Hon. Joseph C. Spero See Rating Details
Magistrate Judge See Comments
N.D.Cal.  
Average Rating:5.4 - 9 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)
  Items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating
Comments



What others have said about Hon. Joseph C. Spero


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 23923
Rating:5.4
Comments:
I have appeared ifo Judge Spero occasionally since his hiring.

At first he was charming, patient and fair.

The years have taken their toll on his humanity, professionalism and fairness. I have seen him dress counsel down unmercifully time and time again where simply stating his position suffices. I have also seen him make rulings that might really give the CA 9 pause. I have experienced him telling counsel in effect that their sub-million dollar case was not important enough for his docket, and then use some very questionable means to coerce settlement lest his time be consumed.

I have lost some respect, but more importantly, I see these results as the product of a very difficult workload.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 23445
Rating:9.6
Comments:
Superb judge. Couldn't be better for settling cases.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 22180
Rating:8.0
Comments:
You will remember at all times that when you're speaking to the Honorable Joseph C., you are speaking to the Ivy League. He will cast off the bookish demeanor in a microsecond if he feels you're bullshitting, and he will make you instantly regret trying. Pushes hard for settlements. The ability to judge his daily mood by his choice of bowtie remains unconfirmed. He may be a touch heavy handed with the "scintillating" sardonic commentary, but he's a good egg in all cases.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19734
Rating:3.3
Comments:
Has had a troubling history in the past few years of treatment of 1983 plaintiffs. He can be incredibly rude and condescending, but, more importantly, if you represent a civil rights plaintiff, realize he sets an extremely high bar of what constitutes a constitutional violation. Latest gem is that a cop who spit on an innocent detainee has qualified immunity since it's not clearly established such conduct is wrongful. Was passed over as federal judge and I've wondered if he was trying to prove how pro-government he is when he was vying for it.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19136
Rating:4.6
Comments:
Is focused on clearing his case docket to the extent that he will dismiss cases when there is no legal authority to do so. Also appears to never award monetary sanctions/attorneys' fees.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4757
Rating:9.2
Comments:
Judge Spero is, hands down, my favorite magistrate judge in the Northern District of California. He is incredibly intelligent, hardworking, and he will do everything in his considerable power to settle cases - including twisting arms, hard. I have appeared before him many times and have always found him to be very well-prepared on all issues presented, asking intelligent questions. He gets crabby if you get off-track or try to b.s. him! He keeps strong control of all proceedings, which I appreciate. As a trial judge, discovery magistrate, and settlement judge, he is absolutely top-notch.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 3801
Rating:2.6
Comments:
Demonstrates bias toward big corporations, who may be funding his benefactors. And even if he rules against a big corporation for some egregious conduct, he nonetheless fails to follow through on his own rulings.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1156
Rating:4.0
Comments:
Wants to move up to federal judge