Hon. Michael J. Raphael See Rating Details
Superior Court
Los Angeles County
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Attorney Average Rating:   7.5 - 8 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   7.0 - 4 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. Michael J. Raphael



Comment #: CA19258
I was an Investigator and worked on many trials. I was a defendant in a case, watched this judge work. He is one of the best I have witnessed, very patient and very fair. I felt like haning out with the guy after my case. If you get this judge, you are fortunate


Comment #: CA13541
Has ex-parties with the lawyers he knows. Goes with the lawyer who has influence. Does not follow the rule of law. Follows who he likes and has talked with ex-parte. Definitely file a 170.6 on him. Is a robot.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA11710
I don't have a lot of experience with Judge Raphael, but my one case in his courtroom was handled very well. He issues detailed tentative rulings on motions, allows both sides to argue their points, and is willing to dispose of bogus cases swiftly. He seemed very intelligent and willing to take action to move cases along, rather than simply kicking the can down the proverbial road like many spineless judges in LASC.

With that being said, I do agree with some of the below posts that point out that his calendar takes much longer to get through than the average courtroom because he is willing to listen to argument much longer than many judges. If you are towards the end of his calendar, be prepared to wait for at least an hour to an hour and a half for your case to be called. Also, at the conclusion of oral argument he will ask all attorneys appearing before him what they would like to do with the case, so be prepared to answer that question (even when it doesn't really make any sense). In my matter before him, he dismissed my client from the case and then asked me what I would like to do with the case...I wasn't even really sure what he meant by that, but I will take it.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA11486
Expressly disregards significant case law and openly declines to follow legal requirements. Wastes incredible amounts of time on minutia and irrelevant matters. Terrible judge and arrogant bearing.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10939
Rating:Not Rated
Another fake judge over at Stanley Mosk. Had a case before him and he was very strange. He has zero personality and acts like a know it all. I would definitely ding this fellow.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8693
One of the worst judges I've appeared before. Even a light morning calendar can go until noon when most departments finish hours earlier! In case after case he allows attorneys to ramble on. WHy? Because he does not know the law. Yet he clearly thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. He can be downright confrontational at times and condescending. I really question if he even reads the cases or the briefs they cite. He waffles back and forth asking the attorneys what he should do!?! What he should do, what other judges do, is when they don't know something, take the matter under submission, research it then make a ruling. Instead, this Judge wants to rule on all things from the Bench....even if that means it is obvious he does not know the area of the law. Attorneys waiting for their matters to be called were clearly restless and frustrated by how Judge Raphael manages....or rather does not properly manage the morning calendar. Next time I will 170.6 him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7703
Permits plaintiffs to lie without consequence. Takes plaintiff representations without looking at the records which show the representations are false. Makes it very expensive to litigate as a defendant when the plaintiff is allowed to get away with dishonesty. Defendants start with the presumption that the plaintiff has a legitimate case. Unwilling to dismiss on the pleadings.

Court Staff

Comment #: CA7563
As someone who's covered his courtroom as a judicial assistant, I have to say working with him is a fantastic experience. He is patient, courteous, intelligent, and has a steady temperament.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7027
Belongs on the federal bench. Highly experienced and intelligent. Does his own homework - does not rely on law clerks. Fair and even handed. Takes an appropriate amount of time and no more for a hearing. Among the best if not the best judge in California.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6836
He has an excellent demeanor. I think he is VERY patient, and he makes all efforts to have counsel understand the reasoning behind his ruling. He was familiar with the facts, evidence, separate statement, and the case law cited in the papers. He gave counsel all opportunity to sway him from his tentative ruling before adopting it.


Comment #: CA6194
Excellent to work for as a court reporter. Runs a good courtroom. Patient. Courteous.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA5203
In my limited experience with the judge, I was very impressed with his preparation, knowledge and industriousness. Handled pro se litigants with respect during the call and spent a lot of time getting to a determination in a limited jurisdiction matter. L.A. County needs more younger judges like him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4931
His past career includes Yale Law School, being Chief of Criminal Appeals in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, and working for a major law firm. He researches and writes his own tentative rulings on important motions, and is very intelligent, fair and open minded. He will allow oral argument, but is also decisive. A litigant looking for justice could not do any better.