District Judge James Donato

San Francisco Courthouse, Courtroom 11, 19th Floor
450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102

Effective July 12, 2021, Civil Law & Motion and Case Management Conferences will be held every Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and Civil Pretrial Conferences will be held every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Unless they are notified otherwise through ECF, parties should assume all proceedings will be held in person in Courtroom 11, San Francisco, 19th Floor.

Public Hearings

Please click the link below to join webinars (public hearings). If you are a case participant, you will join as an attendee, then you will be brought into the proceeding by court staff. 

Webinar ID: 161 717 1523
Password: 213597

Join a Webinar by Phone or Other Connection

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you are a case participant (attorney, party, witness, or other person who will actively participate in the hearing), it is strongly recommended that you join Zoom using the Zoom application rather than by a telephone connection.  If you must appear by telephone, the numbers posted for each judge are for the public and are listen-only, so you will need to contact the Courtroom Deputy (CRD) at least one business day before the hearing to request a Zoom invitation (which will be sent via email) in order to join the hearing as a case participant.

Local telephone dial-in:
US: +1 (669) 254-5252  or +1 (646) 828-7666

International numbers available:

H.323/SIP room system (Polycom/Tandberg/Cisco/etc.):
H.323: (US West) or (US East)

Non-Public Hearings [Settlement Conferences]

The court will use Zoom Meetings (as opposed to Zoom Webinars) for settlement conferences and other non-public hearings.  To join a meeting, click on the link below.  You will initially enter a “waiting room” and will be admitted into the meeting by court staff.

Meeting ID: 160 108 2003
Passcode: 112998

Join a Meeting by Phone or Other Connection

Join by Phone:
(669) 254-5252 US (San Jose)
Find your local number:

Join by SIP

Join by H.323 (US West) (US East)


Please review this important guidance on participating in a Zoom Webinar or Meeting.

View Judge Donato’s Schedule of Upcoming Proceedings…
View Scheduling Notes…

Weekly Court Calendar Schedule
Criminal Law & MotionMondays10:30 a.m. 
Civil Law & MotionThursdays10:00 a.m.
Civil Pretrial ConferencesThursdays1:30 p.m.
Case Management ConferencesThursdays10:00 a.m.
Calendar Clerk & Courtroom DeputyLisa R. Clark
Civil Case Docketing, Docket Corrections & PDF Follow-upsSee Civil Docketing
Criminal Case Docketing
SF Cases terminal digits 0, 1, 4-6:Lori Murray415-522-2093
SF Cases terminal digits 2, 3, 7-9:Mark Jenkins415-522-2042
OAK Cases terminal digits 1-3:Clara Pierce510-637-3535
OAK Cases terminal digits 4-0:Jessie Mosley510-637-3536
Email for Criminal Docket
Multi-District Litigation
For all MDL inquiries:415-522-2006
Email for Proposed
Media Liaison
For all media inquiries:media@cand.uscourts.gov415-522-4051

Chambers Copy Requirements

The processing of unnecessary chambers copies wastes resources and burdens the court.  Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 5-1(d)(7), chambers copies should not be submitted unless required by the assigned judge’s standing order or specifically requested by the assigned judge.

Judges’ standing orders may include additional requirements and may differ from the local rules in other particulars.  If they are not in agreement, a judge’s standing order supersedes the local rules.

The pertinent parts of Judge Donato’s standing orders are set forth below:

Civil Standing Order

In addition to filing papers electronically, the parties are required to lodge for chambers one paper copy of the following: (a) complaints; (b) notices of removal; (c) case management conference statements; (d) stipulations; (e) all motion papers, including the opening, opposition, and reply briefs, as well as any supporting declarations and exhibits; and (f) discovery dispute letters that are filed pursuant to this Court’s Standing Order for Discovery in Civil Cases. Counsel should not submit chambers copies of any other documents that are electronically filed.

All chambers copies must be double-sided, three-hole punched at the left margin and marked with the ECF stamp (case number, document number, date and page number). These printed copies should be marked “Chambers Copy — Do Not File” and placed in an envelope clearly labeled with the judge’s name and case number. The copies must be delivered in accordance with Civil Local Rule 5-1(e)(7). For voluminous filings, chambers would appreciate the use of binder clips rather than staples, or submission in three-ring binders. For documents with multiple attachments (e.g., declarations with exhibits, requests for judicial notice and so on), please use side tabs that clearly separate each attached document.

Civil Jury Trials Standing Order

Two three-hole punched, double-sided chambers copies of the parties’ pretrial filings must be delivered to the Clerk’s office by noon the day after filing.

Criminal Standing Order

The parties are required to lodge for chambers one paper copy of each document that is filed electronically. All chambers copies must be three-hole punched at the left margin and marked with the ECF stamp (case number, document number, date and page number). These printed copies shall be marked “Chambers Copy — Do Not File” and placed in an envelope clearly labeled with the judge’s name and case number. All chambers copies must be submitted to this Court’s San Francisco chambers; please do not deliver chambers copies to the Oakland Courthouse.

Delivery Address

United States District Court
Office of the Clerk
450 Golden Gate Ave, 16th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

About District Judge James Donato

Born 1960 in Pasadena, CA

Federal Judicial Service:

  • Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • Nominated by Barack Obama on January 6, 2014, to a seat vacated by James Ware
  • Confirmed by the Senate on February 25, 2014, and received commission on February 26, 2014


  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1983
  • Harvard University, A.M., 1984
  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1988

Professional Career:

  • Law clerk, Hon. Procter R. Hug, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1988-1989
  • Private practice, San Francisco, California, 1990-1993, 1996-2014
  • Deputy city attorney, San Francisco, California, 1993-1996