Honorable Leslie G. Landau — Department 24

Biographical Information

  • Education: Wesleyan University, BA; Cornell Law School, JD.
  • Pre-bench Legal Experience: Bingham McCutchen LLP (formerly McCutchen Doyle, Brown & Enersen), 1984-2003; Chair of Appellate Department, Managing Partner of San Francisco Office; Law Clerk, Honorable William E. Doyle, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1983-1984
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat


Judicial Experience

  • Pittsburg Branch Court — 1½ years
  • Criminal calendar — 1½ years.


Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

  • California Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • California Women Lawyers, Board of Governors and Chair of Amicus Committee
  • Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1999-2002)
  • Co-Chair, Northern District Judicial Conference (2002-2003)
  • San Francisco Women Lawyers’ Alliance, Board of Directors (1991-1995)
  • Equal Rights Advocates, Litigation Committee (1998-2002)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco (also member of the BASF’s Appellate Practice Section)


Current Civic & Professional Activities

  • Volunteer Judge, Contra Costa County Office of Education, Moot Court and Mock Trial Competitions
  • Contra Costa Law Library, Board of Directors (2004-2005)


Courtroom Policies

  • Judge is always prepared for motions, having read papers, key cases and record. Judge generally rules from bench.
  • Judge requires notice to DA of any OR motion in cases with violent offenses.



Not usually available on criminal calendar.



  • Motions must be noticed, filed served in accordance with the rules.
  • Attorneys must advise court as soon as they know a motion will not go forward as noticed.
  • Attorneys should expect a prepared court, and lots of questions.



Must comply with rules on page and line limits.


In Limine Motions

In limine motions welcome as a way to streamline case, focus issues and address anticipated problems.


Voir Dire

Court generally sets time limits on attorney voir dire (limit depends on number and type of charges).

Jury Instructions

Instructions to be submitted when case assigned to trial department.



Department 24 tends to be informal, but the judge expects people to be on time, to be prepared, and to be respectful of everyone else in the courtroom.



Counsel may use audio-visual equipment with prior notice, if equipment provided and set up in advance.


Cameras in the Courtroom

Only upon prior motion and order.