Hon. Claude M. Hilton See Rating Details
District Judge See Comments
E.D.Va.  
Average Rating:4.1 - 19 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. Claude M. Hilton


Comments


Other

Comment #: 21840
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
This judge fell asleep more than once on Terrell Roberson's court case. Did not appear to be interested at all regarding the case. In 2010, the judge, the state prosecutors, and the public defender were all in on making sure that Roberson received a harsh sentence. Another young black man sentence unfairly.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21571
Rating:9.4
Comments:
While this judge presents a laid-back persona, he is very bright, and he is able to "cut to the chase," which sometimes causes less experienced counsel to believe wrongly that he is not fully engaged.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 21536
Rating:3.7
Comments:
Judge Hilton is almost unabashedly biased against individual litigants. If you have a case on behalf of a plaintiff in a civil rights or employment case, or a little-guy-versus-big-guy case of any kind, you will lose. His decisions lack cohesiveness, and ignore any law that is "inconvenient."

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 21114
Rating:2.3
Comments:
This judge lacks knowledge, and is not a scholar, nor a reasonable individual. He is quite mediocre in fact, both as a judge and as a human being.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 20946
Rating:9.0
Comments:
Judge Hilton is very bright and is able to cut to the chase quickly, but his demeanor sometimes belies this fact. He is a very good and fair judge.

Other

Comment #: 11935
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I am a reporter who has sat in on many trials in the Alexandria VA courthouse. I've seen Judge Brinkema, Judge Lee, and others including Hilton. Judge Hilton is a real disgrace to the position. He falls asleep during argument and testimony, he is completely pro-government, and he is very unabashedly anti-Muslim.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 10189
Rating:1.6
Comments:
The bottom of the barrel in terms of intellect and fairness.

Litigant

Comment #: 7395
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I, as most of the other people who were solely the customer for Judge Hilton judgments, believe that he is lazy and shallow. Now, if you are wondering why there is this one person who left two lovely comments (5681 and 6703) about this judge, then check him out here: http://www.wcsr.com/default.asp?id=86&objId=614 Turns out that he has worked for Judge Hilton. Surprised now? The U.S. judiciary needs a real shakeout.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6703
Rating:8.9
Comments:
Judge Hilton is a breath of fresh air. He brooks no nonsense and makes the parties get to the point. Discovery will not be abused, and trial time will not be wasted in his court. His opinions are well-reasoned. He knows the law.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 6535
Rating:3.5
Comments:
The commentator who mentioned Judge Hilton's pro-government and pro-corporate defendant bias is exactly correct. I had a civil claim representing a government employee against the government which the good judge threw out on summary judgment. His opinion was a cut-and-paste of the government's facts, and did not mention, even in passing, any of the substantial amount of evidence which I marshaled that contradicted the government's case. That case was one of my career disappointments in that the client didn't want to appeal it to the Fourth Circuit - the decision was so very ripe for reversal. If you represent an individual or non-big business plaintiff, my tip is to non-suit your case if it is assigned to his docket, re-file, and try your luck of the draw a second time around. He will not give your client the time of day unless his bank account has seven or eight figures in it.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 6241
Rating:4.0
Comments:
I believe post 4100 is incorrect about his appointment, my recollection is that he was appointed by Reagan and he was at the end of a very long list of potential appointees who were not interested. Judge Hilton is a decent and civil man but no one ever accused him of being the brightest guy in the room and he is far from being considered a hard worker. More often than not he just doesn't understand the issue before him resulting in bad and incorrect rulings.

With respect to post 5681's comment about Judge Hilton making the rocket docket what it is today, this demonstrates a total lack of knowledge of the history of that court. There were generations of judges who sat on that bench long before Hilton that formed the practices and procedures which make the EDVA unique.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 5681
Rating:9.9
Comments:
A great man and a great judge. He truly understands that the job of a judge is to be neutral and not intervene unless required to do so. However, he is not scared to dismiss a bad case early on, and is most often correct when he does so. Judge Hilton made the "rocket docket" what it is today: quick and just.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4920
Rating:1.7
Comments:
Incredibly lazy and unwilling to do any actual work. Wants to end each and every case with as little work as possible. Dumb as a rock. Will come up with any justification to end a case early, usually siding with the defense in civil cases for this purpose. Not so much pro-defense as he is lazy.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 4508
Rating:2.5
Comments:
I had a sex discrimination case in front of him, and it had been scheduled for 2 days. We had a lot of history to talk about. Based on that, I had told my psychiatrist to be our first witness on the second day (and our last witness for the case). We walked in and Judge Hilton announced that this seemed like a one-day case to him. I spluttered that my expert couldn't be there that day; he said, in essence, "tough." At 5:00 I had finished all other witnesses, and I asked to recess until the next day. He refused the request, and added, "I guess you rest." He then granted summary judgment to the defense. He was right -- it WAS just a one-day case.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 4100
Rating:2.8
Comments:
This conservative judge who was installed by Bush, has the least sympathy toward civil litigants; he totally takes the government's side, and very easily rules to dismiss pro se civilian complaints to obstruct justice. He is flexible in scheduling. His ruling in my case was very shallow and not present much legal context in it.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 2194
Rating:1.3
Comments:
He's cranky, dim, and purely result-driven. Litigants representing non-corporate clients shudder when they learn Claude's been assigned to their cases.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: 1933
Rating:2.4
Comments:
As far as I can tell, he just signs one party's brief or the other. I've seen him do things like re-dismiss one defendant who was already dismissed voluntarily. I've always wanted to submit my brief on disk to see if that'll make a difference in the judgment. Very right-wing, pro-civil-defendant. I've also seen him nodding off during argument.