Hon. Frederick J. Kapala See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
Average Rating:6.2 - 2 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

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What others have said about Hon. Frederick J. Kapala


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21036
I've known Judge Kapala since his days as a circuit court judge in Winnebago County. His demeanor and respect for the litigants has always been outstanding. He has enough of an ego that he's been appointed as a U.S. District Court Judge, but is very down to earth and displays genuine humility. I've tried more than one case in front of Judge Kapala and found him to be very even-handed and striving for the right result, even if it means stopping the trial to research and accept submissions from the attorneys before ruling. As a point of interest, rather than a secretary, Judge Kapala uses his staff budget to employ three permanent law clerks. My only criticism is that during trial he often gives the attorneys too much freedom so that trials are longer than they might be under a more controlling judge.

In ruling on dispositive motions, he does not release any of his memoranda of decision for publication. He still appears to me to be writing as an appellate judge, taking his time -- as much as six months for a decision -- and drafting lengthy opinions which seem to be written with the 7th Circuit in mind.

I will grant that he is very much a political animal, still very much involved in state and local Republican politics, albeit behind the scenes. But, I truly believe that what he lacks in intellect he more than makes up for in hard work and a willingness to let counsel educate him where he does not know. On the civil side, he tries to do what is legally correct.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12603
This guy is super-anal. pro-government nit-picker who can often totally miss the boat by jumping to conclusions by being petty, He's much more interested inĀ form and typos over substance or attaining real justice.

I've overheard Justices he severed with on the Illinois Appellate Court comment, I'n addition to being glad to see him leave, and have observed for myself, that he's not above politics. My "spies" tell me he has never commanded the respect of any of his peers. Even the local Magistrate Judge (a splendid fellow and wonderful jurist - Kapala couldn't shine his shoes) has been seen to involuntary roll his eyes (he's too classy to comment) at what he does, as do many of the bar.

Watch out! Judge Kapala will twist and use anything you might say against you in his minute order and seems to thrive on ad homonym attacks on lawyers and litigants in his written opinions, in chambers and in his courtroom.

Bottom line, the reality is that if you file a case in the U.S. District Court in Rockford you'll pretty much be stuck with this condescending, petty, "small" man. The saving factor, you'll have the distinct pleasure of spending most of your time before Magistrate Judge Mahoney, one of the most fair, most competent, most respectful and respected jurists there is!