Most Unpopular Judges in the United States
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Judge Percy Anderson
Passing judgment over criminal and civil matters is bound to produce more than a few disgruntled detractors. But some judges earn widespread reputations for incompetence or unfairness while presiding from the bench, placing them at the bottom of judicial ratings.
The Robing Room, a website that allows people to rate U.S. judges, has produced a 10 worst list of bad judges.
At the very bottom of those with at least 20 ratings is Judge Percy Anderson of California’s Central District. Anderson was also singled out by The Los Angeles Times in August for sitting on appeals from convicted felons to have their cases reviewed. In one instance, an inmate, Omer Harland Gallion, who had filed a habeas corpus writ with Anderson more than five years earlier, died in prison in 2010 before the judge decided to act—and even then it was only to dismiss the appeal after learning of the death. Anderson has kept other appealing prisoners waiting for up to eight years. In fact, one appeal assigned to Anderson has been languishing since 2002.
One anonymous attorney wrote of Anderson on The Robing Room: “Judge Anderson displays the kind of personality of the child of an authoritarian military man, which he happens to be.” Another defense lawyer speculated, “I’ll bet when he was a kid he used to enjoy pulling the wings off of flies and cooking ants with a magnifying glass. He still does this to attorneys appearing before him.”
The judge with the lowest average rating is Vanessa Lynne Bryant of Connecticut.
“The only positive about Judge Bryant is that she’s no longer a Superior Court judge, so we have to deal with her less often,” wrote a private litigant, adding: “Her opinions are written at the level of a twelve year old.” A criminal defense lawyer called her “Mean, arrogant and petty.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Honorable Percy Anderson (The Robing Room)
Relief Delayed for Prisoners Deemed Wrongfully Convicted (by Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times)
Hon. Vanessa Lynne Bryant (The Robing Room)
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