Thursday, August 17, 2006

Website Rates Federal Judges

The Robing Room gives lawyers, litigants, and others an opportunity to rate federal district judges and magistrates -- and to view others' ratings. The website is run by North Law Publisher, Inc. (New York).

So far, the sample sizes are far too small to mean much. For instance, in the Western District of Washington, only one judge has been rated at all, and that one has only been rated by one person.

That judge, Ronald B. Leighton did very well: straight 10s for Temperament, Scholarship, Industriousness, Ability to Handle Complex Litigation, Punctuality, Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation, and Flexibility In Scheduling. The one rater, who identified himself or herself as "civil litigation - private," did not rate the judge on the other criteria: Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation; General Inclination Regarding Bail; General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Pre-Trial; Involvement in Civil Settlement Discussions; General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Trial; General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Sentencing; Typical Discount Off Guidelines for Cooperators.

Some other jurisdictions have had a little more ratings action. But even in the Southern District of New York, some judges have yet to be rated and no one has been rated by more than a handful of people. One judge whose ratings are posted (Judge Constance Baker Motley) died almost a year ago.

So, right now, the site is not a rich source of information. But I think it's worth watching to see if it fills out.

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Richard Levitt said...

Thanks for your comment on our newly developed site, (which rates federal judges and provides a "top 10" and "bottom 10" list on our home page). More than 700 reviews and comments have been posted during our first three months, and we will soon begin an aggressive campaign to increase the size of the database. And thanks for pointing out our erroneous inclusion of the late Judge Constance Baker Motley on our list of judges in the Southern District of New York!

Palmtrees said... now has over 1100 -- mostly salient and insightful -- comments and ratings on federal district court judges and magistrates. Some of the comments are frightening to read (but mostly accurate) (see, e.g., reviews of Coleen McMahon, Thomas C. Platt, K. Michael Moore).

Gavel Bangers said...

Readers might also find Gavel Bangers useful for rating, reviewing, and commenting on federal judges.