Judicial Profile: Department 19
Honorable Cheryl R. Mills

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Biographical Information
Date of Birth:
August 5, 1953
Place of Birth:
Minneapolis, MN
Education:
Undergrad: University of Minnesota, BS in Medical Technology from the U of M School of Medicine, 1975,
Grad: MBA program at the University of Montana
Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, JD 1982
Pre-bench Legal Experience:
Private practice with a focus on Medical Malpractice defense; Insurance Coverage on behalf of policyholders; Toxic Tort litigation; Superfund litigation and general business litigation
Judicial Experience
Judge Mills was elected to the bench in November 2002. She is currently assigned to the Pittsburg branch handling primarily the criminal calendar.
Current Civic & Professional Activities
On the Training Committee; Operations Committee; Technology Committee and Court Reporters Committee.
Continuing Legal Education Faculty
CEB lecturer.
Courtroom Policies
Judge Mills places a great emphasis on attorneys knowing and preparing for evidentiary issues likely to be encountered during trial. She expects all attorneys to know and follow proper procedures. Judge Mills spends significant time and effort researching and preparing her rulings.
Teleconferencing
Not available.
Motions
Motions should be prepared following all applicable rules of court and California Codes.
Briefs
Judge Mills does not like “boilerplate” briefs.
Discovery
Standard discovery is not applicable in criminal matters handled by Judge Mills.
In Limine Motions
In Limine Motions are heard the day of trial.
Voir Dire
Judge Mills allows counsel to orally voir dire the jury but cautions against trying the case during voir dire questioning.
Jury Instructions
Judge Mills wants all jury instructions submitted in the format ready to be read to the jury with all information filled in or deleted as appropriate.
Witnesses
Witnesses must be ready to proceed to avoid any delays in the trial.
Sanctions
Judge Mills does not typically sanctions except for serious or repeated violations.
Documents
Counsel is to anticipate and be prepared for all evidentiary issues for exhibits and is expected to lay the proper foundation.
Decorum
Judge Mills expects all counsel to be civil and respectful to opposing counsel as well as to her staff.
Court Reporters & Translators
Both are available for criminal proceedings.
Computers in the Courtroom
No specific rules.
Audio-visual
Not available in the courtroom.
Cameras in the Courtroom
Determined on a case-by-case basis.
Advice
Choose your objections carefully and use them to benefit your case. Not everything objectionable needs to be objected to and to do so distracts from your presentation to the jury and court.

Updated 3/22/2013

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