Hon. Steven J. Kleifield See Rating Details
Superior Court
Los Angeles County
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   7.7 - 7 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   5.0 - 2 rating(s)
Please send me alerts on this judge
E-mail Address:

Add your own rating

E-Mail Address (will not be displayed)
Confirm E-mail Address      

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)

Please type what you see below:


What others have said about Hon. Steven J. Kleifield


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA41935
one of the better ones, you could not get a fairer shot no matter what side you are on. doesn't tolerate bs, altho you may think he didn't get "it", he will in his rulings. would be helpful at settlement conferences(where he is not your trial judge) if he did give his opinions on either side's case, seems a bit hesitant to take a position and tell it like it is, even when asked.


Comment #: CA16278
Rating:Not Rated
Our case was before this judge in 2012-2013. The judge prior to him was extremely biased in favor of corporate interests. Judge Kleifield took the time to read, verify laws, and look up rules to support his decisions. I thought that was what a judge was supposed to do...but now 6 years later I realize how much I appreciate his commitment to justice.


Comment #: CA12314
Rating:Not Rated
Since being before Judge K, I have been in other courtrooms. Judge K was patient and willing to verify laws. Did not seem to make prior judgments, but listened to evidence. He was refreshing compared to other courtrooms I have attended.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA11249
I must have tried my case in front of a different judge from the one criticized by several of my fellow lawyers. Judge K. did not always rule our way, and the jury issued a split decision, but I never got the slightest inkling that he was ever doing anything other than trying to be completely fair and unbiased and diligent. He took motions and trial rulings very seriously and really tried to probe the issues to make sure he understood the parties' positions fully before he ruled. His demeanor was outstanding. He is incredibly patient. Lets you try your case.

I would take him every time on a civil case regardless of whether I represented pltf or defendant, big or small. I feel like I would get a fair shake either way.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA9924
Very laid back judge. He underestimated the viability of defenses until trial. After appearing to fratanize with plaintiff and plaintiffs counsel all throughout the litigation and even during the trial, he surprisingly did the right thing and ruled that defendant's position was correct that plaintiff had taken advantage overreached and was not entitled to the amount demanded. It took a lot but this judge is willing to listen and reconsider his apparently preconceived notions and biases. For that reason, I would recommend him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8754
As of 2016, he is a fairly new civil litigation judge, about 2-3 years. He does not know a lot of things.

I was really concerned that being unfamiliar with many of the issues in his court that our case, a very complex banking case, would be lost in the weeds.

What surprised me was his willingness to continue the hearing four times through his law clerk so he could study the papers and get it right.

At the hearing, he knew every case and was as well versed as we were relative to the law on this complex bank issue.

He thanked all counsel and thought the judicial research was "fun."

Really good judge.

Pointer: Make it easy on the judge and his law clerk. Attach documents and cases you want them to read. If you have a lot of cases, consider doing an appendix with tabs. Ask if he wants a courtesy bench copy in a notebook.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7363
Does not know employment law, and always favors the big companies.


Comment #: CA5690
He listened and considered the evidence which was refreshing. He consulted the lawbooks when he was unsure and did not just assume the homeowner was a 'deadbeat', but was open to actually reviewing the evidence and applying the law to both parties.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4793
Judge Kleifield has consistently ruled against my clients, but I have to say that he is hardworking and trying to be thoughtful and fair. I really consider him a good judge.


Comment #: CA4508
He allows witnesses to openly lie in court and still accepts the rest of their testimony, even after admitting that the witness was impeached.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4452
Rating:Not Rated
While he may seem ponderous, I appreciate that he applies the law to each decision, and listens. He is one of the few judges who seemed to evaluate the evidence without making up his mind prior to completion. He was fair, and recognized that real estate fraud does exist.

Court Staff

Comment #: CA4440
Rating:Not Rated
He might be the worst judge in the whole Stanley Mosk courthouse. He doesn't know the law, and always relies on his clerks to tell him everything. He seems like a trainee judge, which is not good, considering he's been on the bench for over ten years. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1929
He used to be in criminal court now he is in Mosk Courthouse unlimited. Seems like a nice enough guy but is very slow and ponderous when hearing arguments and his personality is such that out of the blue he acts like a real jerk at times.