Hon. Stephen D. Kaus See Rating Details
Superior Court
Alameda County
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Attorney Average Rating:   2.8 - 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)

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What others have said about Hon. Stephen D. Kaus


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA35482
In a business versus business dispute, Judge Kaus dug in and sustained demurrer to first amended complaint without leave to amend. I was impressed by his preparation and comments in two substantive hearings. Uncertain if his willingness to dismiss was affected by Covid-related backlog, but Judge Kaus terminated a case that many other judges might have kept alive for summary judgment (or worse).

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12863
Kaus is back to a civil department as of February 2018. Mentally ill and delusional pro-se litigants rejoice! Your champion has returned! You can now keep even the most insane cases alive for years while Kaus listens to himself drone on for hours about not allowing your perceived disadvantage change the outcome. When this lunatic last transferred off of the civil bench, half of his caseload was dismissed within six months. Judges who took over his cases could not believe the garbage he had kept alive.
He clearly had no business becoming an attorney, much less a judge. To top it off, he is the worst kind of hypocrite. As a judge, he purports to be for the 'common man.' However, when there was money to be made, he represented some of the sleaziest slumlords in San Francisco. Pathetic.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8571
An astoundingly terrible judge in every respect. Was appointed to the bench because his daddy was a respected judge and justice on the supreme court. Stephen Kaus is definitely making a name for himself, but as the worst judge in the history of Alameda County.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8075
To the intense relief of everyone who knows him, Judge Kaus is being transferred to juvenile court starting January, 2016. Hopefully he can do less harm there.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7674
Steve Kaus is the quintessential frustrated, mediocre attorney qua judge. His avowed goal is to "never let the quality of representation affect the outcome of a case." Sounds good, but Kaus enforces this notion by flagrantly favoring the side he feels has lower quality representation. One can only guess what is going on in his mind. In my opinion, he embarrassed himself so many times as an attorney that he is not comfortable seeing it happen to others.

It is not so much a mystery as a disappointment that Steve Kaus was ever appointed to the bench. His father was former California Supreme Court Justice Otto Kaus. Governor Brown appointed Otto Kaus to the Supreme Court decades ago. Both of Otto Kaus's sons went to law school. Of the two, Steve was slightly less of a failure. His brother Mickey's claim to fame was writing a 'novel' advocating elimination of the role of money in our society. When it came time to wax nostalgic, Brown's only choice to put one of Otto Kaus's sons on the bench was Steve. This is how judges are selected for appointment in California. An incompetent attorney with political pull will be appointed ten times out of ten.

To his credit, am not saying he is the worst judge in the state, but he is certainly in the bottom ten percent.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: CA7400
I had been waiting for someone to review Judge Kaus. I completely agree with CA7398. Kaus lacks the moral courage to make difficult calls. As an attorney, he was fine with helping slumlord Larry Chan kick old people out into the street. As a judge, he can't bring himself to sustain a demurrer without leave to amend even on the fifth amended complaint. What a baby.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: CA7398
Another ultra liberal judge from Berkeley who loves nothing more than the sound of his own voice. Sitting through his civil law and motion calendar is physically painful. How this pompous windbag ever made it as an attorney is beyond mortal ken.