Hon. Sam Sparks See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
W.D.Tex.  
Average Rating:6.2 - 20 rating(s)
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Ratings

*Temperament:   (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
*Scholarship:   (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
*Industriousness:   (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
*Ability to Handle Complex Litigation:    (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
*Punctuality:    (1=Chronic`y Late,10=Always on Time)
*Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation:    (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
*Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation:   (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Flexibility In Scheduling   (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Pre-Trial:   (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Civil Settlement Discussions:   (1=Least Involved,10=Most Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Trial:    (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases, Sentencing:    (1=Most Lenient,10=Most Harsh)
Typical Discount Off Guidelines for Cooperators:    (1=10%,10=100%)
  Items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating
Comments



What others have said about Hon. Sam Sparks


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 23392
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I have been in front of Judge Sparks numerous times. He is smart and doesn't take BS. He can be a little grumpy with attorneys and litigants when there is NO jury. He is very professional when there is a jury. Even though he can be a little grumpy at times, he almost always gets to the proper legal conclusion including with complex issues/cases. Long story short, I would gladly try a case in his court any day.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 20965
Rating:3.8
Comments:
Decide the case first, make comments, and then look at the evidence -- that is Judge Sparks's modus operandi.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 18501
Rating:8.5
Comments:
He's pretty smart (although he's too desireous of trying to show it), runs a tight ship and is very concerned about not wasting a jury's time. He does not seem to have a bias one way or another towards plaintiffs or defendants in civil matters. I have tried two cases in his court and won them both, so if anything, I should biased in his favor...but here's the thing: he does not have a suitable temperament to be on the bench. While I have been lucky enough to have never angered him, it doesn't appear to take much to do so, and when you get on his bad side, he treats you very poorly. He becomes abusive and sarcastic. He treated my opposing cousel as badly as I have ever seen a judge treat an attorney. I actually ended up feeling sorry for my opposing counsel. I believe one can be an effective judge without being a jerk. I think Judge Sparks has forgotten what it's like to be a practicing lawyer.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12232
Rating:1.3
Comments:
This was my second experience with Judge Sparks - I used to think he was either an idiot or just lazy. Now I am convinced he is both.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9609
Rating:4.5
Comments:
Not nearly as smart as he thinks he is.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9470
Rating:9.1
Comments:
Incredibly smart, quick, and well prepared judge. Judge Sparks is very hardworking and expects the same of attorneys who appear in his courtroom. He is incredibly fair, knows the law, and is not politically motivated.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 9210
Rating:5.3
Comments:
He is rude and can make biased rulings against a party that he decides to hate. He is very bright but doesn't have the temperment or patience to be a fair jurist. If you aren't prepared, be prepared to be treated even worse.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 9090
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Best damn judge in the Western District--holds lawyers to a high standard, which many do no appreciate. Works harder than anyone, 7 days a week.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 6567
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
No-nonsense and intense, and overall fair.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5169
Rating:2.7
Comments:
Arrogant and bitter, and frankly not that smart. Worst judge in the Western District of Texas. I'm counting the days until he retires.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4712
Rating:5.5
Comments:
Very sarcastic toward attorneys. Arrogant. Extremely temperamental. Very bad reputation with attorneys. Not well liked at all. Decides cases on motions, allowing few jury trials. Not always honest in how he portrays facts in his opinions.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2499
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
The previous rating (#2495), giving Judge Sparks universally high marks, adds little to this website. We'd like to see more detailed analysis and anecdotal information.
Therobingroom.com

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2191
Rating:1.8
Comments:
He is vicious and mercurial. He's reasonably bright, and not afraid to stand up to powerful litigants, e.g., Dick Thornburgh and Tom DeLay, both of whom he suggested were liars. Yet he's also willing to bully small time litigants and lawyers who just rub him the wrong way. In short, the quality of justice in his courtroom is random.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2036
Rating:9.3
Comments:
Judge Sparks is smart, fair and moves cases quickly.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 1986
Rating:3.3
Comments:
He is a loon. He decides who he believes should win near the beginning of cases, and then ignores any subsequent evidence to the contrary. He is evenhanded only in his casual abuse of all lawyers in his courtroom.

He does work hard and usually turns around motions quickly, but often at the expense, apparently, of reading them quickly.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1476
Rating:8.2
Comments:
Runs a very tight ship. I've seen him offer criticism, constructive and otherwise, to defense counsel, defendants, prosecutors and even jury panelists.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1465
Rating:7.2
Comments:
I was before Judge Sparks in capital habeas litigation. I have also appeared before him in a complex criminal case. He certainly runs his courtroom and his cases. But he was one of the better judges in Texas that I have appeared before.