Hon. Harold Baer, Jr. See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
S.D.N.Y.  
Average Rating:3.8 - 43 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. Harold Baer, Jr.


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 22057
Rating:2.3
Comments:
He died? Reminds me of a sickening event when he deferred to a young attractive attorney's objection to opposing counsel's request to adjourn a trial to make life & death decisions for his father who was just felled by a stroke. Judge Baer's lack of compassion in front of litigants and jurors alike was shocking. Even objecting attorney seemed surprised. Made me sick to see. Guess he was removed by a higher authority.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21299
Rating:8.7
Comments:
I tried a complex case before Judge Baer. His "rocket docket" is disconcerting, but he handled the case very well.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 20936
Rating:8.3
Comments:
Despite the gruff exterior, which I think explains many of these negative reviews, I felt Judge Baer always had his eye on getting just and efficient outcomes. He had no patience for gamesmanship -- just cut to the chase. Totally inflexible on scheduling, though.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19471
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Judge Baer did a horrible job in an employment case that I had before him. He was completely inflexible in scheduling, did not really understand the case and issued an absolutely brutal opinion on summary judgment. He is not a good judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13221
Rating:3.0
Comments:
It's hard to fathom that every so often Judge Baer gets a favorable rating.

Can't say that he's not smart!

Won a week long jury trial in front of him but was not there for the verdict; he made a disparaging remark to my female associate, on the record, for which he should have been admonished; something like she was there for the clean up. When is he going to retire?

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 13191
Rating:3.0
Comments:
This incompetent psycho masquerading as a judge must have outlived his usefulness decades ago. Needs to retire and make room for another incompetent, but younger psycho Schumer will likely choose to replace him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 13109
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Judge Baer needs to retire because he is doing more harm remaining on the bench. He is a disgrace to the judicial system, does not have control of the Prosecutors, allows them to make decisions for him. He is also very impatient, and not concerned with facts but just getting through the case so he can get his pay check and go home.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11644
Rating:1.4
Comments:
I have worked in several federal districts around the nation, and Judge Baer is by far the worse judge I have seen. He is rude, disrespectful of attorneys and witnesses and intellectually dishonest. In a recent trial, he made an antisemitic comment and a fat joke while a heavy defendant was on the stand. He is openly biased and not shy about showing it in front of the jury. In sum, he is incompetent and lacks any judicial temperament or ethics. A disgrace to his robe and to the people of New York.

Court Staff

Comment #: 11599
Rating:4.2
Comments:
It is obvious he is prejudiced, he clearly had his mind made up and would not allow for due process which is a basic for a judge, he seems like he rather not deal with cases, he is very lenient with sentencing and rewarding any damages, yet he is strict with deadlines and intrusions on his time. He is selfish and lazy. He overly simplifies cases he is too black and white when things are gray, he needs to retire it is clear.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 9875
Rating:6.0
Comments:
Horrible disposition. Openly disdainful of the female attorneys and very indulgent of the one old white male counsel. He should step down.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9639
Rating:2.5
Comments:
Intellectually dishonest. Arrogant. Rude. Abusive. Condescending. In my opinion, this all masks his insecurity. Reaches decisions based upon his own personal beliefs rather than the law and makes no secret about it. The poorest judicial temperment I have ever seen. Truly a disgrace to the bench and bar.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8564
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I have spoken with other women attorneys and the consensus is that Judge Baer conducts the unrecorded conference calls he frequently has with the parties like frat parties. It is disconcerting to be in the year 2009 with a 75-yr old judge who still has this antiquated and disrespectful way of dealing with female attorneys "off the record."

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8555
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I was astonished to read the many critisms of Judge Baer, particularly the sugggestion that he did not treat female counsel with respect. I am a female lawyer and was always treated respectfully. He moved my civil case along at a fine clip, resolving discovery disputes and other procedural matters promptly by teleconference. He does not allow big-firm lawyers to steam-roller solo practioners or small- firm lawyers. He has no problem mastering a complex factual scenario. He is also a fine settlement judge.

Other

Comment #: 8509
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Not the least disturbing of his myriad disagreeable qualities is that he seems to take pleasure in mocking and humiliating criminal defendants -- a sure sign of a fragile ego.

The way he tortures the English language in his self-conscious attempts to be clever is abominable. If you are a court reporter or court interpreter, you can only take many deep breaths and endure.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8409
Rating:1.4
Comments:
I participated as co-counsel before Judge Harold Baer, Jr. He seems to demonize one side's attorneys in his mind early in the case and thereafter cannot see the facts through his bias and proceeds to misperceive everything. His vitriol does not appear merited by the circumstances.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8306
Rating:1.3
Comments:
I have had trials before Harold Baer and assisted in appeals of his cases. I find his understanding of complicated technical matters to be so dated and unsophisticated that I have come to the conclusion that he really should not be sitting anymore. He does not have the intellect to understand matters relating to technology. Also, his treatment of my female opponents bordered on abusive. The chief judge should stop assigning this senior judge cases, as he no longer has the intellect or the temperament to serve any longer,and his interaction with women attorneys is shocking to modern professional female sensibilities.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 8261
Rating:1.4
Comments:
In response to the previous post: yes, it is the same infamous Judge Harold Baer, Jr. If you think that decision was loopy, see his decision entering a default judgment againt the Iraqi government and Saddam Hussein for having purportedly (according to Judge Baer) caused 9/11. Because the Iraqi airport was closed on the second day of the Baghdad bombing, and therefore Saddam couldn't make it to Judge Baer's courtroom that day, he found Saddam and Iraq responsible in absentia.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 8090
Rating:1.4
Comments:
I can share a telling experience of one of my partners who worked with Judge Baer as colleagues and prosecutors 45 years ago but had never before seen Judge Baer in action as a judge until recently. He had always been an advocate for Judge Baer when we heard the horrible comments about Judge Baer's reputation in the legal community. But after appearing before him, my partner left the first day of hearings and said "he calls himself a judge?" No one was more surprised than this attorney (who had known Judge Baer for 45 years) to learn what Judge Baer is actually like as a judge. Judge Baer was vindictive, intellectually dishonest, and arrogant and made no pretense about being fair. He ensures a certain result: the case unravelled exactly the way he telegraphed to all the parties it was going to play out, and my partner lost all respect for his former colleague from that experience.

Other

Comment #: 7821
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I have known Harold Baer since 1936 when we attended kindergarten at P.S. 6 together, and I have followed his public life ever since then. As the publisher and editor of a New York magazine I can vouch for the integrity and compassion of this fine public servant.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6993
Rating:1.5
Comments:
I was shocked at the number of ex parte communications and untranscribed calls in which dispositive rulings are made. Surely if the Second Circuit had access to everything that goes on in the cases of Judge Harold Baer "off the record," they would be shocked to know how Judge Baer is actually handling litigation and his reversal rating would be worse. His off-the-record remarks are outrageous. The lack of transparency with respect to the proceedings in his courtroom is disturbing. While his courtroom is supposed to be located in the financial capital of the world, Manhattan, it feels instead like Medellin, Moscow or Mars.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6943
Rating:1.5
Comments:
Judge Harold Baer is considered the worst federal judge in New York. With the exception of the couple of law clerks whose arms he twisted to give him a good rating below, there is uniformity of opinion about how bad he is as a judge. Judge Baer is imperious, biased, arrogant, sarcastic and inappropriate and should be strongly urged to retire (since the impeachment efforts of Congress and the President did not work) as he gets worse every year I have been before him. How many judges in history are the subject of an impeachment effort by the very President who appointed them?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6779
Rating:9.8
Comments:
I found Judge Baer to be incredibly bright and sharp. He was well versed in the applicable law and his decisions were right on point. He was fair in a trial involving controversial subject matter.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 6645
Rating:7.8
Comments:
Judge Baer gets a bad rap for his tendency to shoot from the lip when silence (or at least moderation) would serve all concerned better. But he is extremely smart, very experienced and his decisions reflect a scholarship level well above that of all but a few of his colleagues. An acquired taste to be sure, but once you get used to his rhythm, he's a superior jurist.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6446
Rating:1.3
Comments:
I found Judge Harold Baer, Jr., to be erratic and self-absorbed. He likes to listen to his own voice, but is not a careful listener to the actual positions articulated by the parties. He is opinionated and reactive; he makes up his mind before hearing the facts. There is some disconnect between this judge and reality. Not a good judge.

Prosecutor

Comment #: 6434
Rating:6.9
Comments:
I worked for Judge Baer while in law school. While he may certainly take a personal disliking to an attorney, his decisions are based solely on the law. I never saw any of this supposed ruling based on who he liked better. He made rude comments only when the attorney's attitude or lack of knowledge begged for it.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 6116
Rating:1.3
Comments:
Judge Harold Baer runs a lawless court room. He makes it known in the cases that I have had with him he has no respect for the law; he makes up the rules as he goes along. One infamous example of his outrageous conduct: he held his daughter's wedding in the SDNY Federal Courthouse one weekend, at taxpayer expense, without permission, without telling the US Marshal's service or the Chief Judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6098
Rating:1.3
Comments:
A prime example of the Peter Principle: Baer would be over his head as a traffic court judge, so how he got to the federal bench is a wonder. He is biased and dishonest and his snide inappropriate comments are legendary. See U.S. v Bayless.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5897
Rating:1.0
Comments:
In all my years of practice, I have never seen a judge who so compromises his position and that of the federal judiciary as does this judge. He disregards the law and his findings have little to do with reality, or the truth, but he just doesn't care. He seems to mock the law, as if it doesn't matter. He is beyond nasty; he is cruel.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5892
Rating:1.2
Comments:
This flippant judge thought his ill-considered, drippingly sarcastic comments were entertaining, but no one else was entertained because it was so clear that his conduct was completely inappropriate for the bench. If the judiciary were better at self-policing, instead of protecting their own, he would have been gone when Clinton and the Senate correctly tried to impeach him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5880
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Unethical, results-oriented, intellectually dishonest judge. Everything is done based on personalities. Nothing is based on the law. His conduct is often outrageous.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5690
Rating:6.5
Comments:
He did a fantastic job mediating our case; very determined and worked straight through lunch to bring the sides together; saved everybody thousands in fees. Nice job!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5327
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge lacks a judicial demeanor - he did not even make an attempt to appear even-handed. One thing I learned from my case based on the error of the other side: never complain about him because if he learns about it, he will retaliate and his vindictiveness knows no bounds. He is very comfortable with his appointment-for-life status and exercises his powers without restraint.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5326
Rating:1.3
Comments:
Judge Baer picks his favorite side based on personalities and then contorts his findings to fit his desired outcome. He is devoid of intellectual honesty. He is juvenile when it comes to interacting with female litigators. He makes inappropriate comments unsuitable for a federal judge that tend to undermine confidence in the judiciary. His findings of fact are dishonest. He does not stay on top of discovery violations because he lets his clerks run his docket. He is widely regarded by other judges and by public and private practitioners as an embarrassment, a judge who misfires often and lacks restraint and dignity. He is flippant and arrogant without justification, as his erudition is at best meager.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 5097
Rating:1.4
Comments:
Be very, very careful with him and avoid him unless you have "ins" with NY politicos. If you are not connected, watch your back.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2290
Rating:2.8
Comments:
I find him to be very arrogant. Doesn't seem to understand what is entailed in actually practicing law. I found him to have no consideration whatsoever for the attorneys.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1779
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Baer is one of the finest Judges in the Southern District. His scholarship is only matched by his desire to keep cases moving. He is a diligent judge and one that other judges would be proud to be compared.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1699
Rating:3.8
Comments:
Nasty judge who mocks witnesses and yells at everyone, even jurors. Keeps getting reversed on evidentiary rulings but still doesn't know the rules of evidence and doesn't care. One nice thing: he can keep a case on schedule and will try it.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1127
Rating:3.3
Comments:
Flippant and not well prepared, shows little respect for counsel.