The Honorable Timothy M. Frawley

Sacramento County Superior Court

Court Info

Sacramento County Superior Court, Department - (website)

Courtroom Rules

Biography

Hon. Timothy M. Frawley is a judge for the Superior Court of Sacramento County in California, appointed in 2002.

Prior to his appointment, Frawley worked at the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office for 25 years, holding several positions, including Chief Deputy District Attorney, Assistant District Attorney, and Principal Attorney in the Major Crimes Section.

He is described as "involved", as a more positive version of "intense". In an interview with The Recorder (see link to full article below) he is described as "...the lead inquisitor during voir dire, and he expects lawyers to “get a pretty fair idea” of prospective jurors’ views and biases from his questioning. During trial, he’ll ask his own questions of witnesses if he thinks a point of testimony is unclear. And he’ll encourage jurors to ask their own questions, a practice that he engaged in even before the Judicial Council endorsed it in a new Rule of Court last year..."

He is quoted as pointing out that "For me it’s entirely about making it comprehensible to the jury, making sure the jury gets the best information possible to enable them to make a just decision." In addition, per the same interview with The Recorder, Frawley also prefers lawyers who stick with plain English and avoid “legalese” in his courtroom, quoted "I appreciate lawyers who get to the point and don’t dance around it".

Also of note is his practice of allowing jurors to submit questions in writing, which he paraphrases and presents to the attorneys.

As a prosecutor, Judge Frawley secured a death penalty verdict against Alex Dale Thomas, a high school janitor who raped and murdered a student in a shop classroom

Judge Frawley is a former triathlon competitor.

Education

  • J.D. from McGeorge School of Law (1976)
  • Bachelor's Degree from Dartmouth College

Career

  • Judge at Superior Court of Sacramento County in Sacramento, CA (from 2002)
  • Prosecutor at Sacramento County district attorney’s office (1977 to 2002)