Hon. Timothy M. Frawley See Rating Details
Superior Court
Sacramento County
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Attorney Average Rating:   2.4 - 7 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   - 0 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. Timothy M. Frawley


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA11610
I had a week long felony jury trial before Judge Frawley. Overall, he's not nearly as bad as his low rating suggests. But, his assignment to your case is no reason to jump for joy either. Here is some advice to other practitioners on how to manage.

1. To 170.6 or not? The only basis to file a 170.6 against Frawley would be on the issue of jury questions. Judge Frawley permits jurors to ask questions...and lots of them. If you have Judge Frawley as your judge, make sure you put on the record that you want an opportunity to object to any juror question before it is answered, and that you want an opportunity to make the objection at side bar.

2. Have your ducks in a row. Judge Frawley likes things to run smoothly, quickly, and efficiently. He does not like to waste a jury's time. He will slam the DA for not having all of their witnesses available and ready to go when needed. Likewise, make sure any defense witnesses are ready when needed. The judge gives one small recess in the AM, and one in the PM. Attorneys can expect to forfeit some of their break time talking to the judge/clerk over logistics.

Make sure all your exhibits are in order. If you're using a computer or overhead display, make sure it's setup ahead of time and you know how to use it. He'll berate you in front of a jury if you're not 100% polished and prepared to put on your case.

3. Do not have any attitude. Judge Frawley doesn't have much going for him in the personality department (at least in court, maybe he's more fun off the bench). He is nothing like William Frawley, the actor who portrayed the lovable Fred Mertz character from the hit classic TV show I Love Lucy.

One way you could handle the personality issue is to put all your arguments in filed brief form (he actually reads them), and show up to court, and saw as little as possible to him (again, he likes efficiency) to get your point across succinctly and clearly.

Lots of the complaints on here deal w/ Frawley's attitude. Understand what you're getting into at the outset, and don't go in there expecting to make a new friend and you'll be fine. Act dull and boring in front of him and he'll like you.

4. He reads your briefs. Judge Frawley will read and fairly consider anything you file. I can't say this is true of most other judges. I won all my defense In Limine Motions over the DA's objections. When it came time for sentencing, Judge Frawley STRONGLY disagreed with a sentencing issue. However, I asked for a continuance to brief the issue (he agreed, and did not fight me on the continuance). After I conducted the research, Judge Frawley was quick to admit his mistake and granted my position. I admired his willingness to quickly reverse his position when shown his mistake. He didn't try to waffle or hedge, but plainly admitted that he was wrong.

5. Conclusion. In summary, Judge Frawley will read your briefs and make decisions based on fair consideration. He's not a shill for the DA's office, and ruled against them numerous times on contested issues. However, the pace of his trial schedule is grueling, and he's not the most inviting judge, which could make a lengthy trial tiring and stressful for the litigants.

In the end for me, it comes down to the jury questions. If you can't have an inquisitive jury, then file the 170.6. But, if you have the kind of case where you don't mind jury questions I wouldn't let his low score scare you off.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA6930
The absolutely worst judge currently on the bench. Vicious, ill tempered, condescending, rude and plain mean spirited, Can be hard on an ill prepared DA, but saves his venom and vitriol for criminal defense attorneys.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA5663
This guy unwilling to stand up to the government and the powerful. Probably because he doesn't have the analytical depth to support the hard choices. A go-along, get-along judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA4524
This is a case of a dull and weak prosecutor and a judge who has no clue about fair play or reasonableness.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA3647
By far, the worst judge I have appeared in front of in 26 years. Rude, arrogant, condescending, unprofessional and just plain mean. He can be hard on an unprepared DA as well, but a judge with this awful a temperament simply has no business being on the bench. Will embarrass an attorney in front of the jury and has no sense of fairness. No wonder every attorney who cares at all about their client files a 170.1 or 170.6.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA1541
This man is vicious. He is mean-spirited, and will attempt to threaten and scare your client into pleading a defensible case. He has a nasty temperament toward defense lawyers. The thing to know about this judge, however, is that he is easily angered; and that means that he is easily manipulated into saying something stupid - and having to apply his stupid reasoning to the prosecution's case (if forced). He can easily be backed into a logical corner. Fortunately, he is smart enough to know when he has been backed into a corner. He is one of those judges that you should insist on everything being on the record - no chambers or off the record discussions. He's a nasty piece of work.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA1382
This man is soulless, bloodless and mean-spirited. I couldn't disagree more strongly with the other reviewer. He is extraordinarily biased against the defense, and will do everything possible to ensure the defense loses - and then will sentence your client harshly. He is 170.6'd more than any other Sacramento Judge - for good reason. He is unpleasant, and unfair.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA189
Rating:Not Rated
Very, very smart, as well as pleasant to lawyers and litigants. Former prosecutor (aren't they all?), but he will do the right thing if you show him the law. Gets frustrated with incompetent prosecutors and asks his own questions, which can make me nervous. But on the whole, a good and fair trial judge.