Hon. Robert Holmes Bell See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
Average Rating:5.9 - 7 rating(s)
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*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

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What others have said about Hon. Robert Holmes Bell


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24448
Judge Bell misstates or ignores facts as needed to fit the case law he cites in his opinions, which on at least two occasions had the effect of protecting neighbors and colleagues from liability.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21540
This knowledgable judge is very difficult to work with if any delay occurs. In addition, you will be dealing with a decorum fanatic, particularly with regard to his being referred to as "Your Honor" and not "Judge." That should give you a picture of his type of the "on the bench for life and I know it" attitude. He is, however, bright and organized.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21254
This judge stays quite close to the applicable law, and is fairly scholarly in his opinions. He recognizes and treats important evidence correctly. He can be a bit gruff sometimes if he dislikes the way a particular side is presenting a case or addressing an issue, but overall, he is very close to exactly what a judge should be.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21227
Judge Bell is a very good judge; he understands the law, and is not afraid to make tough decisions. He might be considered a bit conservative, but I think that he reflects Western Michigan's standards. I have tried cases before him, and I believe that he is also a terrific trial judge.


Comment #: 9328
100% emotions, recently barred my complaint because it was against his college buddy. I filed a Judge Tenure regarding my civil rights beforehand, so I felt it was excessive to put a boot leg an on my complaint.

"...dismissed with prejudice"


Comment #: 6704
6th Circuit reversed Judge Bell's sentencing of a child molester. The case is US vs Christopher Brattain 07-1594. He failed to apply a five-level enhancement pursuant to U.S.S.G. §4B1.5(b), stating that the enhancement applied only to offenders who had abused multiple victims, and Brattain had abused a single victim over a period of seven years. The government argued that the district court’s failure to apply the enhancement was in error because Brattain qualified as a repeat offender, and Congress explicitly revised the enhancement to apply to repeat offenders who abuse only a single victim.