Hon. Jed S. Rakoff See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
S.D.N.Y.  
Average Rating:5.4 - 38 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. Jed S. Rakoff


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21944
Rating:2.2
Comments:
Rakoff is ill-tempered and volatile.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19410
Rating:6.0
Comments:
Poster child for black robe disease. Very hard working. Abstractly brilliant but without matching social intelligence. Arrogant and insensitive, he lacks the requisite temperament for a judge in a common law, adversarial system. More suited to being a judge in an inquisitorial system such as civil or administrative law. Kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy. Inflexible and to be avoided.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 19118
Rating:3.3
Comments:
Judge Rakoff is a brilliant man. Unfortunately, he cares a lot more about keeping the trains running on time than getting things right. A consummate bully.

Other

Comment #: 18879
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Federal Sentencing Judge Jed Rakoff' inappropriately described Gupta's conduct as "disgusting," a moral judgment beyond the legitimate scope of law judging; yet another symptom of the hubris of federal judges who regard themselves as little gods, morality monitors instead of judicious appliers of the law to established facts to mete Justice. For this Judge Jed Rakoff's name, should be placed on The Wall of Sham along with those names are already inscribed on it, for which see Marking Time, now available in paperback and kindle at
www.amazon.com/dp/146356046X ,
which is dedicated " to all those whose names are inscribed on The Wall of Sham, for it must be acknowledge that without them, Marking Time could not have been possible; and to all their Victims, some of whom, and some of whose travails are chronicled therein, in the hope that All will be marching forward to better US."

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13219
Rating:4.8
Comments:
Not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, or wants everybody to believe. Treats lawyers like children, although my remembrance, when we were on the same side of a case many years ago, was that he hated the way he was treated by one of his, now colleagues on the bench. In other words, he forgot where he came from, and that's disgraceful.

Very impressed by the guys with a name or from big firms, and goes out of his way to fawn over them. Makes it doubly enjoyable to win a case against them when you know Rakoff does not like the outcome.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 13006
Rating:9.3
Comments:
The hardest working judge in the SDNY. He often hears cases well after the 5 PM and while he does not suffer fools lightly he never belittles or demeans lawyers, treating both sides with respect.
His intellect is outstanding. His ability to recognize issues and decide them with no hidden agenda earns him the highest accolades.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12569
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Brilliant. A quick study, with a photographic memory. Also a workaholic. However, intolerant of lawyers who can't keep up with him. And can be abrasive.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 12327
Rating:2.3
Comments:
If you are a non-corporate plaintiff (consumer, discrimination, whatever) he will find a way to screw you. Just wait. Not nearly as smart as he thinks.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11885
Rating:5.2
Comments:
A notable intellect marred by a fatally flawed temperament. Quick to be uncivil to attorneys, and sometimes makes ad hominem remarks. Completely inflexible in scheduling, even when both parties are prejudiced as a result.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11709
Rating:6.2
Comments:
Rakoff is a terrible combination of: (i) a publicity hound; (ii) starstruck; (iii) a jerk and (iv) interventionist.

He will do anything to get a big case. If it has Ted Wells or David Boies in it he will ballwash them all day, but yell and scream at the no name lawyers who actually do the work.

The worst thing, by far, however is the way Rakoff puts his thumb on the scale. He makes up his mind early and then intervenes to make sure the jury reaches the "right" result. He has a clever way of asking a "clarifying question" here or admonishing a witness or lawyer there that sends a very clear message to the jury. He is a disgrace to the system.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11352
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Sits as the head of the Attorney Disciplinary Committee for the Southern District of New York. Has not a clue what he is doing in that position. His opinions have further damaged the already poor image of lawyers, by letting unethical attorneys escape with no punishment for violating professional rules of conduct. He is a maverick legal scholar and should not be passing judgement over anybody or anything in our out of a courtroom. However he would make a fine advocate and should return to private legal practice.

Other

Comment #: 9217
Rating:8.0
Comments:
I don't know anything more than his involvement in the SEC/B of A situation, but that is enough for me to rate him high. No other politician or person with the ability of helping the lower income citizens of this country has had enough backbone to stand up to the financial institutions control over this country. I have the highest regard for him. Thank You!

Other

Comment #: 9194
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Last year I served as a juror in the murder trial of a gang/drug related case that Judge Rakoff presided over. At the end of the trial, In the privacy of the jurors' room, we commented about our high regard for the judge, a view that was unanimous.

He was affable, pleasant, fair, and helpful in guiding us in understanding the law as it applied to the specific charges in the case, and rendering a verdict based on the facts and law.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8862
Rating:8.0
Comments:
Was surprisingly pleasant and affable. Complex case was settled via a magistrate but contacts with the judge's staff were extensive. Staff was superb, courteous and helpful. Judge expedited settlement process in manners unexpected by me and my adversary.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 7715
Rating:2.5
Comments:
Probably should not be a judge. He is intemperate, discourteous and inflexible with counsel. He is burdened by ego problems. Avoid this judge if at all possible.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 7636
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Just like everyone else, at a recent conference I had to wait for an hour and a half, I was yelled at like a five-year-old for granting an adversary a routine professional courtesy without the court's permission, and then I was summarily dismissed from the courtroom with an adjournment and without ever having been permitted to speak. The case settled before the adjourned date, but he made the lawyers come in for the conference anyway. No matter how smart he is, or thinks he is, he does not belong on the bench. Since he is, one thing to remember - he hates adjournments.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 7599
Rating:3.2
Comments:
His brilliance is surpassed only by his arrogance. However, upon closer inspection, he's really not all that brilliant. But he sure is arrogant! He is habitually late, extremely rude and just downright mean for the sake of being mean. He's an uber-nerd in a robe.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 7509
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
In a lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Chase he said, on the record, that attorney-client privilege does not apply in civil matters.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5898
Rating:5.8
Comments:
His temperament completely overshadows his intellect, as the tension between the written comments here and his 6.0 average rating illustrate. There is probably no judge in the history of the SDNY who so richly deserves the many warm adjectives that have been used to describe his behavior on this page.

On a practical note, his refusal to accept written communications in aid of informal resolution of disputes, instead requiring all counsel to be on a conference call before dialing Chambers (perhaps only to reach a clerk), is particularly wasteful of counsel's time in multi-party actions.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 5801
Rating:6.0
Comments:
Arrogant, intemperate and inconsiderate almost beyond belief. Widely resented and loathed by both prosecutors and defense counsel, and no doubt greatly feared by his clerks.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5488
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Arrogant and easily the most pompous judge on the bench in NYC. Excoriated me for having the temerity to write him a letter pointing out that he had taken an incorrect position on the record at a conference. Had to admit he was wrong because he was later reversed. At trial he made an error in jury instruction -- one conceded by both sides -- and said, "When the Navajos make a rug they always intentionally include one flaw because only God is perfect." What a jerk!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5134
Rating:5.3
Comments:
In thirty years of practice, I have encountered very few judges who have enjoyed the universal antagonism the bar has for this man. He may be highly intelligent and extremely industrious, but he has no judicial temperament and is more than occasionally wrong as his reversal record indicates. Appearing before him is considered akin to being flogged. He is always late, inconsiderate, disrespectful and will always find something wrong with the most well prepared case, and usually from left field. The man certainly gives Ben Cooper, Griesa and Lloyd MacMahon a run for their money.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4475
Rating:6.2
Comments:
Arrogant, but not entirely unjustified. Though he makes up his mind perhaps too quickly, he is thoughtful and academic. But his scheduling conferences are obnoxious -- he makes lead counsel for both sides show up regardless of any conflicts, makes them wait however long he wants, and then sends a clerk out with a schedule. In other words, you have to be there; he doesn't. Fact is, he's smart, but widely loathed.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4319
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Universally rearded by the plaintiff's bar as the most overtly biased judge in the district against discrimination plaintiffs -- bar none.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3894
Rating:6.7
Comments:
Needs a hobby, a mistress and an enema. Needs to learn how to treat lawyers with respect, needs to be flexible in scheduling, and needs to learn that some of the lawyers that appear before him are at least half as smart as he is.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2783
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Hates discrimination suits and dismisses them improperly, as the Second Circuit repeatedly has noted.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2755
Rating:7.0
Comments:
Judge Rakoff is an intemperate, mercurial, boor. He treats lawyers like little children, and is constantly trying to prove not only that he is the boss, but that he is smarter than everyone else. He is untterly inflexible in scheduling and has ridiculous rules that generally prohibit a lawyer even from contacting his chambers. He is, undoubtedly, scholarly, and he takes the job of judging very, very seriously, but his temperment and rude treatment of attorneys is inexcusable.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 2625
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He does think he is the smartest person in the room at all times and he does let you know it. He also thinks he is smarter than the 2nd Circuit and will pick and choose when to follow precedence. He is power happy. He will scare you into showing up early for every court appearance, and then he'll show up 30 minutes late just to show you that he is the "man." He is very biased towards the defense (civil) side and surprisingly lazy with his decisions. He will not bend on his scheduling order and he’ll rush cases through his docket no matter whom he may be prejudicing.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1180
Rating:9.2
Comments:
Smartest person in the room and lets you know it. Hard working, brilliant, knows from first hand experience what good lawyers are all about.