Judicial Profile: Department 30
Honorable Diana Becton

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Biographical Information
Date of Birth:
August 16, 1951
Place of Birth:
Oakland, CA
Education:
B.A. in economics, San Francisco State University, 1974
Golden Gate University Law School, 1985
Pre-bench Legal Experience:
  • Attorney, Sole Practitioner (1994 – 1995)
  • Attorney/Partner (Private Practice) (1987 – 1994)
  • Housing Finance & Development Supervisor
  • City of Richmond (1979 –1987)
Judicial Experience
Judge Diana Becton is a Superior Court Judge in Contra Costa County. She was elected as Presiding Judge for the 2011-2012 term, and served as Assistant Presiding Judge 2009-2010. Judge Becton was appointed to the bench in 1995 and has served in many leadership roles, including Supervising Civil Fast Track, Supervising Felony Criminal Calendar, Supervising Richmond Branch court, and Presiding Judge of the former Richmond Municipal Court.
Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities
Contra Costa County Bar Association Board of Directors, Conference of Governors; State Bar Ethics Committee; Charles Houston Bar Association; Black Women Lawyers; City of Oakland Landmark Preservation Board ; West County Bar Association Vice President.
Current Civic & Professional Activities
  • California Women Lawyers, "Rose Bird Memorial Award" (2012)
  • KGO Channel 7 "African American Salute" honoree (2012)
  • Advisory Board member, De Anza High School Law Academy (2012- )
  • "Judicial Excellence Award" (April 2011) California Association of Black Lawyers, Judicial Section
  • Judicial Council Board, Judicial Council of the National Bar Association
  • Co-Chair of Judicial Section, California Association of Black Lawyers
  • CJER Judicial Branch Leadership Development Curriculum Cimmittee (2010-2012)
  • Board of Directors, Castlemont High School Alumni Association
  • “Judge of the Year” 2007 Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association
  • Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions (2008 – )
  • Judicial Council Access & Fairness Advisory Committee (2007 – )
    • Co-chair of the Women of Color Sub-committee
  • New Judge Education Committee (2007 – )
  • California Judges Association, Executive Board Member (1999 – 2002)
  • CJER Governing Committee Liaison (1999 – 2002)
  • CJER Civil Education Committee, Chair (2002); Vice Chair (2000 – 02)
  • Executive Committee, Contra Costa Superior Court
  • Strategic Planning Committee, Superior Court (Chair)
  • Technology Committee, Superior Court (Chair 2007)
  • Lick Wilmerding High School, Board of Trustees (2000 – 03)
  • State Bar Committee Professional Responsibility/Conduct (1992)
  • City of Oakland, Landmarks Preservation Board (Appointee 1991)
Continuing Legal Education Faculty
  • California Judicial College Seminar Leader (2008)
  • California Judicial College, Faculty (1999 – 2002)
  • Civil Law & Procedure Institute (Jan.2001, April 2002, and Jan. 2009)
  • Continuing Judicial Studies Program (1998; 2000; 2002)
  • “So You Want To Be a Judge, California Women Lawyers (1999 & 2001)
  • Faculty/Lecturer, UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO PARALEGAL STUDIES. Real Estate/Landlord Tenant (1993)
  • Panelist, CEB, Representing Residential Landlords/Tenants (1993)
  • Panelist, Gender Bias in the Legal Profession, JFK University (1991)
  • Speaker, Landlord/Tenant, Community Law School (1991/1993)
  • Speaker, Association of Housing Management Agents (1990)
  • Panelist, Winning the Drug War, Association of Housing/HUD (1991)
  • Participant, Alumni Career Day, Castlemont High School (ongoing)
Teleconferencing
Telephone appearances are available upon written request.
Motions
Judge Becton appreciates well-researched and written motions, with courtesy copies brought to chambers.
Briefs
Judge Becton likes briefs to be short and on point.
Settlement Conferences
The judge likes all parties to be present and prepared.
ADR
She strongly favors exploration of various methods to resolve cases.
Jury Instructions
The judge prefers for written instructions to be submitted.
Sanctions
Judge Becton finds that sanctions are seldom necessary.
Documents
The judge likes exhibits to be premarked, with a list provided to the clerk.
Computers in the Courtroom
Judge Becton accepts laptops in the courtroom.
Audio-visual
There is no special equipment on hand in her courtroom.
Cameras in the Courtroom
Advance approval is required.
Advice
The judge expects courtesy and civility.

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