Hon. Colleen M. Nichols See Rating Details
Superior Court
Placer County
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   1.6 - 4 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   5.0 - 2 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)

What others have said about Hon. Colleen M. Nichols


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA11632
I would bet money that the only 10 star rating Nichols received was from the Deputy County Counsel in the dependency court where Nichols only knows how to go along with the department. Of course county counsel thinks Nichols is wonderful since she always sides with them. Nichols is NOT a judge. She's up there collecting tax payers money to do the bidding of the prosecutors and county counsel. She seems to have a sweet spot for Tom Leupp so my advice is if you are in front of her hire Tom Leupp because he's got something on her she doesn't want out there.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6322
Judge Nichols is not the least bit honorable. She "gamed" our trial to leave out all our substantial, compelling documented evidence that clearly proved our case. These documents were clearly admissible and were properly submitted. Nichols was biased; she also made up definitions and ignored laws. We read that she became a judge after many years as a court commissioner; and was appointed as commissioner by a former Placer judge who was a family friend (she was his children's former babysitter). Placer residents deserve far better than judges like Judge Nichols. Placer has grown too much in recent years to continue to tolerate cronyism on the bench. There surely are more scholarly and qualified judge candidates in Placer County that can take Nichols place on the bench in order to restore public confidence in the judicial process.


Comment #: CA6100
I have witnessed Judge Nichols in multiple settings; drug court, family court and criminal court. In all environments Judge Nichols hold true to the meaning of justice, if a defendant is doing well she encourages them and proceeds with grace. If a defendant is not doing well Judge Nichols will not "co" their behavior yet still encourages. What impressed me most about her in the court room is her expectation of respect, if someone falls short she will not tolerate it. I have immense respect for her as a judge and a person. I am so confident in Judge Nichols that I have to believe that the negative feedback posted by others must be due to a failed attempt to manipulate their circumstances. I know Judge Nichols would not prevent reunification between a parent and their child unless she had solid evidence that the reunification would not be in the best interest of all concerned.


Comment #: CA4202
Judge Nichols's actions from the bench are a disgrace to the office she holds, and an unfortunate disservice to the people she should be representing.Her performance from the bench in dependency court is an egregious example of a kangaroo court. She seems to be there only to support local CPS, regardless of the best interests of the child. She openly refused to allow testimony and evidence, and clearly does not support due process. It is a shame because she seems intelligent enough to do the job well, but somewhere along the way she forgot how to do the right thing even if it means holding her local colleagues accountable. Unfortunately she seems to be eager to punish parents without just cause, based solely on reports by case workers who are unqualified to perform any forensic investigating. Case workers often report based on their emotional feelings which the court accepts as fact. Judge Nichols does not want to hear evidence that local case workers have abused the process.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3805
Years ago I used to appear before her when she was a commissioner in juvenile dependency cases, where I represented the parents who had their children taken away by CPS. After losing about my 10th straight trial in front of her, I spoke with one of the staff members and asked her what I was doing wrong. She told me I wasn't doing anything wrong. She had been there three years and had never seen a parent win a contested hearing before Commissioner Nichols. At first I really liked her, but as time went on I could see her becoming more and more jaded and biased, like "she'd heard it all before" when someone was crying their eyes out because CPS snatched their kids away from them in the middle of the night. It's too bad that she ended up like this. She could have been much better. Somewhere along the line she lost her heart, I guess.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA3589
Rating:Not Rated
The really frightening thing is this judge is not the worst judge in the county! She is the former baby-sitter of an older judge with connections to the governor's office. The same graybeard earlier got his paramour, Frances Kearney on the bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA3136
This judge is a terrifying combination of Mary Poppins and Pontius Pilate. She sends people to prison with a smile on her face and possesses the most irritating "positive attitude" on the bench. She is nothing more than a glorified secretary whose only skill is setting the next court date. She has a patronizing and sanctimonious attitude towards defendants and defense attorneys. Her favorite line: "We all make choices and those choices have consequences!" Maybe if she had a backbone and stood up to the DA once and a while, she might find out what she's supposed to be doing up there.