Hon. Colleen K. Sterne See Rating Details
Superior Court
Santa Barbara County
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Attorney Average Rating:   3.0 - 9 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 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. Colleen K. Sterne



Comment #: CA28211
Was in the galley, waiting for a friend's case to come up, when I heard something I couldn't believe.

A tenant had asked for emergency relief, and Judge Sterne stated, the pleadings weren't legible, she couldn't make it out, except that it was about an issue of no drinking water.

The tenant, said no water at all, amd that their keys weren't returned to them, after something happened, I think an eviction was thrown out.

Judge Sterne stated that the relief was denied, and that the tenant had to submit a legible copy.

There was other stuff talked about, which I don't know the context of.

How can a Judge, deny relief, on a pleading it stated it couldn't read?

Also, how is not having water, not an emergency needing immediate relief? No landlord showed up, and there were a bunch of attorneys, but none seemed to be or represent a landlord, and no one even argued that the water issue wasn't critical, or had been addressed.

I got 3 takeaways here:

1) Judge Sterne should be disrobed. Denying relief, without reading the complaint first, is the very definition of prejudice, and judges are supposed to be impartial, and to review all of the evidence before rendering judgment.

2) It appears Judge Sterne, hates tenants, or maybe just that one, because I couldn't see a landlord, and I thought if opposing party doesn't even bother to show up, that the complaining party wins.

3) Judge Sterne is a dangerous judge, the tenant said no water at all, and that's a fire hazard, and public health hazard, and I'm pretty sure requires a building to be condemned, if there's no fix for it. Why would a Judge place a community at increased fire risk? If it is solely due to prejudice against tenants, or because of dislike for that specific tenant, it doesn''t matter, judges should not endanger the public, due to their prejudices!

In closing, I saw a previous comment about Judge Sterne playing god....

Considering that she's intentionally permitting a public fire hazard to not be addressed, the risk that she's playing god is dramatically increased. If the the house catches fire, and there's no water, what about the neighbors? If they've got a kid, and their house catches fire, that's kid death, is due to this Judge's prejudice, for whatever reason she has the prejudice, and I hope that the tenant finds some other way to fix things, because obviously, Judge Sterne has something wrong in her head, to where law doesn't matter, protecting the public doesn't matter, just whatever her petty personality shortcomings are. It's abuse of power, and it creates risks for all of us...

Does anyone monitor these judges or do anything about it?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA24011
Sterne validated an illegal retaliatory lawsuit - KNOWN TO BE ILLEGAL - with a 6-figure “default judgement” within 2 weeks of the lawsuit being served in her court right in front of her. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE PROVIDE OVERSIGHT TO THIS JUDGE WHO IS PLAYING GOD AND NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES!? This judge is allowing a RAPIST TO SUE HIS VICTIM AND HANDING HIM THE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA22719
Whether she rules in my favor or against me, I always know that she is trying to do the right thing for the people involved in the case. Everyone gets a chance to be heard. She carefully listens and considers the evidence and argument.


Comment #: CA22195
Judge Sterne is evidently afflicted by a total absence of impartiality, intelligence and with full inability to fairly use the US laws, she should be removed from her pitiful assignment so badly and insufficiently performed

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA19741
Astonishing level of incompetence, arrogance, insecurity and abject stupidity. Incredibly pompous,engaging in desperate attempts to appear intellectual and intelligent, miserably failing at both. insensitive and caught up in an alternate reality to which she should retire. An embarrassment to the American Judicial System of justice and integrity. Truly pitiful.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA18839
Judge is woefully incompetent. Only saving grace is that she is very bland in court and doesn't indulge in crazy screaming fits.


Comment #: CA18078
How do I complain and remove Judge Sterne from my case?
I feel helpless with regard to my participation in courtroom procedure with Judge Stern.
Her actions are suspicious... since my petitions and request and COMPLAINTS have been blocked by Judge Sterne herself in in SB courtroom . The attorney Barnes she appointed under offensive pressure is also blocking me from progress and from proper intervention to assist me

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA18077
I would like you to check this judge Sterne of Santa Barbara with regard to organized corruption suspicion.
- the way she appoints attorneys such as (Ms BArnes)
- the way money disappears from the account during her courtroom procedure $60,000 without explanation within weeks;
- suspicious "the background chats behind the back" of the person whos suppose to receive the entire inheritance;
- allowing *emotional and financial abuse toward the inheritor* who was awarded and supposed to rightfully receive the funds in a reasonable time
- prolonging timing for unreasonable periods of time suspicious delays and complications,
- other

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA15320
Among the worst judges I have ever appeared before. Having had to take over several matters previously handled by other lawyers in our firm, the enjoyment of the drive to Santa Barbara has been ruined not only because of this judge's extraordinary ineptness, refusal to prepare in advance of hearings, consistent lack of knowledge of the law and complete disregard of the evidence code, being forced to sit through and listen to her attempt to handle the many other cases on calendar, it is very hard to sit still without standing up and yelling "are you kidding?" it's appalling and wrong for a person with such a limited intellect and such disregard for those who has the misfortune of appearing before her, to be subject to rulings that have such incredibly devastating impact. This is a person who should never have made it past the interview process. She is an abomination.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA15308
Likely the laziest, most incompetent, embarrassingly ill-equipped, disaster of a jurist within the state. When challenged she becomes vindictive, retaliatory and exceedingly full of herself. She insists on referring to herself in the third person, as if she were the Queen of some mythical land of unicorns and wizards, over which she lords her omnipotent birth right. Avoid at all costs.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA13900
This is one of the best judges I have ever dealt with in over 35 years as an attorney. Extremely thorough. She writes 14-15 page tentatives so even if you lose you know why. I lost the case on MSJ but she was so well-reasoned that it is hard to find fault. She follows the law which is all you can ask for in a good judge!


Comment #: CA10510
Colleen Sterne's court transcripts are not thorough nor accurate, sometimes there are none. She seems prejudiced and biased right away for the plaintiff whose petitions are totally fallacious with no basis. She doesn't even read the answers to the petitions or the MD reports assuring the healthy 90 yo defendant needs no medications. Didn't even let the defendant's lawyers speak or present MD witness. Judge's bailiff falsely charged me in the Superior Court with filing a false police report after I was physically attacked by the petitioner in the courtroom (who I had never seen before) as I was caregiving his 90 yo mom he was suing! The Judge lied saying she was sending the healthy 90 yo woman to visit her grandkids but actually let the petitioner institutionalize his mom against her will without any cause or fair hearing by forcing her to a doctor who drugged her! What a travesty of justice and the Judge was rude and totally disrespectful to the 90 yo.stripping her of all her rights even though the 90 yo told her she didn't need any medication and wanted to live in her home with her son and me the caregiver, which was not even in the transcripts!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA10019
very unimpressive, okay as a settlement judge.