council, 1996 – 1998. Association of Defense Counsel, Berkeley-Albany Bar Association.


Current Civic & Professional Activities

  • Appointed member of the Criminal Law Advisory Committee for the Judicial Council of California.
  • Pupilage Group Leader, Robert McGrath American Inns of Court.
  • CLAC liason to the Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness (PAF).
  • Judicial Mentor on behalf of the Contra Costa County Bar Association.


Typical weekly schedule

Currently assigned to hear jury trials, which are assigned out on Mondays and Wednesdays of each week.
Periodically assigned to hear oral arguments on Friday afternoons in the Appellate Division, Martinez.



Not currently.


Motions – What days of the week are they heard?

Varies, but typically Tuesday and Friday afternoons for pretrial motions. At trial’s beginning for in limine motions.



Yes, preferred for all motionwork.



See Penal Code section 1054 et seq…


Settlement Conferences

Typically held well in advance of trial in the arraignment department.



Not applicable to the criminal calendar.


In Limine Motions

Preferably in writing, and preferably heard BEFORE jury selection.


Voir Dire

Typically impose time limits per side in misdemeanor cases, greater limits allowed in felony cases.


Jury Instructions

Standard requests CALCRIM’S and “pinpoints” should be submitted by the parties at the beginning of trial. Revisions and withdrawals can be discussed after evidence concludes.



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 admissibility discussion in limine or presentation before the jury.



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


Court Reporters & Translators

Translators as needed.