Hon. Colleen McMahon See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
S.D.N.Y.  
Average Rating:4.8 - 47 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. Colleen McMahon


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21361
Rating:9.2
Comments:
I had my second diversity case before this judge. I honestly think that she's a great judge. The thing that I've noticed about her is that if you're being disingenuous (or a horse's ass) you will get a "beatdown" in her decisions (my adversary got such a beatdown). I suspect that many of the negative posts here were on the receiving end of similar beatdowns.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 18023
Rating:9.7
Comments:
I recently had several matters before Judge McMahon. The ratings below present a picture of extremely biased judge, which, based on my experience, are totally inaccurate.

Judge McMahon's analytical abilities and raw intelligence place her alongside some of the best judges I have ever had the pleasure to appear before. She does not tolerate nonsense or gamesmanship in her court; if you are litigating based on that strategy, you will not fare well.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13561
Rating:5.2
Comments:
Judge McMahon exhibits and acts out significant bias. She makes up her mind early on a case and then proceeds to act out her predetermination even to the point in a case I had of asking opposing counsel questions to help him ressurect his case after I had destroyed it in a hearing. The dialogue should be on record and available.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 13314
Rating:8.0
Comments:
Although well known as a law-and-order Judge, Judge McMachon saw the person behind the offense and carefully considered all the 3553(a) circumstances in imposing what both I and the client believed was a fair and just sentence. Of course, she heavily credited the 5K, but that standing alone was not enough for us; and to her credit, saw the person behind the offense and family behind the defendant. No Nonsense, no BS. Very sharp.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13233
Rating:7.8
Comments:
Ran an efficient trial, and even though my client did not receive the jury's verdict, Judge McMahon was very fair to plaintiff and me

Other

Comment #: 12867
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Uninformed comments about the mindsets of Muslims is dangerous. Colleen needs to educate herself on the core tenets of Islam. www.theheartofislam.com

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11664
Rating:6.2
Comments:
Judge McMahon has a predictable tendency to lash out against counsel (even with respect to legitimate arguments) that she perceives to be dilatory or otherwise uninteresting. Overall, though, despite the occasional collateral damage, this helps to cut through litigation nonsense that can otherwise throw substantive motions or trials offtrack. Her rulings are generally fair and well-reasoned on the law, despite occasionally explosive in-court temperament. As a non-Christian, I was somewhat startled by certain pages of her book, but overall, I thought it was sincere and consistent with her practices. Despite her flaws, I have overwhelming admiration and respect for Judge McMahon, whether appearing on behalf of plaintiffs or defendants in civil litigation. She is a great federal district judge.

Other

Comment #: 9981
Rating:10.0
Comments:
This comment is written by a convicted felon who’s case was overseen by Judge McMahon. Despite what many think about her. She reviews each sides evidence and makes appropriate decisions. I assure you that she does take into consideration the hardships that the defendants and their loved ones endure. She is fair and favors those who have the benefit of doubt. I had the unfortunate privilege of being incarcerated and associating with other criminal defendants whom appeared before her,many of them who expected the worst until sentencing day where she was fair and gave them(including myself) what we deserved. God bless her.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9952
Rating:7.2
Comments:
Conducted an excellent, even-handed trial.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 8758
Rating:2.7
Comments:
This judge is a poster child for why Congress needs to impose defined terms of office for the district court bench. Yes, it can be done, without violating the Constitution. Judge McMahon should have been removed from handling all litigation years ago. Now its time to consider her impeachment. She makes Harold Baer Jr. look evenhanded, competent and unbiased. Judge McMahon is a Jesus freak for whom a day on the bench does not go by where she can avoid violating the First Amendments prohibition against the mingling of church an state. She has violated her oath of office so many times, its turned into confetti.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8505
Rating:2.3
Comments:
I am an extremely experienced federal civil litigation who was luckless enough to cross Judge McMahon's path. It is difficult -- indeed, it is next to impossible -- to say anything remotely favorable to this judge. The court of appeals' judicial council should take a page from the Chandler case and direct that she be recused from all litigation, now and forever. I cannot understand how this judge has the nerve to appear in public, much less to ascend the bench each day.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 7492
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
She blatantly abuses her power by refusing to separate church and state. Anyone who reads her book can see how extreme she is in her religious beliefs and how hateful she is to anyone who doesn't share her views. She calls people names in her courtroom. I honestly don't know how she's still on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6639
Rating:1.7
Comments:
This judge is unconcerned with her oath and constitutional obligations. Big business is her bag. She may be related to J.P. Morgan. She is not interested in being fair to the little guy; instead, she enjoys beating up on the underdog.

Prosecutor

Comment #: 6105
Rating:4.8
Comments:
Another case where she injects personal feelings over the law. Second Circuit remands for resentencing, because of lower than normal imposed drug sentence. US vs Williams Schuler: Judge McMahon declined to consider a sentence within the range prescribed in the Sentencing Guidelines because of her views, which were repeatedly expressed at the sentencing proceeding, that the sentence she imposed should be comparable to the sentence Williams would have received had his case not been turned over to federal prosecutors.

JUDGE: Everybody’s subject to federal law, Mr. Massey. It’s just a random event. Whether you get pulled into federal court or not tends to depend where you get arrested. Your office knows perfectly well how I feel about these cases.
GOVT: Your Honor, we have the dual system and –
JUDGE: Indeed we do.
GOVT: – the defendant is not being treated differently than any other federal defendant.
JUDGE: Well, I’m not going to treat him differently than any other New York defendant.
JUDGE: My personal matter of policy. A case that’s obviously a state drug case where there’s no crack cocaine distinction, I don’t have to worry about that baloney, where I have, in effect, a first [-time] offender.

The failure of the district judge to follow this explicit directive cannot be justified by her expressed desire to “avoid unwarranted disparities among defendants with similar records who have committed similar offenses,” apparently paraphrasing, without citing, § 3553(a)(6), which requires the district court to consider “the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct.”

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 6042
Rating:3.0
Comments:
I must say that Judge McMahon is an unfair, biased judge. I had a client that was convicted of a crime when he was just 18 years of age -- a first offense. As per the Guidelines my client plead guilty to a 37-month prison term. Upon being released after doing 30 months of the sentence, my client was supposed to complete 4 years of supervision. My client completed 3 years, and got an automatic violation for a dirty urine test result that was very questionable. My client only had 1 year of supervision to complete. Judge McMahon sentenced the defendant to the whole term of supervised release to be completed all over again. At no time was anything in the defendant's favor taken into consideration. Judge McMahon is very biased and has her mind made up before she enters the courtroom. There is no leniency at all, let alone room for error. She shouldn't be adjudicating criminal cases. She is the most unfair and biased judge that I have ever seen.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6030
Rating:8.5
Comments:
One of the best, with an unerring common sense approach. Intuitive and reasonable.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5825
Rating:6.0
Comments:
Recently tried diversity case before her. She didn't turn out to be the monster that everyone made her out to be and even made some fairly intelligent rulings on issues she ordinarily doesn't deal with. Biggest issue was the half-assed manner in which she conducted voir dire. (Judges really shouldn't be doing VD IMOHO). Screwy verdict at end (favorable to me, actually) confirms this.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4652
Rating:1.0
Comments:
The most incompetent judge on the bench!

Other

Comment #: 4498
Rating:2.0
Comments:
She injects her personal views and feelings into her rulings and sentencing and has no clue or cares what kind of hardships most defendants that appear before have had to endure. She thinks that she knows it all. Made up her mind of the verdict in pretrial and is biased. Rigid in scheduling because of her own personal agenda.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4465
Rating:4.7
Comments:
Often wrong; never in doubt.
Like many poor judges, Colleen seems to feel the need to appear smarter than those who appear before her. This causes her to argue, not merely interact, with the lawyers. As noted by a prior commentor, she is quick to point out that she came up with something the parties' attorneys didn't. In my case, at least, there was good reason none of the parties made her point.

Litigant

Comment #: 4227
Rating:1.0
Comments:
In a no brainer civil suit, Colleen did not even deliver a brief for her judgment which she based on personal opinion, not citing any law. So her
decision was easily overturned by the
appeals court, costing me another 350,000 to defend. I won the battle, but
lost the war. Her response to the original case was a three sentence judgment written on a memo sheet. Disgraceful and dereliction of duty and a real injustice to the defendants.

Other

Comment #: 4215
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Her ruling against the Village of Mamaroneck vs. John Does (6) illegal Alliens. Has no regard towards the consitiution, sided with the illegals, handcuffed our local Police and send a message across the U.S. If your illegal you can stay, not pay taxes, and not be concerned with the law. What a disgrace!

Other

Comment #: 4214
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I believe the "Honorable" Collen McMahon is a disgrace to the Federal Bench and she should be removed impeached! I thought only citizens of this country, the USA, could only bring civil cases in our court system. The immigrants were probably here illegally and they should have been deported. When are our judges going to understand, they work for the United States and not for anther country?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3954
Rating:9.2
Comments:
My case with her is not over. She has ruled against my client as much as in his favor. I have not found the problems others have; she has listened and considered the facts and law; even when she has ruled against me, I felt I had a fair and complete hearing. Her unwillingness to have her chambers accept phone calls and rigidity with scheduling is very difficult for me and I do not understand the reason for the severity of it.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3482
Rating:1.0
Comments:
She is possibly the worst judge on the bench. Comment 3256 below was obviously written by one of her relatives!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3473
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Nastiest federal judge I have ever appeared before, both in court and on paper. Compelled at every turn to show how smart she (believes she) is and how inferior (she believes) everyone else is. This nonsense at times reaches almost juvenile levels. A real downer. Only bright side is that no one seems to escape her dark side. What is more, in the end she is not terribly effective.

Other

Comment #: 3256
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I think Hon. Colleen McMahon is fair and kind. She does whats right and wont bend down under pressure. She has the poise and confidence to stand up for what she believes in and if thats God then so be it. She is smart funny and someone who should be looked at in awe!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3139
Rating:7.5
Comments:
Judge McMahon warned me not to make a summary judgment motion on an employment case. I went ahead and made it anyway. She considered it, heard over 2 hours of oral argument, and granted the motion. I am biased, but I think she is a good judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 3078
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
This judge is discrace to the bench. She injects her personal views and feelings into her rulings and sentencing and has no clue what kind of hardships most defendants that appear before have had to endure. A spoiled, privileged, holier than thou attitude. As bad as it gets for criminal defendants and counsel.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3054
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Just plain mean and nasty. She once memo-endorsed a letter that I had written to her in such a threatening manner that I avoided dark alleys for several weeks thereafter!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2995
Rating:3.7
Comments:
I had her last state criminal trial. She refused to grant a motion to suppress that was a slam dunk for the defense becuase of her fear that it would impact on her chance of being appointed to the district court. No integrity. Made up facts to support her position.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2797
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Real bitch if ever there was one. Stay as far away as you can.

Other

Comment #: 2597
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Comment # 2596 offers interestingly strong praise for Judge McMahon. I just wonder who the poster is... At least they don't give her a ten for temperament! That would just be too much to swallow.

Other

Comment #: 2596
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I know of no jurist who has greater integrity or mindpower than Judge McMahon.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1989
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I have never appeared before her but just had to read and distinguish one of her opinions in an employment case. I was struck by how surly and insulting her language was - clearly not a dignified and scholarly judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1300
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Alfonse D'Amato is responsble for her appointment. Says it all!!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1299
Rating:4.3
Comments:
I think she is not well qualified to be an objective jurist. Just read her book on how she brings God into the court room.: The View From Gabbatha: Meditations from the Judge’s Bench (2003, Church Publishing). Ridiculous!!Also, her husband is # 2 at George Soros' companies, and previously a high honcho in mergers at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, so if you have litigation against the corporate establishment, watch out. She clearly favors the old boys network.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1258
Rating:3.8
Comments:
I was on the winning side of a civil RICO and securities fraud dismissal and was cringing as she was thundering from the bench at plaintiff's counsel to explain how he had pleaded fraud with particularity under 9(b). Although I was ecstatic she was dismissing against my client, my god, she was as demeaning to plaintiff's counsel as any judge I have ever seen. I was cowering and I wasn't even the target of her prolonged invective.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1247
Rating:2.5
Comments:
My experience with her is limited, but all I can say is she must have known someone really special to have been appointed to the bench. She came from the state court and she is a "hack," plain and simple. She is also nasty and arrogant.

Other

Comment #: 1151
Rating:3.0
Comments:
Biased! Makes up her mind and is rigid well before arguments are presented. Avoid her court at all costs.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1107
Rating:4.2
Comments:
Judge McMahon seems more interested in playing favorites with the attorneys that she sees as influential (possibly to her future) than with listening to the arguments on the merits. In our case, she based her final opinion on an entirely novel line of reasoning, arrogantly boasting that her approach (which seems entirely wrong to us) had not been briefed by either side. There are many judges that are smarter than most of the lawyers that appear before them. I think that Judge McMahon's tragic flaw may be that she thinks that she is one of them.