Hon. Terry J. Hatter, Jr. See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
Average Rating:4.0 - 10 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

What others have said about Hon. Terry J. Hatter, Jr.


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19995
This Judge will sit on a Motion for five months, takes no oral argument, and then issue a two page opinion that would earn a failing grade for any First Year law student. Don't know if he is lazy or incompetent, but either way he should move on and make room for new blood.


Comment #: 12699
As a witness for a Securities and Exchange Commission based case, I was appauled by Hatter's one sided approach always siding against the accused no matter the evidence. Taking years and years to wrap up a case (11 years to be exact) in unacceptable. The Federal Procecutors seemed inexperienced and only wanted to win despite all the evidence pointing in the other direction. Other defendants who admitted wrong doing received nothing in comparison to those who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 12097
He oversaw our case in a puzzlingly negligent fashion. He took months to rule on nearly every motion, no matter how simple or urgent. We repeatedly -- repeatedly -- had to petition the CD Chief Judge to get a ruling. He never took oral argument, ever, in a seven-year, complicated case with at least 20 critical motions. His typical one-line, unexplained rulings often led to requests for clarification or further motion practice.


Comment #: 10251
I was a juror not too long ago...made bananna bread for the Judge & crew, jury, etc. Will never forget the Judge...fair & as I remember, quite a respectful person.
Wish all of you well.

Yours Always,

C. Marx (juror #8).

What happened after the case?

If I, or anyone, I know, ever had to go in front of a Judge...GOD FORBID...I hope it's you presiding! YOU ARE FAIR & TO THE LAW! I trust you with my heart & my life.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5953
This seemingly low-key judge is passive-aggressive, lazy, inconsistent, and at bottom just arrogant. A judicial misfit.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5011
Rating:Not Rated
I've had scores of cases before this lazy, arrogant, though soft-spoken misfit. Another judge, now deceased, once said of him: "Terry thinks that because the lights are on in his chambers, that means he's working." That about sums up this unhappy fellow. He lacks intellect, holds himself out as a liberal (who got his job by being a flunky for former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley), but in fact is a mean-spirited, bored, and boring fool whose worst trait is abusing folks with menial positions, like hapless messengers who walk into his courtroom and to whom he reads the riot act. He once prevented journalists from taking notes in his courtroom. This guy is a disgrace.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 4646
Rating:Not Rated
If there is any excuse, however flimsy, for this judge to find a lack of federal jurisdiction to ease up his docket, he will find it.

Unfortunately, he is also one of the absolute worst judges to draw for a copyright case, particularly if you are a defendant. I don't know if it's the lack of a work ethic, or the failure to understand copyright law, but summary judgment motions that would be granted by 99% of the judges downtown are denied by Judge Hatter. This happens even when the plaintiff's work is not even remotely similar (let alone, substantially similar, to the defendant's work.) The reason why it's impossible to tell what the problem is, is the fact that Judge Hatter issues a one page order which simply states "Motion denied" without a written opinion or oral argument.

It's too bad. I've met him in a social setting and he seemed like a nice person.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4330
My experience with Judge Hatter was in a civil rights case many years ago. At that time I found him to be very involved in reading and understanding the issues involved in lengthy pleadings which he appeared to have read and understood. He caught civil defense counsel misrepresenting certain facts and showed a grasp of the facts and the law. Courteous to litigants and counsel in my experience. He was previously the presiding judge for the Central District. He is fair minded in my opinion.


Comment #: 2760
My brief replying to the defendant's motion to dismiss was so strong that the defendant did not even attempt to rebut it. Judge Hatter dismissed my case with no written opinion and no oral hearing. An attorney acquaintance of mine told me that Judge Hatter had a bad reputation for issuing decisions without written opinions.

I propose a new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure rule allowing litigants a single peremptory challenge of a judge, a rule that is common in state and local courts. Federal judges who make a habit of not issuing written opinions might then soon find themseives with a shortage of cases to decide.