Judicial Profile: Department 14
Honorable John H. Sugiyama

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Biographical Information
Date of Birth:
January 30, 1950
Place of Birth:
U.S. Military Hospital in Maizuru, Japan
Education:
Undergrad: UCB, B.A. in Political Science, 1972;
Law school: UCB, Boalt Hall, J.D., 1975
Pre-bench Legal Experience:
California Department of Justice
Political Affiliation:
Democrat
Judicial Experience
None prior to appointment.
Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities
Many and Varied.
Current Civic & Professional Activities
Many and Varied.
Continuing Legal Education Faculty
No assignments to date.
Important Published Decision(s)
He began working for the California Department of Justice in August 1975. The first appellate case that he handled was decided and published in October 1975 (reported in 51 Cal.App.3d). The first case that he argued in the California Supreme Court was in December 1976 (reported in 19 Cal.3d). During his career as an advocate, he handled numerous significant cases, close to a hundred of which were published in the official California and Federal Reports.
Courtroom Policies
He asks attorneys to be courteous and respectful towards each other.
Teleconferencing
The Court is supportive of teleconferencing. The Court is also aware, however, of the hardware limitations from courthouse to courthouse.
Motions
The Court follows the local rules and established motion practice.
Briefs
The Court perceives that they are definitely helpful.
Discovery
The Court follows the local rules and established discovery practice.
Settlement Conferences

Parties should come with appropriate settlement authority and be prepared to try to settle the matter in a reasonable way.

ADR
The Court agrees that ADR is an extremely useful tool.
In Limine Motions
The Court follows basic practice in responding to in limine motions.
Voir Dire
Criminal: The Court will conduct most of the voir dire. The Court puts 18 in the box and questions the group both individually and collectively. The Court then allows for attorney participation. The Court controls the amount of time each side has to ask questions.
Jury Instructions
Submit them the first day of trial. The Court reviews them with counsel before closing arguments.
Witnesses
The Court allows attorneys to try their cases, and expects the attorneys to courteous and respectful to each other and to the witnesses.
Sanctions
The Court has found it seldom necessary to sanction any party. The Court sends out classic orders for FTAs per fast track.
Documents
The court follows the local rules and established practice.
Decorum
Parties to be courteous and respectful. The Court will allow parties to argue and try their case the way they want to, within traditional limits. The Court is very accommodating to attorney styles and preferences. The Court’s philosophy is not to be rigid about any of this and let the attorneys try their cases.
Court Reporters & Translators
Standard practice.
Computers in the Courtroom
No objection.
Audio-visual
No objection.
Cameras in the Courtroom
The Court follows the local rules and established practice on a case by case basis.
Advice
The Court has none to give, but will accept all advice people may wish to give.

Updated 3/22/2013

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