Hon. Sheila B. Fell See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
Orange County
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Attorney Average Rating:   7.2 - 5 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   3.0 - 5 rating(s)
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Only items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating.


General Rating Criteria

* 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=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)


Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)


Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. Sheila B. Fell


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA5440
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I liked the comment about her possibly having dementia. For our case, she bought into the defendants attorney's pure lies and went against the LAW. Laws are in place to protect the people and she looked at our attorney and said, "you know that never works"...when it came to a specific ruling about how damages should be calculated. She jumped to her own conclusions and made statements like "you arent going to win this case" without even knowing all the facts. Shes corrupt and needs to go. Its time to retire.

Other

Comment #: CA5288
Rating:2.0
Comments:
This was a small claims trial and the most annoying thing was that Judge Fell acted like the case was too small and insignificant for her courtroom. These lay people often prepare and research their cases on their own putting in many hours and they are mainly in small claims because they cannot afford an attorney. It seems to me that a judge should respect people who have the courage to try and make their way through the legal system on their own to get justice. Yet this woman would not let anyone speak, constantly interrupted and kept fiddling with her hair and makeup while people tried to explain perhaps the most important case in their lives. She appeared to me to be a pampered snob of a woman who made it to her position in life and forgot or perhaps never knew what it was like to struggle and have no money to pay an attorney to represent them. All in all, as a woman, I was a bit ashamed of her behavior and disrespect for the people in her courtroom. When the plaintiff asked her when they would know the outcome of the trial, the judge gave her a snooty look and said, I have 90 days. When the ruling did finally get mailed out, none of us could understand who won and who lost it was so strangely worded. All in all a very weird chic who must have been appointed by a bunch of guilt ridden men who needed a female to round out the bench sitters in Orange County.

Litigant

Comment #: CA5187
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I was not going to comment on her behavior but after coming over her and recognizing my situation in two of the comments, I felt I should. I personally am trying to understand why she is still on the bench without resorting to the baser understanding of "who got paid and who got laid?". Our laws are quite clear about her behavior being not only offensive, but iilegal ...

"Judges who take money from persons appearing before them are guilty of accepting “bribes” and will be disqualified from the case, removed from office for “… conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute…”) and imprisoned for “bribery” and violation of the “intangible right to honest services” 18 U.S.C. Section 1346."
...
Pull her financial forms and you discover that she derives side income from lecturing to BAR associations. Sit quietly in the back of her courtroom and watch her help BAR attorneys as they waste their client's money. Stand before her as a Pro Se litigant and endure her wrath.

I have experienced her crazy rulings first hand. In my case she actually ruled that US Bank did NOT have to submit their Discovery answers under oath. She rules they can send their Discovery answers one day and the oaths a few weeks later and even if you are accusing them of being liars, you have to accept it as though they took the oaths when they sent the Discovery. [I guess it doesn't matter if the court suborns perjury, now does it?]

I previously filed a motion for Judge Fell to disqualify herself from my case because of her affiliation with the BAR and what I perceived as clear favoritism to BAR represented clients. She retaliated by not only denying my request, but ON THE SAME ORDER requiring I pay a $5,000 bond that Judge Derek Hunt said was not due until the day of trial, which in my case in Feb 2014. She made me pay in Oct 2013 after I filed the motion asking her to disqualify herself, but I am not supposed to believe it was in retaliation.

I will file another motion now that I have witnesses who heard her basically say that if you want justice in her courtroom, you better hire a BAR attorney, you know, the people who pay her on the side.
....
I am confident that someone will quote some ruing that some member of the Old Boys Network made saying this behavior MIGHT be okay, but there is a big gap between might and is. In this case, she was quite clear that IF A PERSON WANTS TO BE TREATED FAIRLY IN HER COURTROOM, they had better hire a lawyer.

I think that behavior is illegal. The again,

[I know this public post is going to harm my case but the judicial system needs to be exposed. When playing by the rules doesn't work, create new rules. The lawyers who know they have to face her time-and-time again are part of the problem so it is us to us -- the People -- to warn the other People about what these SERVANTS are doing when we aren't looking.]

Other

Comment #: CA5124
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I watched a puzzling hearing. The plaintiff who filed a complaint against B of A, was forced by the court to add US Bank to the complaint....against plaintiff's wishes...then the judge gave US Bank summary judgement against the plaintiff who did not file a case against them.

When the plaintiff (who was pro se) asked for clarification, the judge leaned forward and told her that she needed to know the law...even though the judge know she was pro se.

I was aghast at what I viewed as a very biased ruling against a pro se litigant by Judge Fell, who is supposed to be unbiased and hear both sides...

Other

Comment #: CA5113
Rating:1.0
Comments:
STAY AWAY OF YOU ARE PRO SE! SHE HAS HIGH RATINGS BECAUSE SHE IS A BOUGHT-AND-PAID FOR JUDGE!!!! I was sitting in her court today and she was QUITE helpful to EVERY lawyer. She suggested one request a protective order. She told another to file a UCC-claim. When the only PRO SE PERSON APPEARED, the judge issued an order and the Pro Se person said "I don't know what that means." The judge took GREAT PLEASURE in leaning forward and telling the Pro Se person that she should know the law before she enters the courtroom. The judge's face turned evil. She practically looked like Satan when she berated the homeowner for daring to stand before her without a lawyer.

This judge makes money on the side lecturing to BAR organizations. According to her Federal Form 700, ALL of her outside activities come from lecturing to the BAR. She says she is not biased against the PRO SE litigant, but THE EVIL IN HER EYES TODAY TOLD THE TRUTH.

If Orange County wants to WIN AGAINST THE BANKS, THE PEOPLE OF ORANGE COUNTY NEED TO TAKE THE STEPS TO GET RID OF THE EVIL THAT SITS ON THE BENCH.

Then again, Judge Fell just might be a RACIST. Given that the homeowner was the only Black litigant in the court, maybe Fell ONLY GOT THE EVIL EYE BECAUSE SHE HATES BLACK PEOPLE. I should have thought of that first, but I didn't want to play the race card.

Litigant

Comment #: CA4506
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
She is very dependent on her law clerk, and very inconsistent with her rulings. She makes many mistakes.

Other

Comment #: CA4411
Rating:2.0
Comments:
After sitting and watching proceedings in Judge Fell's courtroom, I had to ask someone who knows her: "Does she have possible dementia?" Her continued forgetfulness regarding her previous statements and the changing of her minutes from previous court dates was perplexing, to say the least. Then, there is her clerk, Rick. He actually opines and rules with her. This is all very suspect and concerning. Her bias permeated the room: she allows the banks to default over and over again, and continues to rule against the homeowner who brings motions to dismiss on a continual basis, but the banks continue to be given more time. I am seriously not attacking her -- my intent here is to question her health, as when a judge continues to err on the side of the bank, and they clearly are in default of not filing on time and fraud has been noted, it is curious how the case continues? I worry about her health and the safety of homeowners in her courtroom. Especially because of Rick, her clerk, as he is acting as a judge throughout the entire proceeding. When a judge asks her clerk "what did I mean by that statement I made," one has to question if she forgets or whether she even made the statement in her findings? Thank you for the time taken here to comment, as it really is a concern. She is seemingly a very sweet woman, but the way I've seen her react to this plaintiff is remarkably unprofessional in nature. Something is just not right -- her appearance on the bench and her smile just do not match the results, and her appearing to be disoriented with regard to the case is of grave consequence to the truth.

Other

Comment #: CA3275
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Very positive experience. Supported settlement, and we did. Has a head and a heart. Good disposition, calm, patient and listens well. Restored my faith in the justice system.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1342
Rating:9.3
Comments:
Great civil judge, both in trying to get people to settle--as echoed in another review--and an excellent trial judge who is not afraid to pull the trigger in bench trials. Friendly demeanor, too.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA130
Rating:9.6
Comments:
Had trials before her when she sat as a judge in family law and now as a civil judge I have had many more cases before her and I find her very fair - in fact, she forces civil attorneys to be civil to each other, something most civil attorneys can't do. So, yes, she is a very good, fair judge and she wants the cases to settle if they can and will give you the time you need to reach a settlement.