Hon. Robert P. Dahlquist See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
San Diego County
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Attorney Average Rating:   3.0 - 10 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 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)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. Robert P. Dahlquist


Comments


Other

Comment #: CA5220
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge took my 3 children away from me at an expatriate hearing with no notice to me. He is PRO father and should lose his robe. He ruined my life forever its been 10 years since and my children still wont talk to me. Thanks Judge D.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4660
Rating:1.4
Comments:
This judge is very pro-defendant. If you are not a defendant, then beware. He is very close-minded, and if you try to argue with Judge Dahlquist, he will dig his heels in even more, and look for any way to support his tentative ruling. Also, he is very arrogant, and he lectures some attorneys. I have never seen him take anything under submission, either. Regarding his research attorney, I completely concur with the poster down below. I'm glad to know that I was not the only one that she called screaming. She also had the nerve to tell me that she was taking one of my motions off the calendar because it was moot. It was not moot. They have also "lost" some of my moving papers -- it is a very disorganized department. At all events, now I know to 170.6 this judge any time I get a case assigned to him in the future.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4376
Rating:8.9
Comments:
This judge is a superb jurist. I was concerned when I read the posts below. Fortunately, I was assured by trusted colleagues that with Judge Dahlquist, "if you are right, you will win; if you are wrong, you will lose." My experience before Judge Dahlquist entirely corroborated the assurances of my colleagues. He always had good reasons for his determinations, he kept a calm demeanor throughout the litigation, and his judicial instincts were spot on. I can't speak for the experiences of those who posted below, but my experience in Judge Dahlquist's court was very different from what others on this site have observed.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4292
Rating:2.6
Comments:
I have never publicly criticized a judge before, but all attorneys need to know that Dahlquist is an awful judge. I practice equally between state and federal courts, and many attorneys find federal courts to have far superior judges. I have never fully bought into this school of thought until Dahlquist. He presided over a bench trial and it was very clear he had made up his mind before hearing any evidence. He would actively search for case law that supported his predetermined ruling. He is easily confused when opposing counsel intentionally muddies up the case. If you have a weak case and he is presiding, then over-complicate the issues and he will easily be lost. Additionally, if your client is impeachable from prior deposition testimony, don't be concerned because Judge Dahlquist's predetermined opinion will not be modified by impeachment of key witnesses. If you have a strong case I would never allow it to be heard by Judge Dahlquist. I am obviously appealing the ruling, but because there was no court reporter's transcript it will be an uphill battle. When a judge decides a case prior to hearing evidence, it is impossible to have a fair trial because counsel is litigating against the judge and not the opposition.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4163
Rating:3.4
Comments:
In over 30 years of practicing in court, I have never had to routinely peremptory challenge a judge until my clients were repeatedly misserved by Judge Dahlquist. There is no question that he is smart, but he seems to think that he’s smarter than everyone else -- and, hence, has no reason to listen. He comes to the result that he wishes to achieve and ignores law and facts which cut the other way.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA3800
Rating:1.7
Comments:
This judge did not allow all of our evidence, ignored questions from the jury, and ignored questions from us. Made more exceptions for the defendants. Looked disinterested in our case. Was not up on this type of case law.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2890
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Dahquist is clearly insurance defense biased.He comes from Latham & Watkins, the defense side.He is passive agressive.If you disagree with his "suggestions" he will try to punnish the litigant.
He fails to firmly rule on Motions in Limine, and allows the defense to ask questions in front of the jury that Can not be unrung,like irelevant personal questions about the plaintiff that invade the right of privacy and are not in issue in the case.All in violation of Hallendorf v Superior Court 85 Cal App 3d 553, and Britt v Superior Court 20 Cal 3d 844.
He prejudges the case & value, then tries to limit the case damages & medical experts to conform with his predetermined view of it before and during the trial.
He allows repeated depostions of witnesses,driving up the cost of litgation.
Importantly, he will side with the insurance co on legal rulings so as to avoid an appeal and force finality of a case.He wants the case done and will fail to follow the law to avoid a defense appeal even if it damages the plaintiff.
During a trial he will try to limit the the plaintiffs experts from critisizing the defense experts,so you fail to get milage out of your own expert when comparing experts opinions.
He will also try to set a negative tone towards the plaintiffs attorney and scold the plaintiffs lawyer in front of the jury,but not the defense lawyer.
He refuses to hold side bars on important issues.
He is afraid to make a firm ruling,and instead feigns that he is willing to listen only to use the newly gleaned information against you.He never changes his tenative rulings.
His reaeach attorney, Megan Teague will call & scream on the phone as to motions.She is irratic and will also gloat at her detrimental tenative rulings."So how did you you like my tenative ruling",like she is punishing you.He is poor on voir dire and soes not relate to people well,so attorneys get some lattitude on Voir dire..I am told he is Mormon. Avoid this Judge if you are a plaintiff.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA2600
Rating:1.6
Comments:
When asked for settlement discussions, he said he would not demand it, but if the other side wanted to, it was up to them. Any judge I have ever dealt with has always recommended settlement discussion, unbelievable!! He had his mind made up prior to a hearing, almost like he was paid off prior to, corruption is high within the court system! Sad that we live in a country that has lost site of justice for all, not justice for who the judge chooses because of a pre determined bias!!

Other

Comment #: CA2569
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Biased, Biased, Biased...he does the court a huge diservice and worst does not allow true justice for all!!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2475
Rating:1.1
Comments:
This is the first, and hopefully last, I will ever have to comment negatively on a judge. Unfortunately this judge displayed a bias and demeanor against my client and I throughout the trial that I have never experienced and I have practicd in all California Federal Courts and various courts from San Diego to Siskiyou and Mendecino counties, and I have never having seen any thing like this. He was clearly out of his element and his uttter failure to understand the rules of evidence is the most shocking I have ever expereinced. At times, it was as if he had no clue as to what was going on during the trial and whenever he was challenged he struck back with vengence and disrespect. He was clearly annoyed each time I pointed out how wrong he was and cited a case or evidence in support. On one occassion in the middle of trial during a witness examination he abruptly stomped off and left the bench when I refused to provide an offer of proof for an unrelated witness. I strongly recommend that you consider challenging him immediately if you are assigned to his department. After trial, I spoke with a number of other attorneys, including a local prosecutor, who concurred he was one, if no the worst judges on that particular bench. I will never appear before him again and if I had the opportunity (which I won't) I would consider a CCP 170.1 just to see what kind of reaction I would get when I placed all of the comments and rulings he made during the trial before him. A really bad judge in every major category, and I'm sad to say this as I think very highly of our judiciary.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1988
Rating:3.0
Comments:
This Judge prolongs the litigation at the expense of the parties,but pretexually claims he wants efficiency.He fails terribly at sanctioning the insurance defense for obvious delays, and failing to answer simple judical council interrogatories and compelling discovery, so they get away with excessive billing for obstructionism..Biased against plaintiffs. Challenge him per ccp 170.6.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1186
Rating:3.7
Comments:
When he was in Family Court, he single-handedly caused the attorney fees in the case to double with rulings and judgments designed to prolong, rather than terminate the process. Maybe he didn't like the parties, but I would never appear before him again, period. Wouldn't take the chance.