Hon. Michael T. Mason See Rating Details
Magistrate Judge See Comments
N.D.Ill.  
Average Rating:4.0 - 8 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)
  Items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating
Comments



What others have said about Hon. Michael T. Mason


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19374
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I had a settlement conference before Judge Mason where my clients were forced to travel in from various locations pursuant to his standing order. After a brief introduction, we stood in the hallway for over an hour and did not once meet with him face-to-face to explain our position. The conference was abruptly cancelled without any explanation. A complete waste of time on all fronts.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12729
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Entirely incompetent in settlement conferences. Unless you need someone to shuttle numbers to and form the opposition, the guy will be entirely useless. He does provide entertainment when he starts yelling at parties after he gets flustered and frustrated when you decline to "give him a number" when he fails to discuss the merits of the respective arguments. The district court judges should be ashamed of putting this guy on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11519
Rating:1.6
Comments:
worse than horrible as a settlement mediator. appears to hate the job and the parties.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9424
Rating:5.5
Comments:
Takes the role of shuffling settlement offers back and forth in settlement conferences; doesn't really evaluate the merits of the parties' positions. This hurts settlement because litigants overvalue their cases and settlement takes way too long.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9382
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Agree with the comment #8776. And add that Mag. Mason is vindictive, as well, attempting to blame on litigants his own errors, and to take credit himself for their successes. He does not do his work, and does not ever seem to understand what is going on before him. Unlike an intelligent judge, who will let the litigants who DO know what is going on manage their litigation, Mag Mason always seems to feel the need to interject himself, even when it is apparent that he understands nothing of what is going on before him. THE WORST I've ever seen.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8776
Rating:4.0
Comments:
Magistrates have 3 functions: (1) settle cases; (2) referee discovery disputes; and (3) decide bail issues. Mason is capable of doing 1 of 3. That he is a former public defender tells you which of the 3 functions he can handle. Unless it's a routine discovery dispute, don't bother going to him. When he get's confused, he lets his law clerk make comments in open court (a la Lindberg). He is entirely useless at settlement conferences because he doesn't have even the most rudimentary understanding of many aspects of civil litigation. 20+ years as a criminal defense lawyer doesn't prepare you for a job that is 90% civil litigation.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2526
Rating:6.5
Comments:
Judge Mason is a nice enough person off the bench, but definitely suffers from a bad case of "robitis." Once he puts that robe on he becomes a different person and, unfortunately, that person is not particularly helpful in settling cases. Perhaps it's his years of being a federal public defender that have left him bereft of absolutely NO clue about civil litigation and settlements. Pushing "cost of defense" is just about the least effective tactic in the world, but Mason apparently believes it causes defendants to run for the hills and cave. He also has this silly format where lawyers have to give an "opening statement" at a settlement conference. All that really does is open the door for posturing, and does very little to reach settlement in cases. Tip: read the parties' respective settlement position papers, tell them what you think about the case (i.e., tell the defendant all of the plaintiff's strengths and vice versa) and then help them bridge that gap.

On a positive note, he appears to get discovery (at least the routine stuff) and is helpful in moving cases along. But given the fact that the magistrate judge's major function is to get cases settled, Judge Mason should take a course on mediation. He needs it badly.

Other

Comment #: 1406
Rating:8.0
Comments:
Former criminal defense attorney, but extremely bright and fair in all cases.