June 10, 2023
Nancy L. Fineman, Civil Judge
The Honorable Nicole S. Healy will be presiding over all cases assigned to the Honorable Nancy L. Fineman, except for Judge Fineman's complex cases, for the period May 1, 2023 through July 31, 2023.
There will be no ex parte matters heard on Friday, June 16th and Tuesday, June 20th.

Department Information

Nancy L. Fineman, Civil Judge
Department 4
Courtroom G
Central Court, 800 North Humboldt, San Mateo
(650) 261-5104


Effective January 1, 2023, the Court policy for court reporters for Pretrial Conferences and Trials in civil cases has changed. Please review the Court’s website for procedure.
Parties may secure their own official court reporter for any calendar where the Court does not provide an official court reporter.
More information about Court Reporting »
Judge Fineman's Civil Ex Parte Calendar will resume at the Central Courthouse on April 12, 2022.
Parties are to submit or bring any ex parte paperwork by 1:45 p.m. on the day the ex parte is to be heard.
On 12/9/2022, Judge Fineman will resume hearing Ex Parte applications on Fridays.
The emergency local rule temporarily suspending civil ex parte calendars has been vacated. Parties are required to comply with Local Rule 3.500, including that ex parte applicants and opponents must appear in person, subject to the exceptions set forth in CRC Rule 3.1207. Ex parte applications in Unlawful Detainer cases must be brought before the assigned civil judge, not the Presiding Judge. Each civil judge conducts ex partes in their assigned civil cases at 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. two days per week; please check the Court's website at www.sanmateocourt.org under the Civil Division for the ex parte days of the week for your assigned judge. The Presiding Judge and the Probate Judge will continue to have their own separate ex parte days and hours.


Judicial Profile
Judge Fineman's Resume
Judge Fineman's Suggestions for Litigating Cases before Her


To access all data, documents, and hearing date(s) for your case, please use the following Odyssey Portal: https://odyportal-ext.sanmateocourt.org/portal-external.


Department 4 strongly prefers to be contacted by email at Dept4@sanmateocourt.org. If your email requires a response and your inquiry is not answered by Department 4's automatic reply to your email, Department 4 will do its best to respond as quickly as possible. All emails to Department 4 should include the other parties.

If you send an email to Department 4, please include the following information in the "subject line" header: (1) case name; (2) case number; and (3) a brief description of the purpose of the email. For example: Smith v. Jones, CIV1234, Proposed Order. Otherwise, a response to your email will likely be delayed.

All filings, including orders, are to be done through the Civil Clerk's office in Redwood City. Courtesy copies, all motions, pretrial, and trial documents shall be delivered directly to Courtroom G in Central Court, 800 North Humboldt, San Mateo. Unless Judge Fineman gives permission to send courtesy copies by email, all courtesy copies for all documents are to be sent via messenger, mail or overnight delivery to Department 4.


Judge Fineman now hears her Complex Law & Motion on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. or another time set by the Court. To schedule a hearing, contact Department 4 rather than the Civil Clerk's office. The clerk's office will reject the motion in complex cases if a hearing date has not been obtained first from Department 4. Please be advised that Judge Fineman requires all briefing to be completed at least three (3) weeks before the hearing date. Judge Fineman generally issues tentative rulings in her complex cases..



Unless otherwise ordered, all IDCs for cases in Department 4, are conducted by the Civil Commissioner. To schedule an IDC, please check the Court's web site. Please do not contact Department 4 to schedule an IDC. Only the Civil Commissioner can schedule an IDC.



There will be no ex parte matters heard on Friday June 16th and Tuesday June 20th.

Judge Fineman hears Ex Parte Applications at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.



The Initial Case Management Conference is heard by the Civil Commissioner. See Local Rule 3.801.


Parties may secure their own official court reporter for any calendar where the Court does not provide an official court reporter.
More information about Court Reporting »

For non-complex cases, Judge Fineman holds her TSC/CMCs on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. Lead trial counsel must attend the Conference. This conference is not scheduled until the case has had an Initial Case Management Conference before the Commissioner and the parties have engaged in an ADR process.

Judge Fineman strongly prefers that the parties file a Joint Trial Setting/Case Management Conference Statement. The Statement should comply with Local Rule 3.1000 and also address as many of the issues in her Pretrial Conference Order (see link under Pretrial Order) as possible.

Following each TSC/CMC, Judge Fineman will order one of the parties to prepare a written order consistent with the Court's rulings at the Conference.



Judge Fineman intends to issue the following Order for Civil Trials in all of her unlimited civil cases when she set the trial date: Pretrial Order

If any party believes that the Order for Civil Trials should not be implemented or that the Order should be modified, the party should include a description of any changes to the Order being requested and a brief explanation for the change in the parties' Joint Trial Setting/Case Management Conference Statement. Please note that Judge Fineman will be more inclined to make change(s) if the parties agree.

Judge Fineman also notices that many motions in limine are brought that are either too general or should be a subject of a stipulation between the parties. She attaches some sample motion in limine rulings that should focus the parties in their motions in limine. For stipulations that are reached on unopposed motions, Judge Fineman requests that a written stipulation and proposed order be filed when the motions in limine are filed.



San Mateo County Superior Court no longer holds day of trial settlement conferences for civil cases. All MSCs for civil cases in Department 4 will be conducted by a civil direct calendar judge in Redwood City. Please see the 2021 schedule for the dates that are available for Redwood City MSCs.

For civil cases in which Judge Fineman is conducting the MSC, the MSC will be scheduled on a San Mateo date. The conference will be conducted via Zoom video unless otherwise ordered the Court.

If a case has resolved, the parties must notify Department 4 as soon as possible.

Mandatory Settlement Conferences - Schedule for 2021 (The Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) will be conducted by a Civil Judge who is not assigned as the single-assigned judge for this civil action.)



Judge Fineman typically schedules a pretrial conference at least two (2) weeks before the trial date in her unlimited civil cases. The conference is held Mondays at 2:00 p.m. If the parties do not believe that a pretrial conference is necessary, they must explain why in their Joint Trial Setting/Case Management Conference Statement.



Judge Fineman is assigned three (3) trial days per week, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. In 2021, voir dire will take place at the San Mateo Convention Center. Due to a number of factors, scheduled trials may not start on the assigned date. Judge Fineman will notify the parties as early as possible if it appears that the trial will be unable to begin on the scheduled day. All jury trials will be held in person. Non-jury trials may be conducted through Zoom. Due to social distancing requirements in Judge Fineman's courtroom, the number in the trial team may need to be reduced.

The Court no longer conducts jury selection at the San Mateo Convention Center. Jury selection for Judge Fineman's cases will either take place at the courthouse in either Redwood City or San Mateo.



The parties should obtain a hearing date for any post-trial motions by emailing Department 4 at Dept4@sanmateocourt.org.



When Judge Fineman orders a party to prepare a written order, that party should e-file the order. Sometimes, Judge Fineman will request a Word version in addition to the e-filed document. That Word version should be emailed to dept4@sanmateocourt.org and must include the other parties.

The party preparing the order must comply with California Rule of Court 3.1312. Judge Fineman will reject proposed orders that do not inform her of the opposing party's response to the proposed order. The party preparing the written order must make a good faith effort to meet and confer with the other parties about the order before submitting it to the Court.


Remote Appearance Information and Procedures

Except for Ex Partes, Pretrial Conferences, and trials, the parties may appear by Zoom. She requests that, if possible if a party appears by Zoom, that party appear by video rather than phone. All participants must use their full first and last name when signing on to Zoom. Participants should also mute themselves until their matter is called. Department 4 requests that counsel and parties sign on to Zoom ten (10) minutes before the hearing.

Any recording of a court proceeding held by video or audio conference, including "screen-shots" or other visual or audio copying of a hearing or conference IS PROHIBITED. Violation of these prohibitions may result in sanctions, including restricted entry to future hearings and conferences, denial of entry to future hearings and conferences, removal of Court-issued media credentials, or any other sanctions deemed appropriate by the Court

TO ASSIST THE COURT REPORTER, the parties are ORDERED to: (1) state their name each time they speak and only speak when directed by the Court; (2) not to interrupt the Court or anyone else; (3) speak slowly and clearly; (4) if appearing by telephone, use a dedicated land line if at all possible, rather than a cell phone; (5) if a cell phone is absolutely necessary, the parties must be stationary and not driving or moving; (6) no speaker phones under any circumstances; (7) provide the name and citation of any case cites; and (8) spell all names, even common names.

Zoom Hearing Credentials

Click on this link to join the Zoom meeting (no meeting ID or passcode required):

Dial in:
Phone number: +1 (669) 254-5252
Meeting ID: 161 964 0802
Password: 734616

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 a.m.     Trial
(Contact Dept)
(Contact Dept)
(Contact Dept)
9:30 a.m.   Case Management/Trial Setting Conferences & Complex Case Management
(Zoom Audio & Video)
1:30 p.m.   Ex-parte's     Ex-parte's
2:00 p.m. Pre-trial Conferences
(Contact Dept)
General & Complex Law & Motion
(Zoom Audio & Video)
(Contact Dept)
(Contact Dept)
(Contact Dept)
2:30 p.m.    
(Zoom Audio & Video)

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