RSSAuthor Archive for CC Lawyer

The Lucky One

The Lucky One?

Two years ago when I learned I would be Presiding Judge (PJ), everyone expected I would be the “lucky one” who would waltz in after the recession and experience a fully-funded court.

Civil Division Update

Civil Division Update

We are grateful to the Bar for establishing the Discovery Facilitator Program a few years ago to fill the gap when budget cuts caused us to lose Commissioner Judith Sanders.

fundamental changes in criminal courts

Criminal Courts

The Criminal Courts of Contra Costa County are alive and well. Over the last five years, we have absorbed fundamental changes resulting from the realignment legislation (AB 109), Proposition 47, and the closing of our Walnut Creek Courthouse to criminal cases.

family law perspective

Family Law Perspective

As the court has slowly begun to emerge from the darkest days of the budget crisis, we were able to re-open a family law courtroom at the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center in Pittsburg.

Perspective from the Juvenile Bench

The Juvenile Bench in Contra Costa County

The court can appoint a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to work directly with the child to help him or her deal with the trauma and stress.

Pittsburg Court 2016

Pittsburg Court 2016

As the change of season from summer to fall begins, so too will things change at the Richard E. Arnason Justice Center next year. We are losing a judge in our Criminal Division and gaining a judge in our Family Law Division. With our Pittsburg criminal filings substantially increasing, this will be another challenge to […]

What Happens Next? Probate Division 2016

What Happens Next? Probate Division 2016

What happens next? Hypothetical #1: An elderly woman wants to amend her trust. She has three adult children. The current trust specifies that the residue of her trust is to pass in equal shares to the three children. The proposed trust amendment leaves 97% of the residue, which at that moment would amount to about […]

Richmond Court 2016

Richmond Court 2016

The Richmond courthouse continues to be busy. Since January, approximately 42 misdemeanor and two felony trials have taken place. There have been multiple trials that have been assigned out, yet did not conclude due to subsequent resolution both prior to and after a jury being sworn.

Traffic Division 2016

Traffic Division 2016

In 2016 we said goodbye to Commissioner Peter Fagan and hello to Commissioner Terrye Davis. Commissioner Fagan accepted a new position as a commissioner with the San Diego Superior Court. I’m sure all of us who have had the opportunity to get to know him over the last year will see this as a loss […]

Amnesty Program – One Year Later

Amnesty Program – One Year Later

On June 24, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a one-time Amnesty Program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infractions. The program began on October 1, 2015 and ends on March 21, 2017. This is the second traffic amnesty program our state has implemented in the past four years. This time the program offers more […]

Focus on Accessibility:  Expanding the Court’s Interpreter Program

Focus on Accessibility: Expanding the Court’s Interpreter Program

The Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts will provide interpreters in all Court services within the next five years.

Getting to Know Hon. David E. Goldstein

Getting to Know Hon. David E. Goldstein

Hon. David E. Goldstein was appointed to the bench in November 2015 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Judge Goldstein is currently located at the George D. Carroll Courthouse in Richmond, California.

Temporary Judges: An Invaluable Service to the Court and Public

For the Contra Costa Superior Court, the attorneys who volunteer their time to serve as temporary judges help to cover calendars when our bench officers are unavailable.

Helping Families Heal

Helping Families Heal

Families come to the Peter L. Spinetta Law Center when their lives are painful and in chaos. Our job is to be an effective member of the team that helps them navigate their crisis and move on with their lives. I’m proud to say that in spite of ongoing budget cuts in the past few years, our Court has improved this process.

Justice & Judges: The History of the Courts in Contra Costa County

Justice & Judges: The History of the Courts in Contra Costa County

The legal system in Contra Costa County has undergone many changes over the years. California’s original constitution, enacted in 1850, created a fairly complex system consisting of several courts. At the top (as far as the county was concerned) was the District Court. The district included Contra Costa County and several other counties, originally as far south as Santa Cruz and Monterey.