Hon. Stefan R. Underhill See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
Average Rating:5.2 - 15 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. Stefan R. Underhill


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24076
not half as smart as he thinks he is. glib and flippant.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 23979
Judge Underhill is the worst district judge in the US Second Circuit based on my cases filed in CT and NY. He becomes enraged, visibly angry and hostile without cause. He was prejudiced against my disability and denied me multiple hearing requests because I was disabled on his desired date for the hearing. He violated my constitutional rights to free speech and sanctioned me for expressing my opinion on a subject. I filed a judicial complaint with the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals against him which remains open after many months, and I have never complained about another judge at any time. I would never recommend him as an appellate jurist.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 22994
Fond of saying that plaintiffs' cases are "weak" and woe betide the litigant who manages to get a jury to totally disagree with him. Thinks he is smartest man in the room. Shows great deference to jurors while they are in his courtroom; very little once they are gone if they rejected his view of a case.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13463
In the two cases I have been before him, one a contract dispute and one a civil rights dispute, he didn't grasp the genuine issues. Nor did he seem to care for constitutional rights or fair litigation conduct. He missed facts, and on reconsideration, remained entrenched in his position. Upon learning he missed facts because documents were destroyed by the defendants, he said not my problem. Take it another court. I see him as clearly biased for police defendants in civil rights cases, and framed the issues in the case so as to lead the jury to one conclusion.

I found his stepping off the bench to greet litigants after a decision a superficial gesture, and I had all I could do to keep from calling him stupid. Although calling him stupid may have been a good thing, because it would have gotten a new judge.


Comment #: 11899
Shows clear pro-establishment bias. The words of Judge Robert H. Bork in his book The Tempting of America are suited: "Legislation is far more likely to reflect majority sentiment while judicial activism is likely to represent an elite minority's sentiment". Also, Judge Underhill appears to reflect a political bias which may be related to his prior experience having worked as law clerk for Court of Appeals Judge Jon O. Newman.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11463
This judge apparently has no understanding of the law, and displays clear bias against the constitution and civil rights. He has displayed shocking contempt for basic constitutional rights.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9903
A gentleman and a good judge who gets along well with lawyers.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9167
Excellent judge with a great temperament. Would make a good appellate jurist. Takes his time but is very conscientious and his rulings are very thorough.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8962
I had heard good things before my first substantive hearing with him and was disappointed. I like his emphasis on civility, but on the merits he was not as thoughtful as I had have hoped. It was a relatively complex case and he simply did not grasp some of the issues. He clearly favors business interests. I am in no hurry to appear in front of him again.


Comment #: 8266
Rating:Not Rated
Superficially nice demeanor but clearly biased in favor of defendants. Horribly slow to rule on even simple motions. Avoid if possible.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 7789
A gentleman--truly a pleasure to appear before. Courteous, respectful and mild mannered.
That said, his docket is perpetually behind. It's not uncommon to wait months, pushing years, for decisions which is surprising, since they are usually superficial with little depth of a good understanding of the more complex issues.
Tends to favor big business, probably the result of his background.
Nice man, but unfortunately not as bright as he may think he is.


Comment #: 6992
The 2nd Circuit overturned Judge Underhill's judgment of acquittal in a drug conspiracy case after a jury found the defendant guilty. The judge's scholarship and reasoning skills are not the best. Case: 07-3018-cr. Quote: "We find that the government’s evidence was sufficient to prove that Hawkins not only purchased from the conspiracy with a known intent to resell, but he knowingly and intentionally joined and participated in it. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of acquittal and remand the case to the District Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 6665
Having tried both civil and criminal jury cases to verdict before Judge Underhill, and having over thirty years of experience in trial practice, I am very impressed with this jurist in virtually every category. He's a pleasure to deal with.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1997
Eminently fair judge. Great disposition - personable and friendly. Does not appear to inject his politics into his decisions - in fact a mark of how good a judge he has been is that no one really knows what his ideology is - and that is refreshing these days.