Judge Diana Becton

Presiding Judge, Contra Costa County Superior Court

Judge Becton is a native Californian. She grew up in Oakland, and attended Oakland Public Schools, graduating from Castlemont High. She obtained her B.A. degree in economics from San Francisco State University in 1974, and went to law school at night while raising two young sons and working for the City of Richmond, supervising the Housing Finance Division. She graduated from Golden Gate University Law School in 1985. Prior to becoming a judge, she worked in private practice, specializing in Real Estate, business and landlord tenant law, first with a law firm in Point Richmond where she became a partner, and thereafter starting her own solo law practice in Richmond, California.

In 2008 Judge Becton was appointed by the Chief Justice to the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions, and in 2007 to the Judicial Council Access and Fairness Advisory Committee. She was re-appointed to this committee in 2010 and serves as Co-Chair of the Women of Color Subcommittee. She was also appointed to serve on the California Community Corrections Coordinating Committee in 2010. The Governing Committee of the California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) confirmed her appointment to the Judicial Branch Leadership Development Curriculum Committee for 2010 -2012, and she served on the New Judges Education Committee from 2007-2009. Judge Becton served as faculty for the Judicial College, and the California Judicial Studies Program. She also served as Chair of the Civil Education Committee for CJER. Judge Becton served on the Executive Board of the California Judges Association.

Judge Becton continues to participate in many community outreach activities. She serves on the Board of Directors for Castlemont High School Alumni Association, and annually organizes a Career Day for the students. She is Co-Chair of the court's Diversity Committee and co-chaired the efforts to develop a Judicial Mentoring Program for Contra Costa Superior Court. This program was established to provide attorneys contemplating a career on the bench with a structured method of obtaining guidance on how to reach the goal, and to increase diversity on the bench. Judge Becton is Co-chair of the Access and Fairness Women of Color sub-committee that has developed a Mentoring Pilot Program for court staff and managers. She mentors many students who are frequent visitors to her courtroom. In 2012 she accepted the invitation to join the Advisory Board supporting the law academy at De Anza High School in Richmond, CA.

Judge Becton has received the following honors: "Rose Bird Memorial Award" (2012) awarded to a person who is elevated for excellence as a jurist, longstanding public service and inspiration to women lawyers in California. "Judicial Excellence Award" (April 2011) California Association of Black Lawyers, Judicial Section; "Judge of the Year" (2007) Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association; "Award of Judicial Excellence", (2006) Charles Houston Bar Association; Honored in 2011 by Black Women Lawyers of Northern California. In 2007 she was inducted into the Castlemont High School Hall of Fame, receiving the highest honor, as a "Knight in Shining Armor"; "Dumlao Martial Arts Image Award" (2011) for leadership and character within the martial arts studio. Judge Becton is a member of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association. She is the Co-Chair of Membership, and in 2011 was elected to serve on the Judicial Council Board. Judge Becton is also Co-Chair of the Judicial Section of the California Association of Black Lawyers. She is a member of the California Judges Association, Charles Houston Bar Association, and National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ). In 2011 she was elected as the District 14 Director for NAWJ covering California and Nevada.

For more information: www.cc-courts.org

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