Hon. J. Leon Holmes See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
Average Rating:6.6 - 13 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

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What others have said about Hon. J. Leon Holmes



Comment #: 21071
Rating:Not Rated
We have been in two cases with Judge Holmes, one resulting in a mistrial. I thought he was fair but, come the second trial, in my opinion he seemed to lean more towards the prosecution. The judge made a comment that my family and I were floored by. He stated to our attorney that he had won some and the prosecution had, as if our lives were a game. Our system is now built upon what you can "prove" rather than actually doing investigation and finding the truth, and it is sad because you have many people imprisoned that are innocent. Judge Holmes lets juries make decisions that are claimed to be "matter of fact" while walking a thin line that should be decided by him due to law. We are still fighting for the freedom of my husband due to this faulty judgment. May God give him wisdom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 19609
Smar, prepared, even handed , lets you try your case

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 18091
A great judge I wish Bush had always done this great job

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 12254
Very intelligent, hard-working, calm and courteous. It is a pleasure to be in his courtroom for a hearing. Occasionally raises issues sua sponte that can catch the attorneys by surprise and throw a case off track.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 12072
This is the end of the U.S. Constitution here in Arkansas. He would be better suited for the Eastern German Stasi and the KGB. There is no constitutional rights of defendants before this judge here in Arkansas. If you are a defendant in front of this judge may God have mercy on your soul, because this judge won't. Corrupt Police love this judge because he will always support perjured police testimony and reports.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 11994
Highly impressed with him at trial. Very even-handed and courteous and obviously a very smart Judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 11571
This Judge has no common sense. He ignores the U.S. Constitution. He supports the blue shield. He penalizes you for exercising your constitutional rights.

He is 100% pro law enforcement and prosecution.

If you get this judge
God help you. Your only chance is to take a deal with the prosecution and completely submit. If you try to fight your case. He will bend over backwards to screw you over.

He even breaks plea bargains. If you sign a deal with the u.s. prosecution for x amount of time he will give you an upward departure because you dared to exercise your constitutional rights.

Beware of this judge. He works for satan.


Comment #: 10022
Death Penalty/Lethal Injection. Judge Holmes ordered stays for several Arkansas inmates facing lethal injection despite dismissing sec 1983 suit. He cited "Dataphase" (1981) in challenging the constitutionality of LI process. Citing "serious questions" and Deliberative investigation" as to how AR changed the LI process and grants too much power to Director of corrections. He really had to reach for this one - and also failed to address Hill v McDonough (2006) and most relevant DP/LI case law. Finally, the 8th circuit put an end to this folly and vacates these stays citing Judge Holmes and plaintiffs claims as purely speculative. Under Hill the likelihood of irreparable harm is not enough. Under Nooner (2010) the 8th Circuit already ruled AR LI process as constitutional. The inmates have "virtually no chance of success on the merits". Judge Holmes was creative but incorrect as a matter of law. Judge Melloy dissents holding that the Directors power is "Unprecendented" and the protocol COULD be changed at any time. Interesting, but unnoteworthy dissent.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6584
Judges Holmes has been very hesitant to grant dispositive motions for civil defendants in his first few years on the bench and he will let the jury decide the issue if he can. He will also raise odd issues sua sponte.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6389
Considerate, practical, and well-prepared. However, he tends to be overly analytical, sometimes applying assumed facts and law not briefed, resulting in bizarre results which are then overturned.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 5553
Rating:Not Rated
Judge Holmes is an incredibly fair, even-minded judge giving due deference to both parties and providing thoughtful analysis and review of every issue before him. He takes his role seriously and affords the time to carefully analyze the issues and make good rulings based on sound judgement. He is neither pro-government nor pro-defense. He is pro-justice. He is a model of what good federal judges should do and be.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1930
Judge Holmes seems like the perfect model of what you want a judge to be -- quiet-spoken, thoughtful, cordial, meticulous in considering and weighing all the argument, well-prepared (such as, being able, at a hearing, to quote case citations that were not briefed by any of the parties), and not biased toward either side in any way (as far as I could tell).