Honorable Patricia Scanlon — Department 3

Biographical Information

  • Education: Undergrad: Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts; Law School: Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley
  • Pre-bench Legal Experience: 23 years with the public defender’s office in Contra Costa County, California.
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat


Judicial Experience

Judge Scanlon took the Bench on October 3, 2005. She has served two years in Richmond, doing a general criminal assignment; two years in juvenile; and two years in family law. She was again doing a general criminal assignment in Richmond. Since January 2014, she has been doing felony trials.


Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

Her Honor was a member of the California Public Defenders Assoc., California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and Women Defenders.


Courtroom Policies

When appropriate, the judge rules from bench.



Follow local rules of court.


Settlement Conferences

Pre-trial motions are heard on Thursday and Friday mornings.


In Limine Motions

The Judge conducts evidentiary hearings on misdemeanor trials.


Voir Dire

The Judge conducts her voir dire, and then she allows each attorney 15 minutes.


Jury Instructions

The Judge instructs the jury, but will consider special requests.



Attorneys are to act professionally and to be on time.


Court Reporters & Translators

Interpreters and court reporters are provided for criminal and domestic violence restraining order cases.


Computers in the Courtroom

Not an issue.



The court has a VCR, but all other audio-visual requirements must be provided by the attorneys.


Cameras in the Courtroom

This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.



Be on time. Know the law. Dress appropriately. Have your client dress appropriately.