Hon. Thomas P. Griesa See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
Average Rating:4.2 - 13 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. Thomas P. Griesa


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 21390
This judge should have retired a long time ago. I tried a criminal case before him, and it was unbelievable. He was a second prosecutor doing the government's bidding. He is the worst judge ever.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 21208
Hon. Thomas P. Griesa

In 2009 there were public hearings held at the State Capitol concerning the level of public dissatisfaction at the Appellate Division First Department Disciplinary Committee (the Committee that oversees attorneys in New York) and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (the Committee that oversees judges’ misconduct). I testified.

I testified concerning attorneys at the DDC. I had requested the DDC’s assistance because attorneys I had retained were not sending me copies of checks that they were required to send. One of the attorneys was formerly employed as an attorney at the DDC; the other was a former Chief Counsel at the DDC. The DDC attorneys were claiming they were obtaining the copies of the checks from the bank — the DDC attorneys were telling me this for three years. Everyone knows it does not take a bank three years to send checks. When I realized that the DDC attorneys were not being honest, I filed a complaint in the NY State Court in order to obtain the copies of the checks. The presiding judge was the Hon. Joan Kenny, and she dismissed the case, calling me frivolous by attributing cases to me that were not mine, and then publishing the decision on the front page of the NY Law Journal. The checks that the DDC eventually turned over to me were forged. The Chief Counsel of the DDC, Thomas Cahill, closed the case and stated that the attorneys had turned over the checks to the DDC when I filed the complaint with the DDC. This was inconsistent with what the DDC attorneys were telling me for three years.

At the hearing, I testified about the expert’s report I obtained concerning the forged checks. The expert also investigated the curriculum vitae of Judge Kenny, which she found on the judge’s campaign website; she found material misrepresentations such as: inaccurate and false information about participation in law school activities, her licensure date and legal employment, and her professional experience.

Many people who testified filed Federal Court cases. I filed a federal complaint, and the case was assigned to the Hon. Thomas P. Griesa.

Judge Griesa called me and the Attorney General in for a conference, prior to me serving the complaints. At the conference, a court reporter was present and Judge Griesa said the following:

“And what I wanted to tell you is that the complaint appears to be without merit; we’ve reviewed it and I am not going to authorize service upon all of these defendants.”

It is not clear to whom he is referring to when he says “we.” He goes on to say: “When there are many defendants, such as state court judges and so forth, there is nothing to be gained by having a lot of people served, not that it’s a huge burden, but, you know, if the marshals have to do it and so forth, why, I don’t want to engage in that.”

Judge Griesa further guides the Assistant Attorney General by saying: “I would think that there could be an appropriate motion, but what do you think?” She starts speaking, but Judge Griesa then interrupts her and advises her how to proceed, saying, “No, don’t do a letter motion,” adding, “I mean, it doesn’t- it is not a lot of trouble to have a formal notice of motion and a brief memorandum.” He then interjects his personal strategy on how to view the case: “But what I would do is, to anybody who communicates with you about the case, if they have received something by mail, “ then catches himself and says, “why, you use your judgment as to what you want to advise them.”

Judge Griesa is clearly guiding the Assistant Attorney General to take his advice and do what he believes is right. He has abandoned his role of being a neutral and detached judge, and instead has become an advocate, thereby violating Canon 2A of the Code of Conduct for United States judges.

In the complaint, I also questioned the constitutionality of a state statute. Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution of the State of New York established the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) to receive, initiate, investigate and hear complaints with respect to the conduct, qualifications, fitness to perform or performance of official duties of any judges and may determine that a judge be admonished, censured or removed from office. The powers of the SCJC are a constitutional obligation. The State Statute, Section 44 of the Judiciary Law, was unconstitutional, in that it violated the due process and equal protection clauses, since unbridled discretion had been given to the SCJC to determine which allegations of a complaint are without merit, and whether to dismiss them. It allowed for complaints filed against a judge with the SCJC not to be made public, and therefore the legislature abrogated its constitutional responsibility by giving a constitutional obligation to an organization that is not subject to review or oversight.

Judge Griesa is ignoring a truism central to American Constitutional jurisprudence: that state laws that are repugnant to the Constitution are absolutely null and void, and of the well-established principle of American Constitutional Law that Federal courts have jurisdiction to evaluate the constitutionality of challenged state laws. However, Judge Griesa was preventing me from serving my complaint.

I withdrew the case, and refiled it. The case was consolidated with many others and assigned to Judge Shira Scheindlin. Read my review concerning Judge Scheindlin to see what happened next.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19403
One of my favorite judges in the SDNY to appear before, a true gentleman. He works hard to get the right result. He doesn't get it right 100% of the time, but he sincerely tries to do the right thing.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 9860
The most amazing, intelligent, and kind judge I've ever argued before.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 8724
Rating:Not Rated
Totally unfair in ruling on the NYS Bottle Bill, no consideration for the small business oweners that would of been able to stay in business with the increase handling fee. Instead of dealing with what was "only water bottles", the case before him, put a hold on all. Shame Shame putting people out of work!!


Comment #: 6146
Judge Griesa is extremely lazy and doesn't bother reading any briefs or letters. He must have the shortest trial days in the Southern District- stops at 4:30 on the dot even if in the middle of closing arguments. He should be ashamed to be on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5377
Should have retired long ago and should be ashamed to continue to collect a paycheck. A judge fully worthy of contempt.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5040
Judge Griesa sat on my case for two and a half years without reading any of my pleadings, motions or briefs. The defense wasn't required to comply with discovery or even local filing rules. He then swiftly granted the defense's summary judgment without giving any serious consideration to my opposition.


Comment #: 4877
Judge Griesa is shockingly lazy and irresponsible. He simply never reads briefs or letters to the court, so everything is decided at oral argument. He puts off making the simplest decisions for months and is constantly cancelling hearings, often at the last minute. Things that should take a few weeks instead take years with him.

On top of all that, he is clearly biased towards certain lawyers, particularly those from high-profile firms. He is impatient with the others and gives them little opportunity to change his mind.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2281
It took him just under a year to render a decision on a simple motion to preclude defendants for failure to appear at a deposition. Enough said.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1431
Unpleasant personality. Does the government's bidding.