Hon. Stefan R. Underhill See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
D.Conn.  
Average Rating:4.2 - 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. Stefan R. Underhill


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24777
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Protest the Nasty, Despicable Horrific Judge Underhill!
Judge Underhill should never be an appellate judge because he doesn't have the knowledge, skills and fairness. In 13-CV-1382, he let Nicole Tuman Walsh practice without a Connecticut Certificate of Good Standing. Walsh was administratively suspended from the Connecticut bar and filed a Notice of Appearance for a New York law firm. Walsh was a New York resident who blamed the administrative suspension on an illegitimate baby. After fifteen months of litigation, Walsh announced her legal duty for a sexual relationship with her client resulting from a belated marriage.

Judge Underhill doesn't grasp the rules of the Connecticut bar that requires a Certificate of Good Standing at the time of the Notice of Appearance from the Connecticut bar which Walsh couldn't produce. New York WIC Women, Infants and Children, New York welfare and New York medicaid may apply to Walsh's desperate hardship, but Judge Underhill has no excuse for his blatant prejudiced decision giving Walsh permission to practice and appear in court without her Connecticut Certificate of Good Standing.

As civilized people we have higher standards than an arbitrary, capricious, prejudiced Judge Underhill who let attorneys practice without a Certificate of Good Standing. Then in Judge Underhill's bizarre fit of rage, he sanctioned the Plaintiff who sought disqualification of Walsh using a disqualification motion $4380, and Judge Underhill never wrote an order on the motion establishing the facts. Judge Underhill lets a knocked up, administratively suspended attorney who can't scrape together a couple hundred dollars practice without a Connecticut Certificate of Good Standing while sanctioning a Plaintiff thousands of dollars for the rational motion to disqualify of Walsh.

No thanks Judge Underhill! You're a nasty, despicable judge. So join the protest movement against the worst judge in the US.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24776
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Underhill violates Constitutional rights of prisoners. Disgusting! Protest Judge Underhill!

Judge Underhill wrote a New York Times opinion article, •Did the Man I Sentences to 18 Years Deserve It?". Judge Underhill sentenced a criminal to 18 years which was more time than the prosecutor recommended, but less time than the mandatory life sentence which was avoided by Judge Underhill's acceptance of the prosecuting attorney's 5K motion. Judge Underhill gave a "speech encouraging the defendant to make the most of his time in prison". Then in the years that followed, Judge Underhill wondered if the criminal's "remorse was strong enough to overcome his past". So Judge Underhill decided to visit the criminal in prison when he was attending a conference on sentencing issues.

Judge Underhill visits the criminal in prison without his defense counsel as a violation of the criminal's sixth amendment right to counsel. Judge Underhill should be more cognizant of his role as a sentencing judge and hold a hearing open to the public with the criminal and his defense counsel when checking on the criminal's progress. The criminal has a right to counsel who could help him apply for a reprieve or commutation of his sentence. Judge Underhill makes no comment about anyone helping the prisoner apply for a reprieve or commutation of his sentence, and he never communicated to President Obama at that time who commuted a record number of sentences.
The protest against Judge Underhill is his inaction. Judge Underhill, as a federal district court judge, cannot work with a prosecutor and defense lawyer of the criminal's and succeed in the early release of the criminal. Although Judge Underhill contacted the prosecutor and his lawyer encouraging them to find a way to get him released early, he fails citing no straightforward way to shorten a federal inmate’s sentence, even if prison officials acknowledge that more jail time is a waste of time and money. So he had to stay in prison, at an annual cost of $30,000 to taxpayers.
Yet a team of law students can get the sentence of a Texas prison inmate commuted. A team of University of Utah law students, working with Professor Michael Teter, successfully lobbied President Obama for the commutation in the case of a Texas prison inmate. President Obama commuted the sentence of Jose Jasso Jr.

Unfortunately Judge Underhill carves a niche for himself as an idealistic dilettante who despite his significant power as a federal judge cannot obtain the commutation of a criminal. Even worse Judge Underhill "stops by" a prison rather than hold a hearing with the criminal's defense counsel. Although the prison may be a distance from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Judge Underhill could arrange a hearing with defense counsel and the prisoner on the phone. Criminals have a sixth amendment right to counsel that Judge Underhill forgets or ignores.

Litigant

Comment #: 24228
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Litigants should know that Judge Underhill makes decisions without a written order and without a fair hearing. In 13 CV 1382 he used inherent authority to let opposing counsel practice on the lawsuit without a certificate of good standing when she was administratively suspended from the Connecticut bar. Then he used inherent authority to sanction me for a disqualification motion. Judge Underhill never wrote an order on the disqualification motion but made a personal prejudiced decision that opposing counsel could practice without good standing. The sanctions motion was not served in accordance with Rule 11. Judge Underhill denied and fair hearing on the Motion because I was forbidden from discussing opposing counsel's related party transactions in the sanctions hearing. Judge Underhill has the opinion of appeal if you don't like it. I am Pro Se and don't have the skills for an appeal. Also my case was FMLA and I found another job that pays more so my damages were mitigated. Judge Underhill makes personal prejudiced decisions from the bench without a written order establishing the facts. Please email me if you would like additional information. I found him as prejudiced and someone who doesn't follow civil procedure

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24215
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Underhill presided over my FMLA lawsuit. He denied my hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment because I had a job interview. He grossly abused his power as a judge and used inherent authority to allow an attorney who was administratively suspended from the bar to practice in the case, and then he sanctioned me using inherent authority to sanction me for seeking the counsel's disqualification. He could not grasp basic concepts about the case or recall that he granted both the Plaintiff's and Defendant's Summary Judgment motions. Ultimately I found a job that increased my pay by $35,000 and didn't have time for an appeal. I was deeply disappointed with Judge Underhill's poor performance. I hated him as a judge and for his lack of compassion and regard for other humans. He doesn't have any sympathy for people. I found him harsh, capricious, opinionated and stubborn

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24189
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Underhill was extremely unfair in my civil case, and he demonstrated an angry hostile temperament. The Second Circuit Appellate Chief Judge called Judge Underhill as a "frustrated, impatient, imperfect human". While Judge Underhill was not punished for his behavior on the bench, the appellate chief judge didn't have kind words in his description of Judge Underhill.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 24076
Rating:1.5
Comments:
not half as smart as he thinks he is. glib and flippant.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 23979
Rating:1.0
Comments:
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
Rating:1.5
Comments:
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
Rating:2.7
Comments:
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.

Litigant

Comment #: 11899
Rating:3.0
Comments:
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
Rating:3.0
Comments:
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
Rating:10.0
Comments:
A gentleman and a good judge who gets along well with lawyers.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 9167
Rating:9.8
Comments:
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
Rating:3.8
Comments:
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.

Other

Comment #: 8266
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
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
Rating:6.0
Comments:
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.

Prosecutor

Comment #: 6992
Rating:4.6
Comments:
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
Rating:9.6
Comments:
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
Rating:9.9
Comments:
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.