Hon. Craig D. Karlan See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
Los Angeles County
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Attorney Average Rating:   4.9 - 22 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   4.0 - 10 rating(s)
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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. Craig D. Karlan


Comments


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA24008
Rating:1.0
Comments:
CARIG KARLEN IS A BIAS JUDGE
MAKE A MOTION TO RECUSE THE JUDGE
California Code of Civil Procedure 170.1 states that a party can try to remove a judge (per an MTR) “for cause.” Under CCP 170.1, a judge can be removed “for cause” if any one or more of the following are true: ... the judge, or the judge's spouse, is a party in the case or an officer, director, or trustee of a party, or.
The situation involving embattled Santa Clara County Court Judge Aaron Persky took a new turn this week when the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office used California Code of Civil Procedure Section 170.6 to disqualify Judge Persky from an upcoming case. Some of our readers may be wondering, What is CCP 170.6?; When is it used?; and How do attorneys use it? We are here to answer those questions.
CCP 170.6 allows a party to a case (or the attorney representing that party) a one-time opportunity to disqualify a judge who is prejudiced against a party or the party’s cause. It applies equally to criminal and civil cases and has varying time restrictions depending on the type of calendaring system used in the County in which the case is being heard. A party can use CCP 170.6 to disqualify a judge assigned for all purposes, a judge assigned for a trial, or even a judge assigned for a specific motion.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA23466
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I have been in this business 36 years. This guy has no business hearing civil cases.(I don't know about criminal) He forgets who he's working for- the folks that pay his salary. He makes up his mind without knowing or understanding-- that is a human characteristic that judges need to be aware of. He is not. He makes up his mind first and then uses twisted logic/reverse engineering to justify his decision. Sometimes all you can do is laugh

Litigant

Comment #: CA22717
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Karlan is a hot temper, spoiled Beverly Hills Brat! An Ivy League educated former prosecutor who thinks every plaintiff is a victim! He is dangerous because his ignorance of the law and siding with extortionist, charlatan plaintiffs lying and committing fraud upon the court destroys entire lives! His rulings constantly end up in the court of appeals and he will side with Jewish plaintiffs NO matter what the case is about! A criminal gangster plaintiff can easily win a case! Be careful his wife owns an agency that is akin to a shadow government and she represents many city employees so if you get Karlan immediately 170.6 him!

Litigant

Comment #: CA19700
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I was sued by a dentist who was renting to an Asian Massage Parlor (read prostitutes). The City of Beverly Hills took 4 years to close the business down. Then the Dentist hired a unethical attorney to sue me for libel, defamation of character and slander although the charges were bogus. My attorney spent a lot of time writing an AntiSLAPP. The dentist's attorney never responded to the AntiSLAPP. On the appointed Court date, Karlan asked the attorney if he had written his response (this was 7 months after he was served). The attorney said he had not. Karlan failed to chastise him and rewarded him with a 3 week extension to prepare his response. The attorney slithered out of the courtroom with the motion to dismiss without prejudice that he had prepared prior to the hearing and filed it in the Clerk's office. My attorney was never informed of the dismissal but found it on docket. On the second court date Karlan upheld the dismissal and told my attorney that he could sue for attorney's fees (over $53,000). The dentist has an unpaid judgment against him for $988,000 from an action filed by his own father. Additionally, he had just encumbered his only asset with a $1,6 million loan. Even if I won the case I could never collect. Karlan could have ruled against the dentist during the first hearing and not upheld the Dismissal at the second hearing. The Judicial Commission refused to take action on my complaint against Karlan and closed my complaint. Karlan should be removed from the bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA17965
Rating:1.5
Comments:
This judge Karlan is an idiot. He makes judgment before hears all the parties ;; like for example if he knows certain people personally he sides with them wrong or right. This make him very dangerous ,, and should not practice law anymore. Shame on him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA17963
Rating:1.2
Comments:
I hate this judge,, because he does not make an effort to be one. He is insensitive and greedy. I hope he gets disqualified as a judge.

Other

Comment #: CA17960
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This so called judge is biased, and can be easily bribed. He makes decisions in court without any care for justice. He needs to be fired. Please.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA14809
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Karlan is a high quality jurist! He's part of the old guard when we had higher quality jurists. What has happened? Other than Judge Karlan, what a sorry bunch at Santa Monica Court. Judge Craig Karlan is the last remaining quality jurist in Santa Monica Court!

Litigant

Comment #: CA13941
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I agree with the last comments and have to say, I have NEVER seen a judge as fair and patient as him. Over and over I have seen this man apply the law without allowing manipulation; just on the principles of fairness. You will be very lucky if you land in this courtroom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA13648
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Cross your fingers and hope you land in Judge Karlan's courtroom because he's truly the finest judge. You will not find a more perceptive, knowledgeable, ethical, or kinder judge in the court system. If only more judges were like him because too many judges just don't care and are biased. Karlan cares and listens evenhandedly. Always on time, flexible, Karlan works above and beyond to facilitate settlement where possible. Karlan does read papers and considers decisions thoughtfully. As said elsewhere, Judge Karlan has superb instincts!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA13202
Rating:1.3
Comments:
Criminal Prosecutors have no business on a serious unlimited civil bench. He does not read, and rarely knows the actual law which he is deciding. He seems to pick favorites on a whim, and decides accordingly without any interest in justice, the equaties, or anything else. He acts that a spoiled rich kid that is being bothered if you happen to end up in his court, or bother him with a motion. Unlike other courts in Santa Monica, he is not the busiest, the most competent, or the best. Spend some time in his court, you will see.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA13065
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He is awful ! He treated me horribly and he is unfair. He has no empathy.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12794
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Agreed with comment of 12/31 that Karlan is the best judge in SM Court, and maybe in all of LA Superior Court. He's a gem. Decency and ethics, and faithful application of the law are what you'll find in Karlan's courtroom. Karlan calmly and carefully listens without fear or favor, with remarkable expertise in civil case law and an exquisitely tuned radar for bs artists. Along with long time service on the civil bench, Karlan teaches law too. Karlan doesn't sleepwalk through his docket like other judges, and actually reads papers, and doesn't do tentative rulings and gives every opportunity to be heard unlike some judges who just want to minimize their work and have already made up their mind with pre-set biases. Karlan is funny, too!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12766
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This goes t show you that former DAs should not be hearing civil cases. He is a joke.

Other

Comment #: CA12756
Rating:10.0
Comments:
God bless Judge Craig Karlan. As a retired In Pro Per plaintiff, I was nervous but Judge Karlan was what you want a judge to be. Just and professional, remarkably knowledgeable and decent, and made lawful decisions and did not discriminate because I'm not a lawyer. He did not talk down to me. Judge Karlan treats everyone with such fairness and decency even if you're not a lawyer and really seems to love the law and his job.

Other

Comment #: CA12436
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
AGREED WITH:
Karlan doesn't read the papers filed, yet complains a lot that he has too much work.

CONTINUALLY hear him advising all in the courtroom- "its a broken system" in various wording.

I have witnessed him not reading the briefs our attorney has painstakingly prepared & we have been billed for by our attorney. We are the plaintiffs and have first hand witnessed the other bias mentioned:
" Furthering this prejudice, Karlan seems to operate by deciding which attorney or litigant he personally likes or wants to suck up to, and conforms hia rulings and demeanor accordingly."

I have sat in on our proceedings over the last two years of our case and continually been surprised about how Karlan is unprepared, considers the "blow-hard showboater" attorney rather than the actual facts of the case. Agreed, no complex case should be heard by him.
We have stuck by our attorney for the very reason that he operates within the law and the facts, and is a gentleman.

We should have changed Judges while we could. Who does not operate as one who should be sitting in such an esteemed position of importance. He needs to retire.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12424
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Karlan is one of the best judges in Santa Monica Court. He's smart, evenhanded, knows the law, listens and is flexible to oral arguments. His gut instincts about people are superb. Perhaps his years in the DA's office honed his instincts. It sounds like someone on this board keeps posting the same sour grapes grievance with an axe to grind!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12398
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Karlan sure can sniff out the con artists! Fair & pleasant judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12391
Rating:2.2
Comments:
NEVER EVER show up in his court room without a Certified court reporter, otherwise you will verbally abuse the litigants, act as if he wrote the entire CA civil laws and for every case law you throw his way, he will have 2 more case laws to turn the argument toward his opinion. Clearly favors plaintiffs, NO matter how of a lying charlatan the opposing counsel might be using colorful lies. He does NOT like being told he is wrong hence any appeals or writ of execution will only anger him 100 times more. The man is NOT up to date with the latest case laws so immediately 170.6 him unless you like wasting your time with an arrogant man who really should NOT be on the bench!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA12164
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Came to forewarn that Karlan seems to have intense animus against senior citizens, and then saw the other reviews stating Karlan was removed from probate due to complaints. Not surprising. Furthering this prejudice, Karlan seems to operate by deciding which attorney or litigant he personally likes or wants to suck up to, and conforms hia rulings and demeanor accordingly. Woe be unto you if you are in a demographic hated by this prejudiced fits-of-temper unprofessional judge. Karlan doesn't read the papers, yet complains a lot that he has too much work. Karlan was appointed (not elected) by infamously recalled Gray Davis, grew up in privileged Beverly Hills, and comes off as a spoiled insulated child. He should, as someone else stated, be removed from the bench, and perhaps seek employment in the private sector to get a sense of real world issues where there is also accountability for professional misconduct.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA9688
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Karlan doesn't know the law and rules on a whim.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8755
Rating:8.8
Comments:
Good Judge.

First, the courtroom is jammed with cases, so motions are often set a year or more out. He may not specially set the motion either.

Second, he really dislikes complex cases, and if faced with one, may appoint a special master or other third party officer to deal with the case. So if you have a complex case, consider making it really simple for him to understand, and refer to it as a "simple case," even if there are 10 depositions and 1100 exhibits.

So if you have inferiority complex and have to refer to your cases as complicated, then you will miss your mark with this judge. Keep It Simple, Stupid is the motto.

He loves settlements and may refer you to a settlement officer repeatedly. It is futile to resist, so don't try. We went to three different officers multiple times, I think a total of over 6 MSCs.

He won't read a 20 page MP&A. Period. So write all the legally flowerly language you want, but he ain't gonna read it. Here's a tip: Pick out the 2-3 most important cases for your side and keep referring to these cases as the key to the case or a holy grail. Attach them. He doesn't need a three page discussion of the case--just a copy and 3-4 sentence blurb as to its holding and what it means.

Long oral argument will be equally unavailing. Refer to the 2-3 cases that win your case, and keep it simple. He might actually read them and come down in your favor.

The staff, I believe, talk about the lawyers and the cases with the judge, including settlement officers. So watch what you say, be polite, and act 100% professional around the courthouse. Its a small world.

Other

Comment #: CA8686
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
High moral character
ethical
healthy
compassionate
but very very legal

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA7895
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Did you know he was appointed to the bench by ousted California Governor Gray Davis? Like Davis, Karlan also has a temper, and Davis was recalled just 11 months after he was elected in November 2002 to a second four-year term as California's governor.

Other

Comment #: CA7803
Rating:10.0
Comments:
fair.calm.kind.no nonsense.ethical

Other

Comment #: CA7802
Rating:10.0
Comments:
We appreciate the Judge for allowing the case brought by Ms. Huth against Bill Cosby to proceed!

Other

Comment #: CA7710
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
His arrogant disposition and treatment of others is awful. He makes rulings without even the slightest foundational support and believes his decisions are just and fair. He has no patience with the attorneys and continually ridicules both their arguments and submissions - he's a really bad example of a profession, who's entrusted with the publics best interests. And my belief... he should be removed from the bench immediately.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7011
Rating:3.1
Comments:
I whole heartedly agree with other comments; this judge does not read the papers and rules from his instincts and what he believes is fair, regardless of the law. It is clear from sitting in his courtroom (many times) on motions that he does not read the papers or try to dig into the facts if they are at all complicated (not only on my motions, but other motions I observed). His (research) clerk does all the tentative decisions, which he rarely changes. His rulings do not make sense. I've seen him ask questions that are clearly answered on the very first page of the Introduction to my motion.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA5531
Rating:3.1
Comments:
Good demeanor and rapport with attorneys. Not very academic.

Other

Comment #: CA4950
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge appeared surprised during a motion hearing by a very clear statement that our lawyer made to him during the hearing about the contract at issue. His ruling confirmed that he either had not read or possibly did not understand our lawyer's motion and reply papers. If any lawyer were to make such a mistake in private practice, they would not just lose the client but would also be sued for malpractice. It's nice to be a judge, I guess...if you don't care.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4697
Rating:9.8
Comments:
He is an excellent judge, who runs his courtroom well.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3001
Rating:3.0
Comments:
He is rude, abrasive, and a bully, particularly to young, female attorneys. If he doesn't hear the exact sentence or words he wants, he belittles you.

Other

Comment #: CA1854
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Hi is the most ignorant judge I have ever dealt with. He rules without any regard to law and uses a sniff test to rule on any issue. He does not have the Judicial temperament.He does not rule on evidence and rules based on accusations by the opposing party. When we filed a motion to disqualify him, he even got more angry and opposed the motion and did not allow the disqualification to be heard by the PJ or another judge. I have spoken to several other attorneys and they all agree with my view and they were happy to see that Karlan was removed from hearing probate cases.

Other

Comment #: CA1785
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He has violated court rules and law. For instance, he once issued a civil harassment restraining order based on a whim feeling that the rape/forgery victim harassed the rapist/forger. It should have been a domestic violence TRO filing but there was no violence committed by the victim. So instead, he allowed a civil TRO to be filed and issued against the rape victim for the rapist believing the rapists's false claims about accessing a joint bank account and a jointly owned EBay account. What a dishonorable ruling. Don't vote for this guy next time around. He ran unopposed in 2010 and that is outrageous. He really doesn't see the truth before him. He assumes, somehow, psychically, like on that TV Show THE PROFILER, that he instinctively knows you did it even though there is no evidence just accusations by an interested party. He is willing to trash your life and reputation. By the way, this judge was given access to read the official letter written by a medical doctor stating the rapist/forger/winner of the case was on loads of psychiatric medication and had suicidal ideations, yet stil, he refused to grant protection to the rapist/victim/loser of the case. Vote him out of office or provide any evidence of wrongdoing you can of this judge to get him off the bench. Be brave and be truthful.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1133
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Case loads are on over-load. Yet, by start of trial, there is no sense of pressure or haste in the process. He is as even-handed and even-tempered as a Judge can be. He reads everything so keep it short and to the point. He views the evidence in lay terms and has a sharp mind applying correct legal principle. His staff is loyal, competent, and fond of their Judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA392
Rating:8.5
Comments:
Fair and honest. Nice guy. Clearly overworked and burdened by job. He means well.