Alameda County
Bar Association

News From the Court: Week of 3.27.23 
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Court News

Our weekly roundup of local court news. This post will be updated as new information comes across our desks.

Alameda County Superior Court

NEW FAMILY LAW PROTOCOLS Effective immediately:
All long-cause cases (cases needing more than 2 half-days for trial) will be sent to Department 504’s status conference calendar, not to Department 503.  Judge Bishay will conduct a Status Conference/Trial Ready Conference in each matter.

  1. D-504’s new status conference calendars will be Tuesdays at 10AM and 11AM and Fridays at 10AM and 11AM.
  2. If Judge Bishay determines that the case will benefit from a settlement conference, he will schedule it in his department.  If he determines that a trial is necessary and that the matter is ready for trial, he will set the matter on Judge Pulido’s Trial Setting Calendar.
  3. All DVRO cases, including DVRO long cause hearings, will be heard in the RFO home departments, notwithstanding the estimated duration of the DVRO hearing.

Alameda County – Static Zoom Links for Each Probate Department

We are pleased to announce that the Alameda County Superior Court has decided to establish static, dedicated Zoom links for each of its probate departments.  The new links are now in use. 

The links are not on the court’s website yet, but the court has started the process of posting them there. The court has also developed the attached instructions, which it will provide to all filers at the time of filing. The probate department’s website will also link to them. You are free to circulate the instructions to your colleagues as you see fit. Please spread the word.

It is not a given that this will be a permanent change. For now it is a pilot program. Regardless, no doubt this is welcome news to many if not most or all of you. 

Please join the members of the ACBA Trusts and Estates Executive Committee in sharing our sincere thanks with the court—particularly Chief Executive Finke; Judges Smiley, Bean, Sundeen, and Clay; and Civil Division Director Caryn Downing and her team. We appreciate the court not only for making this change, but also for its willingness to go out of its way to consider the issue in the first place.

San Francisco – Immigration Court Judge Position Presentation 4/4The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), an agency within the United States Department of Justice that adjudicates immigration cases and conducts immigration court proceedings, reached out to us about upcoming immigration judicial openings. 
ACIJ Jennifer Peyton will be holding an information sessions for us, explaining the role and duties of an immigration judge, and answering questions you may have about the position and hiring process. Please join the ACBA Immigration Executive Committee at their regular meeting on 4/4 meeting at 11:30AM – NOON to participate. Mark your calendar!
Topic: Immigration Ex Comm Meeting
Join Zoom Meeting:

Contra Costa County Superior Court

3.30.23: Effective May 1, 2023, the Family Law division of the Contra Costa Superior Court will return to in-person Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC) appointments and in-person Self-Help workshops and clinics.  Please see this announcement for more information.

3.30.23: Palvir Kaur Shoker, of Contra Costa County, has been appointed to serve as a Judge in the Contra Costa County Superior Court. Shoker has served as a Commissioner at the Contra Costa County Superior Court since 2021. She was Court Mediation Director for the Congress of Neutrals from 2018 to 2021. She was a Sole Practitioner from 2014 to 2019 and from 2008 to 2013. Shoker was Partner at Ladva, Shoker and Associates from 2002 to 2007. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Theresa J. Canepa. Shoker is a Democrat.

Second District Court of Appeal

3.30.23: Gonzalo Martinez, of Alameda County, has been nominated to serve as an Associate Justice of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Seven. Martinez has served as Deputy Judicial Appointments Secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom since 2019. He served as a Deputy Solicitor General in the California Attorney General’s Office from 2017 to 2019 and was a Partner in the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group at Squire Patton Boggs from 2007 to 2017 and in 2019. Martinez served as a Law Clerk at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in 2010 and at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California in 2007. Martinez was an Associate at Coblentz Patch Duffy and Bass from 2005 to 2007 and at Morrison & Foerster LLP from 2003 to 2005. Martinez earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Arts degree in English from Stanford University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Laurie D. Zelon. This position requires confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which consists of Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Senior Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert. He is a Democrat.