Hon. Fernando M. Olguin See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
C.D.Cal.  
Average Rating:5.7 - 10 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


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What others have said about Hon. Fernando M. Olguin


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 30601
Rating:6.2
Comments:
I like to write reviews that actually help lawyers when dealing with a judge, not as something designed to bad-mouth a judge.
Judge Olguin is not a bad person. He’s relatively pleasant in court. He’s a little moody at times, but nothing to worry about. He’s also very good at applying the law. I have found him to be very good in applying the law when I have filed or opposed motions.
Substantively, he’s a great judge.
However, he does have his problems. One is his lack of punctuality in getting your case to trial on time. I don’t know if he does it intentionally, or if he is just backed up with his calendar, but he constantly delays your trial date. My gut instinct is that he intentionally delays cases, as a means of attrition, to try to get the parties to settle. Again, I don’t have actual proof of this, but it is the impression I was left with when he delayed one of my cases for over a year.
He also is unconscionably anal about following his chamber rules. His obsession with his rules makes it seem like he’s autistic, even though he’s not. I don’t mean this as an insult, rather, it just helps explain his incredible dedication to esoteric rules that really don’t matter. If you violate the most minor of his 3,712 rules, he’ll make you pay. He doesn’t do this in a mean-spirited or vindictive way, rather, he just sees it as necessary. He’s a good judge who is too wrapped up in following every rule in the universe.
He also makes your case very expensive to prosecute. Let me give you two examples. First, he has a rule that requires both counsel to have a pre-trial discussion about motions in limine, jury instructions, etc. Normally, that is fully to be expected, and perfectly normal. However, Judge Olguin requires you to have a court reporter present when you conduct this conference. To make matters worse, if your case is delayed, he will make you repeatedly redo this conference, always with a court reporter present for the next conference. Second, on one case, opposing counsel and I had some disputes during the case. Thereafter, Judge Olguin ordered us to meet and confer in-person every single time we had a dispute, with a court reporter present. A quick way to cause costs to skyrocket. I find it ironic that federal courts always claim to be worried that the parties expending too much money prosecuting cases, then they turn around and require you to have court reporters present when you are going to the bathroom. Utterly petty.
In the end, if you have Judge Olguin, you need to expect your case to take at least two years, probably more, to get to trial. He’ll be fair if he ever has to make substantive rulings, but that is IF you can ever get to the point of needing substantive rulings.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 25677
Rating:2.0
Comments:
His treatment of attorneys is often beyond the pale. I witnessed his attacks on attorneys [not in my case] that were way out of line.
In my case, his attacks on OPPOSING counsel were unwarranted (bet you don't hear that often!).

His rulings were ridiculously slow. He took far in excess of a year to rule on a joint motion; later took several months to deny a set of cross motions that he had ordered the parties to file. Allowed -- read that ordered -- other side to bring same motion multiple times but denied it each time (he clearly wanted to get a motion he could grant but the facts and law were not there).

Won't allow telephonic appearances in even the most routine matters.

Litigation ended up continuing for far, far too long costing both sides far, far too much in fees, costs and time.

The comment in this thread "always has to be the smartest person in the room" is right on point.

In sum, he's a bright guy but his ego and his prejudices are problematic.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 24191
Rating:1.0
Comments:
An efficient rule fetishist who always has to be the smartest person in the room. Very, very biased in favor of the defense. Very a-d-d-ish

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 23466
Rating:10.0
Comments:
A FABULOUS judge. If all judges were like him, life would be a lot more simple. Very involved, very fair, and hates game playing by lawyers. Just the perfect judge. Period.

Court Staff

Comment #: 22825
Rating:3.4
Comments:
Apparently has zero understanding of even the basics of physics. How the hell can this guy make important decisions in patent cases that require at least some understanding of the laws of physics? I witnessed him completely ignore the findings of prior Senior Judge in a patent case and came up with his own conclusion in a Markman that a device that required a specific motion, he concluded it didn't really have to have that motion, it just needed to be "capable" of the motion. His lack of patent experience completely screwed one of the litigants in a case they should have won outright but ended up settling. I quit working at the Central District shortly thereafter.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19418
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Would not allow discovery by plaintiff in civil litigation by a teacher requesting key evidence in student records; despite the law being that teachers can have access to student records concerning educational interest (of which discrimination would qualify)completely backed government counsel; would not allow Rule 11 sanctions for ethics violations

Court Staff

Comment #: 6689
Rating:4.3
Comments:
A poor judge biased who is biased in favor of the defense. This man would give bail to Charles Manson if he could. He routinely ignores the prosecutor's recommendations and releases violent felons, many of them illegal aliens, back onto the street with no regard for the public's welfare. Many of his pre-trial defendants never again show up for court.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 6276
Rating:9.0
Comments:
Excellent judge. I am surprised that he is in the Central District.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5873
Rating:9.7
Comments:
Simply the best: intelligent, fair, seeks justice.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 4661
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Excellent judge at settlement conferences. Great temperament and had read everything presented and had a good grasp of the case.