Hon. Denis R. Hurley See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
Average Rating:7.7 - 11 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

What others have said about Hon. Denis R. Hurley


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21757
Judge Hurley is currently under investigation in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Second Circuit Judicial Council, by Senator Leahy's Office and by the Senate Judicial Committee.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 12407
Denis Hurley is a great judge. He's smart, knowledgeable and fair. He's also polite to attorneys and to defendants. Ignore # 9771's comment that Judge Hurley was "wild and out of control" for supposedly considering a 30-year sentence for a crime that called for only 9 years. Judge Hurley actually sentenced the defendant to 10 years.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 9813
Rating:Not Rated
the Comments of # 9771 are entirely understandable but the fault is not rightly placed on Judge Hurley. I am intimately acquainted with the referenced case and its outcome (the defendant awaits sentencing). The Supreme Court and the Second Circuit have long permitted both uncharged and acquitted conduct to be used to calculate sentencing guidelines. The theory is that the defendant is sentenced for the conduct of conviction but that a court may also consider in determining the guidelines "relevant conduct" -- i.e. conduct that was part of the same course of conduct as was the conduct of conviction -- proven by a preponderance of the evidence. A jury's acquittal means only that the charge was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt and so such conduct might still be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Just like the defense may ask the court to lower the sentence based on a defendant's good deeds, the prosecution may ask that sentences be increased based on bad deeds.
The problems occur because the "good conduct" is not used to actually lower the guidelines (other than in the case of a departure) but the bad "relevant conduct" often -- as is the case here -- dominates the guidelines calculation. It is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. The other problem is that relatively mundane federal charges carry exorbitant potential sentences of 20 years or more, so a defendant convicted of, say securities fraud and a related conspiracy could be facing 25 + 25 years. His guidelines for the securities fraud might be less than 10 years but the acquitted conduct (say, a murder) has a guideline of life. And so in a very real sense the defendant is in fact being sentenced for the murder even though the courts deny it.
In any event, even when acquitted or uncharged conduct is used to calculate the sentencing guidelines the court need not impose sentence in accordance with the guidelines but can rather impose a non-guidelines sentence that discounts the influence of the acquitted or uncharged conduct. Of course, on appeal the starting point for considering the reasonableness of the sentence would be the guidelines -- determined by reference to the acquitted/uncharged conduct -- and so the judge is making factual findings by a preponderance of the evidence that influence the maximum sentence the appellate court will find reasonable -- a violation of Apprendi et al. that has been recognized by Justices Scalia and Thomas.


Comment #: 9771
Judge Hurley recently concluded a case of a man that was charged with an assortment of crimes that are connected to cigarette smuggling. Two of the charges related to this case were: murder and armed robbery. The jury found the defendant innocent of the latter two charges.

Judge Hurley let it be known that when he sentences the defendant he will take into account the murder and armed robbery charges. He is expected to mete out a sentence far in excess of the 9 years of the crimes the defendant was convicted of. He is expected to sentence the defendant to 30yrs.

This is an outrageous abuse of judicial power. A judge gone wild and out of control.

all that we ask of our judges is to obey the law and ensure that any defendant, no matter how awful the defendant is, a judge has no right to replace the ruling of the jury with what is essentially a conviction for a crime the jury acquitted of.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5817
Rating:Not Rated
I represent a plaintiff in a civil action which has been pending for almost
4 years. Judge Hurley has issued several summary judgment decisions. However, due to the fact that he has consistently waived any pre-motion conferences, and because I have never appeared before him in any other matter, I wouldn't know Judge Hurley if we shared box seats on top of
the Met dugout at Shea Stadium. Something is definitely wrong with this fact.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 5025
I am participating in an ongoing criminal case before Judge Hurley with substantial pretrial motion practice and have won some and lost some. He has been straight down the middle on everything. He has shown infinite patience and demonstrated thoughtfulness and scholarship in his opinions. He has been a pleasure before whom to appear.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 4157
Polite, patient and collegial. He is somewhat pro government and conservative. Not inclined to use Booker to its full advantage. Hurley is easy to work with and has a good chambers. It is a lawyer friendly place.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 3953
Except that the rating system seems to "approve" of giving high marks for being unreasonably pro-government, Judge Hurley is clearly a great legal analyst and, once a defendant proves himself or herself, can be very fair.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2738
Judge Hurley has a fine legal mind and is demanding of legal scholarship from the attorneys in front of him. Occassionally will take too long (in excess of six months)in rendering a decision on pending motions.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1198
fair and on time