Hon. Craig B. Shaffer See Rating Details
Magistrate Judge See Comments
D.Colo.  
Average Rating:5.6 - 18 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. Craig B. Shaffer


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 23261
Rating:1.0
Comments:
dreadful. he's smart enough, but he's really mean, rude and disrespectful to plaintiff's counsel. Never met a big corporation that he doesn't like. if you represent plaintiffs against big business and you draw this judge, consider not even serving the case, as he will do whatever he can to screw you. he loves to humiliate plaintiff's counsel in front of the defense counsel. I'm scratching my head at the positive comments left by plaintiffs counsel - perhaps they were representing large corporations as plaintiffs.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13307
Rating:9.8
Comments:
I have been a plaintiff's trial lawyer for over 35 years and have had many significant jury trials over this period. I recently tried a case in Judge Shaffer's courtroom. I have rarely been in a courtroom where the atmosphere was as pleasant. He was very respectfull of the attorneys and the jurors. He would enter the courtroom,after the attorneys, and then stand while the jurors came in to be seated after each recess. I have never seen a judge to that. A plaintiff cannot expect a good verdict where everyone, from the jurors to the court staff, hate being there. He was always prepared and tried as good a case, in an evenhanded manner, as any judge I have been before. I recieved a substantial verdict for which my client was very pleased. If someone told me I would have to try all of my future cases in Judge Shaffer's court I would be quite happy to do so. Any claim that he is defense minded was not apparent in my case. I have learned, after spending some time in his court, that what others may have found to be a quick temper, I learned was his passion for what he does. He does not suffer fools lightly. If you are prepared and show him you work hard you will earn is respect.

Litigant

Comment #: 13187
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I was pro se defendant/counterclaim plaintiff. He was very patient, and courteously explained what was expected of me. He actually gave my submissions the liberal interpretation that is mandated, which is truly rare in this pro-se-hostile district. He treated me with dignity and respect. His rulings were well reasoned, and even if I lost, I understood why and had no reason to feel he had been unfair. He conducted settlement conference with good humor and firm hand. His administration of my case was fair and prompt. He gave me renewed confidence in the judicial system, which was promptly destroyed by another judge in this district when I filed a subsequent complaint.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 12703
Rating:1.5
Comments:
A proclivity of dismissing pro se litigants even the face of clear Supreme Court decisions. Report and Recommendations show a strong tendancy to avoid discussion of Supreme Court decisions in order to arrive at a contrary decision. He is not neutral. Case in point-- Are national banks "private corporations" or "public corporations"? Magistrate Craig B. Shaffer chose to avoid discussion of Easton v. Iowa,188 U.S.220 (1903) which clearly:

The bank is not considered as a private corporation whose principal object is individual trade and individual profit, but as a public corporation created for public and national purposes. That the mere business of banking is, in its own nature, a private business, and may be carried on by individuals or companies having no political connection with the government, is admitted, but the bank is not such an individual or company. It was not created for its own sake or for private purposes. It has never been supposed that Congress could create such a corporation.[bold, underline & italics added]

And this is only an one example in the case.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9899
Rating:8.6
Comments:
An excellent magistrate who can handle the biggest MDL civil cases, organize discovery efficiently, decide disputes and motions referred to him intelligently and promptly, and in general give counsel the confidence that the case is moving forward at the appropriate speed.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9372
Rating:8.3
Comments:
For a few years Magistrate Judge Shaffer demonstrated some hostilty to (primarily plaintiff's)counsel and parties (plaintiffs). He was also particularly belligerant towards non-corporate parties in settlement conferences. I have noticed a sea-change, however, in his demeanor in the last 18 months or so. He is now courteous and earnest in his dealings with all counsel and parties. He is smart, hard-working and I believe is now genuinely making effort to be fair, balanced and achieve justice in the cases before him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9142
Rating:3.3
Comments:
He seems to be unable to control his emotions -- i.e., his inappropriate and excessive feelings of anger -- in professional settings, including the courtroom. He has behaved inappropriately, unprofessionally and abusively in virtually every one of the half dozen or so contacts I have had with him during the last year. I agree with the writer who said that an investigation should be conducted. Perhaps his behavior in the courtroom could be monitored.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8697
Rating:8.3
Comments:
I couldn't agree less with the "arrogant and stupid" review. Judge Shaffer is smart and decisive, very interested in streamlining the process to save time and litigation expenses, and in my cases has been evenhanded in rulings. He will criticize weak reasoning, but rather gently. I wish all the magistrate judges were as effective.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8405
Rating:3.7
Comments:
Arrogance coupled with stupidity - and loves to point out what he alone perceives as errors or poor lawyering. His brand of justice will result in needless delay and complication to your case.

Other

Comment #: 6595
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
He was absolutely horrible as a judge. He belittled and totally humiliated me as a defendant. We reached a pre-trial agreement and he ignored it and gave me a stiffer sentence. When you think of all that a bad judge is this man meets every expectation. He should be removed from the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4996
Rating:5.7
Comments:
Very bright, very imaginative, very eager to be a judge, and so working hard to ingratiate himself with the defense bar. Openly hostile to plaintiff's counsel while sucking up to big firm defense lawyers. Worked very hard to pressure my client unduly into settling a very good case for much less than it was worth. In another, did not discourage him from taking a very good case to trial. Still, very helpful in resolving discovery disputes, scheduling issues in an informal, call-me-if-you-have-a-problem way. Much better than average.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4582
Rating:8.7
Comments:
Once he became "fully engaged" in the litigation process, he zeroed in on the real issues, blowing through a lot of smoke and mirrors. Knew the law and quickly absorbed a complex and convoluted factual history.
All in all, a good Judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4176
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Highly insulting; demonstrates overt bias against women and minorities; intimidates plaintiffs and exacerbates tensions between the parties; demeaning and arrogant tirades from the bench and in private conferences. Deserving of investigation.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4168
Rating:3.8
Comments:
On several occassions, the magistrate has severly hindered settlement in civil rights cases and made inappropriate comments to plaintiffs about why they should not pursue their case -- arguing that the jury won't like or believe them. While it is always helpful for the judge to point out the weaknesses in a case to promote settlement, Magistrate Judge Schaffer tends to bully and intimidate unsophisticated civil rights plaintiffs into settlment. He also frequently uses the tactic of arguing that the plaintiffs' counsel either doesn't know what they are doing or that counsel is just "in it" for the money, suggesting that the client should not listen to his or her counsel. There is an overall perception that he is defense orientated and is more respectful to male lawyers than to female lawyers. We avoid using him in settlement, especially with highly emotional cases.

Litigant

Comment #: 3328
Rating:5.0
Comments:
My one experience with the magistrate was in a motion to intervene, wherein he said that "I have to follow the law." It is far more accurate to say that, at least in the District of Colorado, lower court judges only follow the law when it takes them precisely where they want to go. We could use more judges like him -- provided that they actually practice what they preach, which is an extremely dubious proposition at best.