Hon. Melinda Harmon See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
S.D.Tex.  
Average Rating:5.2 - 20 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. Melinda Harmon


Comments


Other

Comment #: 19923
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Doesn't understand the Constitution when she says that parents give up their rights when they drop their children off at public schools. Constitutional rights extend into schools. This is a judge who shouldn't be deciding cases based upon laws she doesn't understand.

Litigant

Comment #: 18082
Rating:1.0
Comments:
She is one of the worst judge. I agree with lot of comments here. She completely falsified and distort evidence to suit her onlawfoll and horrendous judgment. She has no clue of law. Political Affirmative action! How do you look in mirror, So called Judge!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13839
Rating:8.0
Comments:
An excellent and brilliant judge. While she can be slow to rule on motions, when she does rule, her decision is well-supported and "right."

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: 13510
Rating:9.8
Comments:
I have read the commentary below and feel forced to add some balance. The people below are litigants who have lost and feel badly about it. That is not Judge Harmon's fault. She knows the law, and evenhandly applies it. A great Judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 13466
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Its a farce that this judge is allowed to handle cases of a civil rights nature. She did a poor job of interpreting the facts surrounding my case subsequently dismissing my case because she is obviously a republican and is pro employer.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12192
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Absolute disgrace to the federal bench. I would criticize her knowledge of the law but it is simply nonsensical to critique something that does not exist. Even the generally right-wing 5th circuit is forced to reverse her with regularity. In short, her courtroom is the breeding ground for travesties and an intellectual vacuum. The only reason she got on the bench was her family's political connections and the only reason she remains on it is the shortsightedness of the founding fathers in not writing an incompetency exception to lifetime tenure into the Constitution.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 11596
Rating:10.0
Comments:
have practiced before Judge Harmon for the better part of two decades in white collar and civil cases. She has always treated the parties with courtesy. She rules promptly and her opinions are thoughtful. I couldn't ask to be before a more fair judge.

Other

Comment #: 10300
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Melinda Harmon denied our right to a civil rights trial when Houston Police repeatedly refused to protect our son who was receiving death threats and who was ultimately murdered due to their inaction. Judge Harmon ruled that "Gays" are not a protected class under the U.S. Constitution and when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her ruling she openly challenged Attorney Robert Rosenberg to bring the appeal back to her court so she could 'throw it out again" in her words. She is a biggot and has no place on the bench of the United States judicial system.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9882
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Very biased judge in favor of employers and business. EXACTLY the same experience as comment #8452 with regard to a MSJ!!!!!!! An employee with a smoking gun may not survive a MSJ in her court.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 8452
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Judge Harmon is horrible. In the case at issue, the judge waited 18 months to respond to a MSJ, completely misread the evidence, and in order to justify her order and final judgment, re-interpreted the evidence. This judge has no understanding of insurance coverage litigation and disputes. Her ruling is a disgrace and was incredibly and unreasonably punitive to my client. Judge Harmon is anything but impartial and fair.

Obviously knew someone to get appointed to the federal bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 7971
Rating:3.0
Comments:
Rather poor. Too political. Unwilling to roll up her sleeves and delve into the issues in a case in an impartial, fair way.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 7505
Rating:1.3
Comments:
She is not on the bench because of her merit. If she weren't connected via marriage to the Texas Republican Party, she would not be on the bench. She has the highest reversal rate of all the district judges in the SDTX.

Other

Comment #: 4864
Rating:1.0
Comments:
She is so biased for the government in criminal cases that she makes Nancy Grace look like a defense attorney.

Prosecutor

Comment #: 4816
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Extremely strong government bias in criminal cases. She's often reversed because of it. We instruct newer prosecutors to make sure she has a foundation for her rulings because she'll rule in our favor just because we're the government. In one case, a prosecutor at sentencing stated that he did not find the informant credible and explained his reasons. She still credited the informant's statements regarding the defendant's role in the offense and increased the defendant's sentence. Needless to say, she was reversed on appeal.

Other

Comment #: 3738
Rating:1.0
Comments:
In the Andersen case, the DOJ accused Andersen of witness tampering, of "knowingly corruptly persuading" others to withhold documents from an "official proceeding".

Judge Harmon instructed the jury that "knowingly corrupt persuasion" did not require any conscious wrongdoing. She instructed the jury that the term "official proceeding" included the performance of "any investigative activity, formal or informal, of any agency, that might be commenced at any future time for any reason, whether or not the actor had any reason to believe that specific agency activity was contemplated".

Judge Harmon ruled that even if muptiple copies of a document were saved, if one copy was destroyed, justice had been obstructed. Indeed the court excluded, as an irrelevant defense, evidence that Andersen's Enron engagement team preserved multiple copies of the very documents whose deletion the prosecution emphasized.

Not surprisingly, the jury also never learned that the Enron frauds were all committed within Enron's off balance-sheet partnerships (SPEs), none of which were ever Andersen clients. All of the SPEs but one were audited by KPMG. Chewco/JEDI was unaudited.

Prosecutor

Comment #: 3559
Rating:3.5
Comments:
She has a very strong bias for the government in criminal cases. So much so that it presents a problem for prosecutors on appeal. It's way too much . . . and I'm a prosecutor. A criminal defendant will not get a fair shake in her courtroom.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1517
Rating:5.3
Comments:
Very biased; prosecutor in a robe.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1472
Rating:7.0
Comments:
I appeared before Judge Harmon in a death penalty habeas case. She was very strict and generally conservative in her approach to the case. While she was somewhat flexible on a number of issues, I was disappointed in her final order relating to the issues raised.