Honorable Virginia M. George — Department 30

Biographical Information

  • Education: University of California, Davis;  BA in Political Science/Public Service, Minor in English; University of San Francisco; JD
  • Political affiliation:  Democrat

Pre-Bench Legal Experience

  • 1986-1999, Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, Deputy District Attorney
  • 1999-2005, Solo Practitioner, Walnut Creek, CA
  • 2000-2005, Adjunct Law Professor, JFK University School of Law
  • 2005-2010, Associate Professor of Law, JFK University School of Law and Executive Director, Elder Law Clinic
  • 2010-2011, Probate Judge, Pro Tem, Contra Costa County
  • 2011-2018, Partner in Law Firm, General Probate, Trust, Estate Planning; Mediation Practice, Walnut Creek, CA

Judicial Experience

Appointed by Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown in December 2017

Previous Pro tem Experience as:

  • Juvenile Commissioner, Contra Costa County (2001)
  • Probate Commissioner, Contra Costa County (Various dates 2003-2006)
  • Probate Judge, Contra Costa County (2010-2011)

Current Civic & Professional Activities

  • Member, California Judges Association
  • Member, Board of Trustees of the Contra Costa County Law Library

Typical weekly schedule

Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings:  Conservatorships and Guardianships

Tuesday and Thursday mornings: Probate, Trust and Estate matters

Mornings:  Name change petitions

Afternoons: Jury or bench trials

Courtroom Policies

Rulings are generally made from the bench, unless supplemental briefing is needed.  Additionally, the court provides trial guidelines to counsel. The court also expects counsel to follow all local rules, California Rules of Court and be practically familiar with the Evidence Code.


Teleconferencing is allowed on a case-by-case basis.


Generally, motions must be in writing and comply with page limits as set forth in the local Rules of Court.  They must be timely served and filed.


Attorneys are expected to follow the Rules of Court and to make every effort to settle the dispute without court intervention.  Discovery disputes are expected to be addressed as early as possible so as not to delay trial proceedings.

Settlement Conferences

Attorneys should be prepared to discuss case resolutions, including having a clear knowledge and understanding of the facts of the case and the applicable law.


ADR is another useful tool for the court and counsel.  The court encourages the use of mediation and arbitration whenever appropriate.

In Limine Motions

The court requests that in limine motions be prepared in advance of trial and that they clearly identify the portions of testimony and/or evidence to which counsel is requesting the court consider.

Voir Dire

Judge George conducts a general voir dire with prospective jurors. She allows and believes that attorneys should be permitted to interact with prospective jurors. Depending upon the nature of the case, the court may impose time limitations.

Jury Instructions

Please have a packet of instructions prepared that include all applicable and mandatory jury instructions. Any special instructions must be written.


Attorneys should submit a list of witnesses to the court at the outset of trial.  Witnesses should be informed of the court’s rulings on the motions in limine as they apply.


To be exchanged 15 calendar days before the trial or long cause hearing and will not be considered or received into evidence until the court has ruled on evidentiary objections.


Counsel should endeavor to be civil and punctual for all proceedings.  To that end, attorneys should be professional and respectful to all parties, the court and court staff and to each other.

Court Reporters & Translators

Interpreters are provided in conservatorships, guardianships, name change petitions and probate/trust matters upon request at case filing or to the court.  Except for adoption and LPS conservatorship trials, parties must arrange for their own court reporters.

Computers in the Courtroom

Computers are allowed in the courtroom.


Judge George welcomes the use of audio-visual in her courtroom. It is advisable to check in with the bailiff prior to trial to schedule access to the courtroom and test audio-visual presentations in advance

Cameras in the Courtroom

Evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Be professional and be prepared.