Honorable Leonard E. Marquez — Department 34

Biographical Information

  • Education: University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D.; Princeton University, A.B., Politics; Certificates in Political Theory and Medieval Studies.
  • Pre-bench Legal Experience: Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP; Partner, 2010 to 2018; Associate Attorney, 1999 to 2009
  • Representative Experience: In his former civil private practice, Judge Marquez represented clients in many areas of civil litigation, including contract and lease disputes, tort claims, and other business-related matters. His practice included a focus on landlord-tenant related matters, including breach of lease and tenant evictions.


Judicial Experience

Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr. appointed Leonard E. Marquez as a Judge of the Contra Costa County Superior Court on February 27, 2018. He was sworn-in on April 5, 2018 by Presiding Judge Jill Fannin.

Judge Marquez is currently sitting in a general criminal assignment in the Pittsburg branch courthouse of the Contra Costa County Superior Court where he presides over matters such as misdemeanor jury trials, felony preliminary hearings, criminal law and motion and other criminal calendars.


Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA)

  • Member (2011 to Present)

CCCBA Litigation Section

  • Member (2011 to Present)
  • Board Member (2012 to 2018)
  • Co-Chair (2016 to 2017)
  • Chair (2017 to 2018)
  • Civil Litigation Pro Per Clinic, Instructor (2012 to 2018)

Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine

  • Guest Editor (March 2016; October 2017)
  • Editorial Board Member (2017 to 2018)

Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA)

  • Member (2000 to 2018)
  • Board of Directors (2017 to 2018)

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa County (H5C)

  • Member (to 2018)
  • Board of Directors (2008 to 2015)
  • Chairman of Election Committee (2015)
  • Board Secretary and Member of Executive Committee (2011 to 2015)
  • Chairman of Festival of Latin Culture Committee (2011 to 2014)
  • Member of H5C Chamber Delegation to National Convention of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Miami, Florida (2011)
  • Member of H5C Chamber Delegation to State Convention of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (2013)

California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC)

  • Associate Director for Northern Region of California (2014 to 2018)
  • General Counsel (2016 to 2018)

Donald P. McCullum Youth Court

  • Past President, Board of Directors and Executive Committee (2009 to 2013)
  • Board of Directors (2007 to 2013)
  • Co-Chair of the Program Committee (2007 to 2009)
  • Volunteer / Judge (2001 to 2009)

Princeton Alumni Schools Committee

  • Volunteer Undergraduate Admissions Interviewer for Princeton University (1997 to Present). Conduct interviews in connection with applications for admission to Princeton University and submit written reports to Admissions Office.

East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association

  • Member
  • Lawyers in the Library Pro Bono Legal Advisor (2001 to 2005)


Civic & Professional Activities

See above.


Recent Publications

  • Eviction Defense Manual, Chapter 19, Special Considerations Governing Evictions in Commercial Tenancies, California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Contributing Update Author (2018)
  • Retail Leasing, Chapter 29, Defaults and Remedies, California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Contributing Update Author (2008 to 2017)
  • Office Leasing, Chapter 27, Defaults and Remedies, California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Contributing Update Author (2008 to 2017)


Typical weekly schedule

8:45 am to 4:30 pm (Mon to Fri)


Courtroom Policies

Counsel shall admonish their witnesses and clients to be on time for each court session. During jury trials, counsel shall be in court and prepared to begin at 8:45 am and at the conclusion of each daily lunch recess at 1:30 pm or at such other time as the Court may direct during the course of trial. Trials will generally recess at 12:00 pm and 4:30 pm on trial days or at such other time as the Court may direct during the course of trial.



Parties and counsel may arrange for telephonic court appearances on a case by case basis and for good cause shown. Parties and counsel should contact the courtroom clerk to seek approval for and arrange any telephonic appearance.



Where written briefs are to be submitted on a matter, counsel should provide a courtesy hard copy to Department 34.



Counsel shall confirm compliance with the applicable discovery statutes and rules and be prepared to discuss and identify any outstanding discovery related issues at the time motions in limine are addressed. Counsel shall meet and confer on any such discovery related motions in limine prior to the hearing of such motions.


In Limine Motions

Any motions in limine should be filed in writing at first appearance in the trial department and may be included with a trial brief and/or submittals such as a party’s witness list or list of proposed jury instructions. The Court advises parties that the Court is generally not inclined to grant blanket motions in limine which are directed toward general categories or types of evidence and where specific evidentiary objections can more appropriately be made at the time that the subject testimony is elicited or the subject evidence is proffered.


Voir Dire

The Court 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 25 to 30 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 Code of Civil Procedure section 223. The Court will permit additional reasonable time to conduct examination of the alternate jurors. Counsel may not directly or indirectly argue their cases during voir dire. While some reasonable introductory narrative may be appropriate and permissible in connection with voir dire (such as in framing hypothetical questions), counsel are cautioned to avoid lengthy recitations of the law and attempts to precondition the jury panel as to what the law may or may not require.


Jury Instructions

Counsel should submit a list of proposed jury instructions in writing at first appearance in the trial department which may be included with a trial brief and/or submittals such as a party’s witness list or motions in limine.



It is counsel’s responsibility to plan and schedule witnesses accordingly. Counsel should file and serve lists of anticipated witnesses before trial and exchange other witness information in accordance with the applicable rules and statutes. Counsel should have trial witnesses sufficiently available for each day of testimony to avoid delays. At the conclusion of each trial day, the parties should disclose their list of anticipated witnesses for the following day. Counsel shall notify the Court of any witness scheduling issues as soon as practicable to ensure an efficient use of the jury’s time.



Counsel are encouraged to pre-mark all exhibits with the courtroom clerk prior to trial.



Counsel are expected to conduct themselves with dignity and decorum at all times. Disruptive tactics or uncivil conduct are not acceptable. Colloquy between counsel on the record or at sidebar is not permitted. All remarks should be addressed to the Court rather than to opposing counsel unless the Court invites the parties to confer directly on a matter.

Counsel shall not engage in any activity at counsel table, move about the courtroom or otherwise engage in other conduct so as to cause distraction while opposing counsel is arguing or questioning a witness. Neither counsel nor any party should indicate approval, disapproval, or otherwise react to any testimony or argument in a distracting or discourteous manner.


Court Reporters & Translators

Parties should follow all local rules and practices with respect to arranging for court reporting and translation services. The Court is implementing electronic audio recording in certain misdemeanor matters.


Computers in the Courtroom; Audio-visual

The Pittsburg branch courthouse is equipped with video projection equipment and automated projector screens in each courtroom. Each counsel table has cables for laptop hook up for display through the A/V system. Counsel is encouraged to test any A/V equipment prior to trial. Among other things, counsel should confirm that any laptop being used has the correct ports for connection to the A/V system if counsel intends to use the automated projection system.



Counsel should be mindful of the importance of maintaining a professional, courteous and civil demeanor, as further addressed above.