Neutral Profile



  • Based in San Diego, available in Orange County
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


Judge Christine Goldsmith retired from the San Diego Superior Court in October of 2014, after 27 years of distinguished service. Her most recent assignment included her role as the Assistant Presiding Judge of the Family Law Division where she excelled and garnered significant recognition from a wide variety of family law associations. Over the course of her career, she has handled thousands of family law matters including child custody and visitation, property characterization and division, discovery, and domestic violence. In addition to hearing long and short-cause litigated matters on the bench, she successfully settled many family law cases. She is best known for her knowledge of the law, hard work and good sense of humor. Her energy and tenacious dedication to problem solving are her trademark characteristics. She noted, "When it comes to helping people in family law cases it's gratifying to feel that I helped a family work through what is often an emotional roller coaster. I make my best effort first and foremost to listen, to be fair and practical and to be sensitive to what the parties are going through. I am excited in my new role as a private judge, mediator and arbitrator to be able to help parties find some closure on these cases so they can move forward with their lives."

Practice Areas

Hobbies & Interests

Judge Goldsmith and her husband, also a retired jurist and well-known attorney, enjoy hiking, kayaking and family gatherings.


"I wanted to thank [her] once again for what [she] did for my family and most importantly my children yesterday. The last twelve months have been the most painfully awful experience for all involved. I was highly skeptical that we would be able to come to a resolution given the highly adversarial posture and history involved. I am 100% certain that we would not have been able to come to an agreement without [her] help."
- Client on a Family Law Dispute

"Judge Goldsmith has great experience and is the best mediator in San Diego."
- Attorney on a Family Law case

"Judge Goldsmith is simply the best! "
- Attorney on a Family Law case

"Great experience. Very successful with a difficult situation."
- Attorney on a Family Law case

"Ret. Judge Goldsmith was effective in narrowing down and utilizing plain language with the parties. The parties were able to come to a full resolution."
- Attorney on a Family Law Dispute

"Administration was stellar and went beyond expectation."
- Attorney on a Family Law Matter

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Judge, San Diego Superior Court (1998-2014)
  • Judge, El Cajon Municipal Court (1987-1998)
  • Deputy District Attorney, San Diego County (1984-1987)
  • Solo Practitioner, Law Office of Christine K. Goldsmith (1979-1984)
  • Attorney, Law Office of John A. Mitchell (1978-1979)
  • Defenders, Inc. (1977-1978)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law (1976)
  • B.A., Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico, magna cum laude, International Relations (1973)
  • Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law (2014)
  • California Judges Association (1997-2015)
  • San Diego County Bar Association (1977-87); (2014-present)
  • San Diego Family Law Bar Association (2014-present)
  • Southern California Mediators Association (2014-present)
  • Academy of Professional Family Mediators (2014-present)

Achievements & Awards

  • Public Service Award, Foothills Bar Association (2015)
  • Lifetime Accomplishments and Dedication to Family Law, San Diego Family Law Bar Association and San Diego County Bar Association (2014)
  • Distinguished Jurist Award, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Southern California Chapter (2003 & 2012)
  • Lifetime Judicial Accomplishment for Dedication to Family Law, Certified Family Law Specialists of SD County (2008)
  • Frequent speaker and panelist at family law seminars over the last 10 years

Legal Experience

  • Family Law

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Family Law

Family Law Issues

  • Mediation of family law matter involving significant equalization payment based upon business valuation.
  • Mediation of dissolution having support and property division issues.
  • Multi-week case with mental health and substance abuse issues affecting both parents and children.
  • Mediation of dissolution with previously unresolved custody, visitation, and property issues.
  • Multi-day case involving significant sanctions.
  • Mediation of family law case dealing with structuring of spousal support payments.
  • Multiple family law mediations and trials involving high conflict litigants.
  • Family Law matter with spousal support and division of property issues.
  • Issues of property division, credits/reimbursements, alleged breaches of fiduciary duty are resolved.