Hon. Beth A. R. McGowen See Rating Details
Superior Court
Santa Clara County
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Attorney Average Rating:   1.9 - 7 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. Beth A. R. McGowen


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA23762
Her arrogance and incompetence is beyond imagination. She does not follow the law. She does not care about people. She shows no empathy and she destroy families with minor children. Ironically, even she's a woman herself, she bullies women, especially those innocent and vulnerable ones. I feel so sorry for those women.


Comment #: CA23707
She is the worst judge I've ever had to witness. She didn't read the DV reports that were submitted by my daughter who has been abused for many years. She "assumed" the children were telling the truth even though the abusive father had them two weeks to manipulate them before going to court. She not only gave the children to the abusive Father but she didn't bother on follow-up meetings to see how things have gotten even worse. She has destroyed our family and unfortunately, we can't get another judge!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA23623
She has a terrible judicial temperament, she is rude to litigants and attorneys, she is unprepared, and unaware of the law. She is one of the worst judges I've appeared before in my 19 years of practice as an attorney in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda. I've never reviewed a judge online until today. I've had several cases where she was the judge and she was horrific in each. Destroying people's lives one case at a time.


Comment #: CA23502
"Judge" McGowen is beyond the pale - both as a judge and as a human being. She takes great pleasure in belittling, threatening and intimidating women, especially self-represented litigants. She ignores the law and the facts and wrecks havoc with childrens' lives simply because she can, and clearly because exerting power brings her great pleasure. She is cold, heartless and flat out wrong the majority of the time - misquoting court appointed professionals and always taking Father's side. In fact, I've seen her make arguments that benefit Father when Father's own counsel fell short. She will stop at nothing to support her own narrative of the case including making orders that are draconian and lack foundation. I suspect she believes Trump is a good guy and would cozy up to Putin if given the opportunity.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA22515
I have spent hours sitting in Family Law Court observing Judge McGowen.

She is a bully and an abuser. She ignores the law and the facts. As is the case with so many personality-disordered individuals, her tactics are actually unsophisticated: gaslighting, projection, deflection and stonewalling. That does not make them any less painful and devastating to the victims of her breach of judicial duty and any less appalling for the public to watch.

In her kangaroo court, she appoints minor's counsel to (transparently) further her agenda and the agenda of the abuser (rather than the Best Interests Of The Child).

She really, really wants women and children to shut up about the pain of dealing with various types of domestic abuse (even on-going abuse occurring contemporaneously). And absolutely nothing will sway her from her 1950s-type belief that the best course of action is for everyone involved to simply pretend that all is well, despite reality. Family Law Court is about soothing the bruised egos of abusers, not encouraging survivors to escape abuse and live healthy lives.

As a female, I have observed that females such as Judge McGowen are every bit as biased and incompetent as the worst males on the bench---perhaps going completely overboard to prove they are part of the "good ol' boys" club. But, as a woman and a mother myself, I am so sickened by her malice and viciousness that I must shower and take to my bed for hours after spending time in her courtroom. She is that toxic.


Comment #: CA22513
She is absolutely not worthy of being a judge. Does not know basic law, and is prejudiced against women and children.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA20504
Judge McGowen is the worst judge I have dealt with in 30 years of practicing law. She does not know the law, does not know the local rules, takes advantage of litigants, is biased, and can't seem to understand that she is a judge, not an attorney advocating for one side or the other. She is also rude and demeaning to litigants and attorneys alike.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA20439
The most blatantly partisan excuses for a judge that I have ever seen in 11 years of family law. McGowen SCREAMS at self-represented parties on a regular basis, clearly can't control her temper, gets overly hostile if asked for clarification and persistently shows the White Man Bias for which Santa Clara County courts are becoming infamous. Mothers are treated harshly in her courtroom while fathers, even abusers, are coddled. "Judge" McGowen brings shame to the entire court system.

Court Staff

Comment #: CA13971
She is biased, temperamental, nonprofessional, acting like a spoiled brat in court while acting as a judge to make the most important decisions for families and young children. I have seen her acting like the abuser's attorney, scream at the victim in court for three hours, as if she was the abuser's confidant. She is the abuser herself. It was a sad day for the judicial system.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12065
Political?? Client and I from slightly out of town. Client was worried about the obvious coziness between opposing counsel -- very local --and judge. I assured him that there was nothing to worry about. Then we started trial. Surprised that a big firm would allow a first year associate to try the case without the partner present. Very surprised when -- half way thru trial -- judge told said associate that he would be preparing the statement of decision. Surprised when judge excluded opposing side's sworn document listing assets he had just testified he didn't have. Surprised when judge refused to stay orders pending appeal even though required by law. Fortunately, was able to obtain ex parte relief from another judge when Mcgowan was on vacation. Other things happened that I don't dare put in print. I've been hometown before but never ever anything like this. By the way, my friends in the DA's office all raved about her, which now I see means she goes with the prevailing wind. If you're not well connected in the area, stay away.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA11552
As a family law Judge, without question one of the top three worst I have seen. Doesn't know the facts and doesn't care that she doesn't know the facts. Arrogant and lacks the integrity to be curious about the facts because it would be too much work. Obviously someone who became a Judge to "retire" on the bench.