Hon. Samuel Der-Yeghiayan See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
N.D.Ill.  
Average Rating:6.0 - 55 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. Samuel Der-Yeghiayan


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19161
Rating:8.0
Comments:
Just appeared today in front of the Judge for first time. Great presence on the bench. The negatives I have read here and heard seem unfounded.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 18194
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Those of us, real lawyers, who have practiced in Federal Court, find Judge Der-Yeghiayan to be the best judge in Chicago. Under the First Amendment, even losers have the right to express their ill-founded opinion, time and time again. Keep it up Judge Der-Yeghiayan. Obviously you are doing something right to generate the expected jealousy.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 18191
Rating:4.0
Comments:
A complete moron. Wholly unreasonable, even when parties agree to extensions. One court reporter told me that he is nothing less than bizarre during jury trials. Get out of that courtroom as fast as you can, and settle or consent to a magistrate before he destroys your case.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 18189
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Reading all of the comments below, it is apparent that either the judge's wife (or perhaps the judge himself) are participating in the discussion.

It's LOL that every negative comment is by a "disgruntled loser".

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 13891
Rating:2.8
Comments:
Unquestionably the worst in Chicago. He's dumb and unreasonable. Downright mean-spirited sometimes. Not a good place to be. Settle your case before he destroys it.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13284
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I have found Judge Der-Yeghiayan to be the most competent and knowledgeable judge who makes decisions based on the law. The preceding comments appears to be from an incompetent attorney who has filed an improper motion and received an unfavorable ruling.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13256
Rating:3.2
Comments:
In over 30 years of practice, I don't think I've ever come across a judge who made more precipitous and unfounded precipitous decisions than Judge Der-Yeghiayan. I know that I've never seen another judge issue more rulings on motions, without allowing the attorneys to argue, than him. In each setting I have encountered him, he has reversed himself on multiple occasions, and aside from his temperament, is fairly opposite of what I think most would like to see in a judge. To coin a phrase, he is often wrong, but never in doubt.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12739
Rating:3.7
Comments:
Here is the deal. He is very sincere and tries. The reputation that he received early on was earned and well-deserved, but he has gotten much, much better over time. He was in over his head with a lot of the civil litigation, at least initially, but after plentyb of trial and errror, hyas learned the job sufficiently to be competent in most civil cases. He is as pro government as Shadur is pro criminal. Both judges could use a refreshers course on the cardinal rule: first, be impartial.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 11894
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
The prior post is apparently posted by yet another loser.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11812
Rating:1.7
Comments:
If new judges tend to "channel" retired and/or deceased judges, this guy is channeling Julius Hoffman ala the Chicago Seven Trial or Brian Barnett Duff. The only difference is that Hoffman and Duff had more talent than this guy.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 11516
Rating:5.8
Comments:
I think judge der-yeghiayan got a bad rap when he was appointed, but tries hard to do a good job. I've seen him be shockingly sensitive to criminal defendants. i think most lawyers fail to connect with him as a person because they have him tagged wrongly, and get themselves off in the wrong direction. I think he tries, and has experienced life in ways that those who pre-judge him have not.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 10155
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
An extremely talented and fair judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 10142
Rating:2.5
Comments:
The worst in the district...wholly unreasonable...a complete moron and biased in every way. Mean-spirited, incompetent and little trial experience. I am praying that he retires as soon as eligible.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9253
Rating:1.0
Comments:
the very worst I have seen in many years of federal court litigation, in terms of evenhandedness, temperament and scholarship

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9235
Rating:7.7
Comments:
Seems to be in the upper tier of the judges in the district. He's fair and friendly, which is more than I can say for many judges in the Northern District.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 8752
Rating:10.0
Comments:
The prior post is obviously written by a loser. The rest of us credible attorneys rave about Judge Der-Yeghiayan.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8751
Rating:3.5
Comments:
He tries, but he lacks the two things that an Article III must have: brains and judgment. He was a Bush patronage pick, having known John Ashcroft during his college or law school days. He spent his entire career as an immigration judge before being made an Article III. As for prior posts about seeming to have the "best track record on appeal" well, that's only true if meant that he gets reversed . . . alot . . . badly. His lack of knowledge and experience creates situations where he becomes easily flustered, frustrated, angry and then begins to lash out at parties. All we can hope is that he will retire immediately upon becoming eligible.

I also hear that his law clerks are required to periodically post nice, albeit, untrue things about him on this site. Ok, I don't know that for a fact, but it would certainly explain some of the more over the top posts that all but kiss the guy's feet.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 8664
Rating:1.0
Comments:
among the least knowledgable and least fair

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8527
Rating:10.0
Comments:
As a litigator who practices in Federal Court almost on a daily basis, and having observed and appeared before every Judge in this district, I can state that Judge Der-Yeghiayan is one of the most efficient, knowledgeable, and fair Judges.

Court Staff

Comment #: 8515
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Careerist. You can set your clock by his punctuality...and watch it unbearably crawl during his stupidity.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5634
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Even though I may not agree with some of his opinions, this judge seems to have one of the best track records on appeal. So, when talking about scholarship I definitely have to give him a 10.

He manages his docket and moves cases along like no other judge in the district. If the case is complex, he will allow more time, and if a case does not require much discovery, he will not let the parties drag the litigation out. I know that sometimes as attorneys we get wrapped up trying to stretch a case out as much as we can, but his deadlines are always fair and allow the parties to do adequate discovery.

Finally, I have to say that he issues his rulings quicker than most judges in the district, during a time when many judges are noting how backed up they are. I definitely appreciate his expediency, as do most of my colleagues.

Overall, I would say that it is a pleasure to have Judge Der-Yeghiayan in this district. He's polite, courteous, punctual, and understands what it is like to practice law at the federal level. He has the qualities that most of us look for in a judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 5325
Rating:9.8
Comments:
Fair and always willing to take the parties' considerations into account.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4727
Rating:10.0
Comments:
This judge is always on time!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4507
Rating:9.2
Comments:
I have had a number of opportunities to appear before judges in the Northern District concerning civil matters, including Judge Der-Yeghiayan many times. I have a number of colleagues that find it a pleasure to appear before him and wish that more judges in the district were like him. In my opinion, I have always found him to be fair and evenhanded. I know that I must always have my "A" game since he holds attorneys to the highest standard and expects the best from those of us that appear before him - timeliness, knowledge of rules and procedures, civility, and demeanor.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4502
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Admittedly, I have only one experience with Judge Der-Yeghiayan. And that was him remanding my removed case when I agreed with opposing counsel to a one-week extension on our responsive pleadings without filing a stip. He had not even had the first 16(b) hearing, and he remanded with no briefing or appearance whatsoever. Yes, I was the victim of his order, but even looking at it objectively I don't see how Judge Der-Yeghiayan's order is faithful to FRCP 1 - to construe the rules for a just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every case. Plus, I know a law clerk there who says Der-Yeghiayan is the least respected judge in the district.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4178
Rating:7.7
Comments:
He seems to be becoming more experienced and generally writing better and more reasoned opinions. He is usually pretty reasonable and engaging in court. For instance, he will not always grant agreed extensions, but if there are good reasons (like a family vacation) then he almost always will grant the extension. Judge Der-Yeghiayan is pretty efficient, as people have said before me. One really does get the impression that he takes pride in being a federal judge and that he enjoys it, which can hardly be said for other judges in the Northern District. I think that if he continues to improve and gain the experience that is needed on the civil litigation side that he could become a judge that we all enjoy appearing before.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4151
Rating:3.5
Comments:
Very disappointing judge. Seems to have no grasp of reality or the law.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4142
Rating:2.5
Comments:
He is 100% clueless about everything other than being on time. I'll give him that. (and for those of you saying this is all coming from one person, this is my first post for Judge Der-Yeghisyan.)

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3957
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Der-Yeghiayan's ruling on summary judgment motion went up to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and was affirmed. The plaintiff in the action was granted Certiorari. The Supreme Court affirmed the Seventh Circuit and Judge Der-Yeghiayan's decision. Judge Der-Yeghiayan's decision in Wallace v. Kato will certainly reduces the number of frivolous lawsuits being filed. Nice to have a Judge who will make a stand.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3866
Rating:3.3
Comments:
He is similar to other historic Northern District of Illinois judges: Julius J. Hoffman and Brian Barnett Duff. The only discernible difference is that those judges had better grasps of the law. He's so bad, you would think he worked for FEMA.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3671
Rating:2.3
Comments:
It is a shame that this person is a federal judge in this district. He is one of the lasting legacies of John Ashcroft's era. Ashcroft somehow got this guy confirmed along with Judge Filip and Judge St. Eve, two of the best judges this district has seen in a long time.

Of all the federal judges I have encountered in my career (nearly 20 years of commercial litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants), he is by far the worst judge.

He is a shockingly amazing combination of extremely poor judicial temperament, inability to grasp most routine (much less complex) legal issues, unfortunate political and religious biases and total disregard for litigants/counsel's time and resources.

The only thing he does well is that he shows up on time and moves his docket along.

Given how relatively young this guy is, I feel sorry for younger lawyers who will be forced to practice before this judge for years to come.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2902
Rating:1.7
Comments:
One of the worst judges to have ever been robed, did I say worst ever?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2717
Rating:4.3
Comments:
Not very bright, unreasonably inflexible on all matters, vitriolic and unqualified for the job. The worst judge in our district, without question.

Litigant

Comment #: 2644
Rating:4.0
Comments:
This judge's opions frighten me. Not becuase they are for or against any of my cases, but becuase they are so off base legally. He seems to be the worse of the Bush judicial advocates. He is mecurial and you never can predict his outcome. Predictibility is the way cases get settled and law is enforced.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2609
Rating:5.8
Comments:
Der-Yeghiayan displays a frightening lack of knowledge of class action and consumer law. My experience in my own cases and observing a shameful case in which he was taken to school by the 7th Circuit is that his rulings in this practice area are often irrational and biased in favor of entrenched industry interested and against consumers and consumer lawyers. He is extremely punctual, and usually very accomodating of reasonable extension requests. While he may get high marks from those that state he is a great intellectual property judge, he certainly is no intellectual. On the other hand, as a plaintiff's lawyer, I am glad with a judge like Der-Yeghiayan I can rely on his no-nonsense style to deal with bogus discovery objections and gamesmanship. He's no Shadur, but he doesn't tolerate game playing.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2525
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
We took #2236's suggestion and looked up Judge Der-Yeghiayan's evaluation on the Chicago Council of Lawyers site. Here's the link:
http://www.chicagocouncil.org/
The evaluation reports "poor marks" in "virtually all areas relevant to the Council's evaluation," but notes a minority view that is more positive, along with the general observation that "Lawyers do not report that Judge Der-Yeghiayan is biased in any way or susceptible to outside influences."
-- The Robing Room Moderator

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2514
Rating:9.7
Comments:
I agree with the previous posters that the negative ratings seem to come from one person with a grudge against Judge Der-Yeghiayan. I have spent time in Judge Der-Yeghiayan's courtroom, and he is nothing but punctual, evenhanded, and efficient. He issues his well-reasoned opinions in a timely fashion. In all, I would say he is a great judge.

Other

Comment #: 2337
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Comment 2120 states his/her concern that the judge's ratings are skewed by his pro-prosecution scores. You should note that only the criteria marked by * are counted in the judge's average -- a rule state below the comment box, but which should be (and soon will be) highlighted more clearly on the site.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2237
Rating:4.3
Comments:
The good news is he always comes to court on time. The bad news is that by the time you're done, you will wish he hadn't and question the Senate's wisdom in ever confirming this guy for a life time appointment to the federal bench. Let's just say FEMA is not the only victim of cronyism appointments in recent years. This is the guy who dismisses cases with prejudice and/or enters a default judgment, depening on whether it is the plaitiff or defendant who does not show up for a routine status. I don't know of any new Seventh Circuit law that would NOT call that an abuse of discretion. The guy's problem is that he has never been in private practice, and has spent his entire career working for the DOJ/INS as an Administrative Law Judge. If anyone has closely watched what the Seventh Circuit has been doing to those ALJ's lately, you would get a pretty good idea of this judge's ability.

Other

Comment #: 2236
Rating:4.0
Comments:
Nice guy, but really does not get it on many different levels. Anyone interested in a balanced review of this (or any other judge in the N.D. Illinois) should read the Chicago Council of Lawyer's Federal Court Judicial Evaluations for 2005.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2203
Rating:9.8
Comments:
Judge Der-Yeghiayan moves along cases and is not afraid to make decisions. He administers a fair and efficient docket, does not tolerate or condone incompetence and dilatory tactics by attorneys. A review of the record reflects that Judge Der-Yeghiayan's rulings are affirmed by the 7th Circuit in an overwhelming majority of times. It is extremely rare for the 7th Circuit to reverse its own precedent decisions, however, not only has the 7th Circuit affirmed Judge Der-Yeghiayan's rulings, but has also reversed its own longstanding precendent decisions in those cases. This is indeed a tribute to Judge Der-Yeghiayan and I have the highest respect for him.

Other

Comment #: 2201
Rating:9.0
Comments:
An expert analysis of the negative postings reflect that the writings are by a disgruntled individual possessing traits of dishonesty, obsession, and the degree of jealousy and indicate that the individual has shamelessly and ineffectively attempted to hide under different identities. Judge Der-Yeghiayan is superb. It is a pleasure to appear in Judge Der-Yeghiayan's efficient courtroom.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2179
Rating:5.3
Comments:
Without commenting on the objectivity of prior posts, the best way to determine Judge Der-Yeghiayan's fitness to serve on the federal bench is to review his rather awesome rate of reversal by the Seventh Circuit. Read them and judge for yourself.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2120
Rating:3.2
Comments:
His typical discount is zero if the unless the Govt. asks, and then he often gives less the the Govt. wants.
These rating are screwed up, because he gets four 10s for being pro-govt, which seems to equate to the "excellent" rating at the top. I would have a better chance at a just outcome if the prosecutor decided it. Der-Yeghian is a nightmare.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2087
Rating:9.7
Comments:
Der-Yeghiayan is developing into an outstanding judge who has been unfairly been receiving pot shots from someone who has a grudge against him. He has a keen legal mind, operates an efficient and effective courtroom, and was fair and courteous to the litigants. He is one of the best in Chicago.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2047
Rating:3.7
Comments:
He is often direspectful to attorneys and very inflexible. Even when the attorneys appear with agreed motions or orders, he must make changes just to be difficult. His status calls are laughable.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2020
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Der-Yeghiayan's grasp of Intellectual Property Law outshines most other Judges. This is a skill I'm sure he learned at Franklin Pierce Law Center. During a complex intellectual property case, Judge Der-Yeghiayan's rulings were both fair and impartial. The Judge's grasp of the law and knowledge of court procedures makes him a valuable addition to the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1934
Rating:3.6
Comments:
Demonstrates lack of knowledge of protocol and procedure, as well as an incredibly poor concept of intellectual property law. Appears to have a horrible time with even basic motion practice.