Hon. Michael J. Watanabe See Rating Details
Magistrate Judge See Comments
D.Colo.  
Average Rating:4.3 - 12 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. Michael J. Watanabe


Comments


Other

Comment #: 21284
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This so-called judge was a district attorney years ago. In a criminal trial, he disregarded evidence that would have exonerated the defendant. He acted like a bully, was arrogant during the trial, and acted surprised when the jury acquitted the defendant. He was a very dishonest district attorney, who had no business being in law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 18939
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Has to be the worst magistrate ever. Lazy, anti individual, and his rulings make less sense than a dr. Suess book. This is a guy who if he was in private practice, you wonder ponder whether he was absent the day they taught law in law school.

Other

Comment #: 13680
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Because of the erratic rulings that this judge has continuously meted out, rumors within Colorado’s legal community abound regarding his personal life, sexual proclivities, and qualifications. In one case, he took Judicial Notice that a female litigate was thin, attractive, and how often she engaged in sexual relations. In other, when he was still sitting on the bench in Arapahoe County, he ruled that the best interest of a ten year old child was “irrelevant.” Watanabe exemplifies what is wrong with lifetime tenure, or an appointment system equating to lifetime tenure, coupled with absolute immunity. Four year term limits would have disposed of him years ago.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12483
Rating:1.0
Comments:
surprised at being told in a settlement conference that He wouldnt allow it to go over the amount that the defense had indicated rather than actually try to settle

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 9174
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I have greatly enjoyed appearing before this Magistrate Judge. He listens patiently, rules carefully, and always treats all attorneys with respect.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8696
Rating:2.3
Comments:
His breezy style masks a lack of depth. Smart enough but too lazy to study the law and too insecure to admit he doesn't know it. Discovery orders are so haphazardly constructed they grant relief not requested. Plaintiffs beware - this Judge assumes your case is not legitimate regardless of its actual merits. Civil corporate defendants rejoice. Just complain you are being unduly burdened and you will get what you want, or more.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5974
Rating:3.0
Comments:
I think he is over his head in the job he has. If he wasn't wearing a robe, you'd confuse him with the hot dog vendor on the corner of 17th & Stout. He is unabashedly biased and writes discovery orders so vaguely as to mask any reasoning, making it difficult to reverse.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4179
Rating:5.0
Comments:
Doesn't even try to settle cases at settlement conferences.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4171
Rating:7.5
Comments:
He has not been able to settle cases, he seems to find little or no merit in cases that ultimately result in good settlements in front of other mediators.

Other

Comment #: 4007
Rating:4.0
Comments:
A court filed affidavit dated 2/12/2007 alleged that this magistrate pulled a pro se litigant aside and warned her that "Pro se litigants never win in this court" and he revealed his predetermination of her causes of action against a state district judge based upon his prior relationship with that judge when he, himself, had been a judge and mentored that former judge. The document, which contains the affidavit attachement is located here: http://www.knowyourcourts.com/divorceIndustry/docs/2007-02-13_memo-toChiefJudgeBabcock.pdf

Litigant

Comment #: 3369
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Although I have only examined Magistrate Watanabe's work product in one case (not my own!), it was so atrocious as to cast aspersions on his character, scholarship, or both. Judicial misconduct is like a bear in the woods: while you might not always see him, when you find his paw-print in the mud, you know he’s out there. While few litigants can ever expect to see a wad of bills being slipped under a robe, or the kind of judicial “favor-trading” described by Prof. Dershowitz, the paw-prints -- irrational decisions, in irreconcilable conflict with precedent -- are generally unmistakable. Professor Karl Llewellyn bluntly observed that dishonest judges routinely engage in manhandling ... the facts of the pending case, or of the precedent, so as to make it falsely appear that the case in hand falls under a rule which in fact it does not fit, or especially that it falls outside of a rule which would lead in the instant case to a conclusion the court cannot stomach. [Karl Llewellyn, The Common Law Tradition: Deciding Appeals (1960) at 133.