Hon. J. Spencer Letts See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
C.D.Cal.  
Average Rating:4.1 - 17 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)
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
Comments



What others have said about Hon. J. Spencer Letts


Comments


Prosecutor

Comment #: 11750
Rating:3.0
Comments:
Why this man is a Federal Judge is a bad joke. Basic state and federal law comprehension elludes him. Take this case:09-50559 US vs Anderson. The judge dismissed an indictment for felon in possesion of a firearm because he believes a nolo contendere plea in two state cases does NOT amount to a conviction. Basic CA law says; a nolo pleas is punishable as a guilty plea for all purposes. How this judge determined otherwise is vexing and scary. He needs to be removed.

Other

Comment #: 10009
Rating:10.0
Comments:
It took a great deal of courage and compassion for Judge Letts to recognize how unfair the California three strike law was in this case and to recognize a person who could be brought back into society..and then to support that person. In the current atmosphere of hatred in this country, it is predictable that there are lawyers and non-lawyers who believe that there should be nothing but punishment-not redemption in our society.

Other

Comment #: 9966
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Letts has no business sitting on the bench. While he claims to hate the judicial system, he has no problem manipulating it to his own preconceived notions of who deserves more, less or no time served. Too lazy to read character letters and to biased to render fair verdicts. A terrible choice in a broken system.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 9725
Rating:1.7
Comments:
He is collecting a check - he would rather be golfing - in fact is he is golfing.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9308
Rating:4.8
Comments:
At the sentencing of a criminal, Judge Letts went out of his way to talk to the defendant about this being "the first day of the rest of your life" instead of warning him that if he did more crime and wound up in Lett's courtroom, he would wind up in federal prison. Letts admitted that he never saw the inside of a courtroom before he was appointed to the federal bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 7403
Rating:2.3
Comments:
This judge is lazy, and lacks intellectual curiosity - he would rather be golfing. Why is he still a judge?

Other

Comment #: 6122
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I was a criminal defendant in Judge Letts's courtroom.
All I have to say is that when this guy is on your side it's a great feeling.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6015
Rating:1.4
Comments:
He's a disgrace. At the start of each case, he typically gives a speech to all the parties about how he hates the justice system. He bragged to one of our attorneys that he never tried a civil case. He bullies attorneys into settlement. He generally favors defendants, and attorneys from whatever firm he thinks is bigger. He seems to figure that if he goes the way of the bigger firm, he's less likely to be overturned on appeal, and he's clearly insecure. I've been on both sides of his crazy bias, winning and losing, so this isn't sour grapes. Worst judge I think I've ever known, and I've been litigating for 26 years. Whoever reviewed him and likes him must have been in a situation where he bullied a settlement they liked. But it's random, like a coin flip, where the coin is weighted to the large defendant. I typically do defense work, often of large corporations too. He's an embarrassment. His court is a surreal and scary place to be.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 5962
Rating:1.6
Comments:
This judge thinks out loud all the time, talks to his tie knot, mumbles, and no one knows what he's talking about. A well-meaning dolt. A wealthy legacy guy who made a call and got a seat on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5202
Rating:3.2
Comments:
I had one case before Judge Letts. His background as a litigation manager for a large corporation shows through in his desire to (1) force early settlements and (2) to prejudge cases based on his seriously pro-defense experience as a lawyer. He made several basic mistakes in my case, one of which resulted in a dismissal of an appeal and one a reversal, and although professing not to care, I think does care. Certainly in my case he had a clear-cut defense bias, and did what he could to make sure that it happened, even to the point of making one very highly inappropriate remark to me in chambers that in essence, if I didn't play ball in forcing a settlement, he could easily shape the way the evidence went in to help the defense. I was very surprised at this, obviously. He did not seem to have a good grasp of the case and did not seem to be very prepared. His rulings seemingly were written by a law clerk and read from the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4679
Rating:8.8
Comments:
Judge Letts is genuinely interested in resolving cases quickly with minimum expense to the parties. His local-local rules on discovery and discovery disputes are refreshing and efficient. I have had four cases before him and all were positive experiences.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 4557
Rating:7.0
Comments:
Judge Letts does seem to try hard. He is clearly very bright.

On the other hand, it is very hard to follow his logic. He starts a sentence in explaining his position, and by the end of the sentence, he has changed his position two or three times.

He also is hard to hear. And finally, he is known for making inappropriate remarks--e.g., to women and minorities.

Other

Comment #: 4505
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Judge Letts shows no regard to anyone who appears in his courtroom. As a witness, I had to take four days off of work to give simple testimony only to have him stall and delay each day on irrelevant matters.

He should realize that other people's lives are affected by his selfishness.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1694
Rating:8.0
Comments:
I am in private practice and I have had two cases with Judge Letts. Both experiences were quite positive. Judge Letts would hardly qualify as a criminal law scholar -- yet he listens and he tries to do the right thing.