Honorable Kirk Athanasiou— Department 14

Biographical Information

  • Education:
    B.A. in mathematics and economics from U.C. Davis.
    J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
  • Pre‐bench legal experience:
  • Deputy Public Defender in Contra Costa County
  • Political affiliation:



Judicial Experience

Judge Athanasiou was appointed by Governor Newsom in September, 2021.


Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

Consultant and member of board of directors for Waterside Workshops, a non-profit in Berkeley, CA.


Courtroom Policies

Judge Athanasiou generally rules from the bench but may request supplemental briefing or take the matter under submission to research new issues raised during oral argument.



Generally not permitted but will address for particular matters.



Opt for concision.



Follow applicable statues and case law.


In Limine Motions

In limine motions are heard before jury selection and should be in writing.  Attorneys should use their motions to address particular issues in their case rather than to submit boilerplate arguments.


Voir Dire

Currently, Department 14 employs the 6-pack method.


Jury Instructions

Department 14 uses Calcrim.



Punctuality is important, but there will invariably be occasions when litigants will be late for unexpected reasons.  Please inform the court – to the extent possible – when this occurs.  Also, Judge Athanasiou will treat everyone in the courtroom with respect and expects parties to do the same.


Computers in the Courtroom




Department 14 is currently in the Pittsburg courthouse, which has audio and visual equipment; but attorneys must bring their own laptops.


Cameras in the Courtroom

Not permitted.



Attorneys are encouraged to think carefully about the objections they make and the issues they raise.  Employing a thoughtful and selective approach to the legal battles an attorney chooses to wage – rather than simply objecting for its own sake – can bolster an attorney’s credibility.