Hon. Don R. Franchi See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
San Mateo County
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Attorney Average Rating:   3.7 - 6 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   3.0 - 7 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. Don R. Franchi


Comments


Other

Comment #: CA24144
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Hon. Judge Franchi has treated me with respect and demonstrated himself to be a fair man with a big picture perspective. I don't understand the negative reviews, because this has not been my experience with him at all.
I'm grateful that he is the one presiding over my divorce.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA23135
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Has a strong bias against single mom’s with children believes in minimal child support. Supports males with hi incomes and live in girlfriends. Has no regard for income inequality or educational needs of children. Avoid this this judge at any cost. You will be dead on arrival if you are female.

Other

Comment #: CA22780
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Franchi is the worst judge I have ever seen in 20 years of watching judges. He does not follow black letter law, but makes it up as he goes along ... seemingly to bolster his own ego-centric personality. He does not read files before coming to court, has no idea from one session to the next what is going on in a case, changes his mind like an actress changes hair styles, and shows absolutely not one iota of concern or care for the children or adults whose fates he controls. One week he'll be on one side, the next time flips to the other side, without any context or reason for the flip. The things he comes up with in chambers are so shameful, even he would not put them on the record. He is not only a bad judge, but I believe him to be a bad person... the last person on earth I would want to be put in charge of judging right from wrong.

If he is your judge - do anything to get out of his courtroom. Nothing resembling fairness or parity will happen there.

Other

Comment #: CA20330
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
This judge is unfair and bias doesn’t look at all re it’s Ir proof when sent or asked to to prevent damages caused to other parent in rulings . This judge also goes against his own rulings and has caused permanent damage to a child thru his ruling after talking with child and has caused years of mental duress.

Litigant

Comment #: CA17512
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Rude, unprepared, has no empathy for children. Wastes time, allows ridiculous motions get heard to their conclusion, even if it takes months. Has a chip on his shoulder, as if Judge Franchi knows nearly everyone views him for what he is. One positive I must admit, both lawyers (we were stuck with Judge Franchi) concluded he has some combination of anger and narcissistic disorders and cooperated to settle the case. Both sides agreed they did want to appear before him again under any circumstances. Maybe he is a horrible judge on purpose, it seems to scare people away from litigation. But I feel sorry for his wife and children, he is a miserable, ugly man.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA16967
Rating:1.9
Comments:
I have only appeared before this terminally obnoxious "judge" twice, which was quite enough thank you. He seems completely ignorant of the core issues on calendar, which bleeds an absurd amount of time and fees. Has no respect for mothers and frankly is rude and domineering to fathers, even the meek ones. It is my understanding his fellow judges are concerned about Franchi's work ethic and abilities. Both my experiences in his courtroom have been bizarre, as if his comments on the record were for a different case entirely. Personally, my biggest concern is that Judge Franchi seems to have no empathy for anybody but himself. A trier of fact who clearly ignores the best interests of children belongs in traffic court, not with the power to dictate children's lives on a whim. I ALWAYS 170.1 Judge Franchi, like the vast majority of my peers.

Litigant

Comment #: CA14926
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Drunk with power and cares nothing about children.

Other

Comment #: CA14754
Rating:10.0
Comments:
He's a numbers guy and is quick on his feet with tax issues. This skill comes in very handy in Family Law. He seems fair, keeping in mind that not everyone gets what they want. He thinks ahead and manages the players very well.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA14372
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Anything below 5 is FAILING. He only spoke with Attorney to Plantiff and NOT at all to Defendant, who had no money and WAS NOT GRANTED SUPPORT for Council. It was biased from the get-got. Probably could be a mis-trial. He is an unfair & extremely prejudiced and biased Judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA14371
Rating:3.4
Comments:
He seems to be exrremely biased, ever though when substantial evidence (which he would not hear),regarding finanacial ability of plantiff. I understand he has CPA background, yet he refused to use any income other than W-2...for a life-long 'self-employed' person. Seemed to be gender-bias toward males, as well. He knew he was creating a total disadvantage (and life changing event) for defendant, yet blantantly went ahead with a 'good ole boy' attitude. Still wondering if this case can be re-tried because of his lack of responsibility to uphold law and his glib and unconscious nature. He went to the same High School has the plantiff - and probably should have recused himself.

Other

Comment #: CA14305
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I agree with other comments on this forum. He was completely rude. Did not give me a chance to speak and did not question the respondent. I felt I was mistreated and given an unfair chance. No justice was served concerning this very serious manner with the father of my children. I felt bullied and now I have spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer when I should be spending it on my children.

Court Staff

Comment #: CA12967
Rating:1.0
Comments:
The worst judge in the building. Rude to everyone, arrogant and delights in taking sides against one litigant or another before a case even starts. He is openly abusive towards women and god help any male litigant who stands up to his bullying. San Mateo County elected a vindictive, heartless bastard. It is not easy write that about a colleague, but truth is truth. It is sad that unseating judges like Don is almost impossible. One thing I have to admit, Judge Franchi is equally obnoxious to mothers as fathers. He is quite the jurist and best avoided under all circumstances. The Court of Appeal just overturned and remanded another of his irrational decisions. It is unlikely the P.J. will ever rotate Franchi off the family law bench as his temperament and lack of knowledge would make a worse mess in every other department.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA10073
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This guy is one of the stupidest judges I've ever seen. Cranky, disorganized. Has decided the case oftentimes before he takes the bench. Tells parties that they better not go to trial because the result will be worse (for them) than what he indicated before trial. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Has managed to get disqualified on about 30% of cases assigned to him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA9789
Rating:10.0
Comments:
He is the man!! He knows a ton of family law and actually generally follows it.

Yes, he can have a bad day now and then when he is cranky, but so do I.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA4677
Rating:5.2
Comments:
He is a mediocre judge at best.