Honorable Julia Campins — Department 10

Biographical Information

  • Columbia College, Columbia University, BA
  • Columbia Law School, JD

Pre-bench Legal Experience

  • Law Clerk, Marsha S. Berzon, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Equal Justice Litigation Fellow, Impact Fund, Berkeley, CA
  • Attorney, Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C.
  • Founding Partner, Campins Benham-Baker, P.C.

Political Affiliation

  • Democrat

Judicial Experience

  • Appointed October 25, 2019. Sworn in November 18, 2019.

Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

  • Member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and a member of CCCBA Employment Section Board;
  • Plaintiff’s Program Co-Chair of the ABA EEO Subcommittee;
  • Member of California Employment Lawyers Association, Disability Rights Bar Association;
  • Founder of and member of the Feminist Litigators Coalition;
  • PTA Board member;
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Impact Fund, the Litigation Committee of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center,
  • Advisory Board of the National Student Legal Defense Network.

Current Civic & Professional Activities

  • Mental Health Committee of CJA. I am on the Rules Committee and was formerly on the Intern Committee for our Court.
  • Contra Costa County Office of Education, Mock Trial Judge Volunteer

Recent Publications

Chapter 8 of CEB’s Employee Leave Laws

Typical weekly schedule

Monday – Friday:  Jury Trials, Criminal Law & Motion, Arraignments, Probation Violation Hearings, Bail Review Hearings, Special Settings/Hearings, and Small Claims Trials. (All as assigned by the Master Docketing Judge.)

Courtroom Policies

Judge Campins generally rules from the bench, unless she has not had an opportunity to review filed pleadings or cited authorities in which case she may take matters under submission. She occasionally requests supplemental briefing or takes the matter under submission to research new issues raised during oral argument.


Judge Campins will permit teleconferencing or zoom when appropriate and necessary.


In Pittsburg, motions are generally heard Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.


Courtesy copies of briefs are to be sent to the Department 10 email.


All parties should comply fully with the applicable discovery statutes without the need for Court intervention. Judge Campins: (1) requires the parties to meet-and-confer prior to the filing of discovery motions; and (2) encourages the parties to engage in the early exchange of discovery to facilitate case resolution.

For Judge Campins’s civil cases, she welcomes letter briefs with a concise summary of the discovery issues prior to full litigation of a discovery dispute so that she may give preliminary guidance to the parties.

Settlement Conferences

Criminal cases should be pre-tried thoroughly before they are assigned out for trial.

In Limine Motions

The Court will not rule on in limine motions that are not directed toward specific issues.

Voir Dire

Judge Campins will conduct the initial voir dire examination of the first eighteen prospective jurors using the “Six Pack” method. Counsel will have the opportunity to conduct further examination within reasonable time limits (usually 15 minutes for misdemeanor trials) by asking questions reasonably calculated to discover bias or prejudice with regard to the circumstances of the particular case or the parties before the court, in accordance with Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 223. Counsel may submit proper questions for the Court to ask during initial voir dire. Judge Campins will permit additional reasonable time to conduct examination of the alternate jurors. Counsel may not ask any question that, as its dominant purpose, attempts to precondition the prospective juror to a particular result or indoctrinate the jury. Counsel may not directly or indirectly argue their cases during voir dire.

Jury Instructions

Counsel shall provide the Court with a complete list of anticipated CALCRIM jury instructions prior to trial, as well as any anticipated non-form instructions as soon as the need arises. Based on counsels’ submissions and trial evidence, Judge Campins will provide a draft set of jury instructions for discussion and argument as soon as possible thereafter.

If counsel intends to display or reference jury instructions during closing argument, then the instructions must be cited and taken verbatim from the Court’s final jury instructions.


Counsel should file and serve lists of anticipated witnesses before trial and exchange other witness information in accordance with the applicable statutes. Counsel should have trial witnesses available for testimony to avoid delays. At the conclusion of each trial day, the parties should disclose their list of anticipated witnesses for the following day.

Judge Campins will allow reasonable adjustments in the order of witnesses or the schedule of trial to accommodate witnesses’ schedules. Counsel are encouraged to notify the Court of any witness scheduling issues as soon as practicable to ensure efficient use of the jury’s time.


Sanctions will be imposed rarely and only after thorough discussion.


Counsel should: (1) produce all documentary exhibits as part of pre-trial discovery; (2) provide to the clerk documentary exhibits to pre-mark in advance of testimony relating to such exhibits; (3) show all documentary exhibits to opposing counsel prior to using them in court; and (4) provide courtesy copies of all documentary exhibits to the Court, the court clerk, the court reporter, and opposing counsel, when possible.


All entrants into Department 10 are to treat one another with respect at all times.

Judge Campins encourages counsel to: (1) remain courteous and professional with opposing counsel, witnesses, the Court, and staff; (2) direct oral argument to the Court rather than to opposing counsel or a party; (3) refrain from interrupting opposing counsel and the Court, as Judge Campins will permit all parties to make a complete record at the appropriate time; and (4) strive to accommodate opposing counsel on procedural and scheduling matters, as long as doing so will not compromise a clients’ legitimate substantial interests.

Court Reporters & Translators

A court reporter is required and provided for all criminal cases. Sidebars generally are not reported, but counsel are encouraged to put any matter discussed at sidebar on the record, once outside the presence of the jury.

Counsel shall immediately notify the Court when a matter generally requiring an interpreter will not so requireso that the Court my cancel the interpreter request.

Translators or interpreters are provided by the Court for defendants in criminal cases when needed. In civil and criminal cases, any party calling a witness who needs a translator or interpreter must provide the translator or interpreter.

Computers in the Courtroom

Judge Campins permits the parties to use computers and electronic devices at counsel table for case-related purposes.


Judge Campins encourages the in-Court use of audio-visual presentations provided the material has been previously admitted into evidence prior to publishing. Parties are encouraged to request early access to the courtroom to test any audio-visual presentations prior to trial.

Given the technology available in the Pittsburg courthouse, Counsel are advised that it is preferable to publish exhibits through their computer rather than through use of an ELMO (projector), as there is limited access to the ELMO.

Cameras in the Courtroom

News media still and video photography is allowed on a case-by-case basis with advanced written approval and pursuant to the Rules of Court.


Judge Campins will always permit the parties to be heard. They are advised to come prepared with authority supporting their positions so that she may be fully apprised of the legal landscape prior to ruling. Cooperation and efficiency are encouraged and appreciated.