Honorable Linda Lye — Department 29

Biographical Information

  • Education: Yale, B.A.; UC Berkeley, J.D.
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat


Pre-Bench Legal Experience

  • Judicial Clerkship, Judge Guido Calabresi, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Judicial Clerkship, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, United States Supreme Court
  • Associate and Partner, Altshuler Berzon LLP
  • Staff Attorney and Senior Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California


Judicial Experience

Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in November 2018. Currently assigned to the Richmond branch doing misdemeanor jury trials, felony preliminary hearings, criminal law and motion, domestic violence and civil harassment restraining orders and small claims.


Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

  • Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative, Northern District of California (2013 to 2016)
  • Chinese for Affirmative Action, Board member (2011 to 2014)
  • East Bay Community Law Center, Board member (2011 to 2013)
  • Legal Aid at Work, Workers’ Rights Clinic, Volunteer Supervising Attorney (2002 to 2014)
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, Board Member (2005 to 2010)
  • American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, Lawyers’ Coordinating Committee, Board member (2009 to 2010)
  • American Bar Association, Section on Labor and Employment Law, Union representative to National Programs Committee (2008 to 2009)
  • Berkeley Law Foundation, Board member (2002 to 2007) and Chair (2004 to 2007)


Courtroom Policies

Please be prepared and respect decorum.


Typical Weekly Schedule

8:30 am to 4:30 pm.



Mondays and Fridays. Master calendar assigns motions to open departments in the Richmond courthouse.



Parties should not file boilerplate briefs reciting legal standards but lacking any analysis of the facts of the particular case. Such briefs violate local rules and do not assist the Court in reaching a decision.



Parties should meet and confer before filing discovery motions or motions in limine. The Court encourages early and complete disclosures by all parties. Boilerplate discovery or in limine motions requesting the other party to comply with disclosure obligations violate local rules and are strongly disfavored.


In Limine Motions

Boilerplate in limine motions violate local rules and are strongly disfavored. Parties should meet and confer to identify the issues actually in dispute.


Jury Instructions

Counsel are to propose jury instructions at the time they file their in limine motions.



Please pre-mark exhibits and show to opposing counsel before showing to a witness, moving to admit, or seeking to publish.



Professional behavior is expected.


Court Reporters & Translators

Please speak slowly and directly into the microphone, and do not speak over another person.


Computers in the Courtroom

Permitted for case related work.



Please arrive early to set up any audio-visual and do not use court time to struggle with cables. Exhibits are to be published to the jury through the overhead projector, and not to be distributed through a single hard copy, which unnecessarily takes up court time. When displaying video footage, be prepared with precise time markers and do not use court time scanning through irrelevant footage.



Be prepared, professional, precise, and pithy. Know the facts and the law.