Hon. Craig Elliot Veals See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
Los Angeles County
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Attorney Average Rating:   3.3 - 26 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   10.0 - 1 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)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. Craig Elliot Veals


Comments


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA11286
Rating:1.6
Comments:
This jurist is not one who I feel is fair and open minded. Most definitely does now follow the law and demonstrates bias at times. A very large ego that is easily bruised and comments from the bench confirm that. I took a few moments to read the reviews and was not at all shocked to read the various comments and ratings related to Judge Veals. Of course there are some who like him, but for the most part the system knows who he is and that speaks for itself. I can only hope that this jurist is able to temper his ego as he gains more experience and apply the law in an even handed manner.

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA11151
Rating:1.1
Comments:
It was my last week, and my last time in Judge Veals courtroom. As I enter private practice, I hope that I can avoid entering his courtroom and being subject to bias. He is a an officer that should be papered. I'm fortunate that my experiences were unpleasant but brief. I feel for those who have to endure a long trial with this Judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA11071
Rating:1.6
Comments:
I have taken to writing a review about a state court judge only twice since practicing. This judge doesn't seem to be a proper fit for this courtroom or any for that matter. I was surprised when reading other reviews that he discusses his ratings on this site with counsel off the court record. Shouldn't he be concerned with honing his skills as a trial judge. I feel confident in the ratings I applied to Judge Veals.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10982
Rating:9.5
Comments:
This in response to the very childish "news flash" that Judge Veals discussed this website with someone "during a break in court." Really? A few observations: first, I was that someone. Second, the judge encouraged no one, including me, to write anything about him, good, bad, or indifferent, and you know it. Third, you insinuate the judge initiated the discussion is also a lie. Shake off your self-appointed duty to serve as the bench's moral compass despite your infinite perfection and answer two simple questions: even if it all happened as you falsely claimed,so what? And most important of all, why does behaving as a common snake in the grass seem to suit you so well?

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10879
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I have seen it all. During a break in court Judge Veals discusses his ratings on this venue and encourages those in court to review him positively. What? Who does that? I find him to be a pompus somewhat intelligent judge. I wouldn't give him a positive rating though. He hasn't earned it nor deserves it. The reviews that Veals considers negative might very well portray what took place in his courtroom with reference to a case. It is most certainly NOT character assassination.

Other

Comment #: CA10873
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Veals has always shown his commitment to serve justice by being reasonable, well versed in the law and fair to both sides. A judge of his caliber should not have to endure unfair character assassination.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10859
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
My experience with this court room and judge is a professional and courteous atmosphere. The judge seemed fair to all parties and about the law. Never had any negative experience along the likes discussed in this room. I have seen Judge Veals take time for jurors and defendants. Certainly nothing to lead me to believe he is disturbed. Those seem like biased and childish comments from someone who took the outcome in court a little too personally!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10858
Rating:9.9
Comments:
I have appeared before Judge Veals on several occasions during all stages of numerous serious and complex criminal matters. He is even tempered, deliberative and thorough. On each occasion, he has demonstrated a command of the law and more pointedly good common sense and judgment regarding the relative strengths and weaknesses of a prosecution case. Such an ability is essential in the plea negotiation process. When unable to resolve a case by plea negotiation and the case proceeds to jury trial, I have always received fair and impartial rulings, and could count on Judge Veals to strike a balance in order to achieve a fair administration of justice. He is patient and allows the lawyers to try their respective case. On several occasions, I have witnessed this judge to endure acts of petulant disrespect and unprofessionalism by litigants who appeared before him. He would never respond in kind and engage in petty retribution. He is industrious and handles his calendar in an efficient manner while still allowing the litigants to be heard. It has always been a pleasure to appear before him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA10818
Rating:10.0
Comments:
The negative comments I have read here about Judge Veals are the standard cliché-ridden, unsubstantiated criticisms leveled by inadequate litigators who project their personal and professional flaws upon others, which we see is especially made easy to do under the cowardly cloak of complete anonymity. I find it objectionable that this very fine bench officer should be besmirched by some so unfairly. Where I come from, this is called libel. The very nature of the claims shows they do not arise from reasoned analysis but from jealousy or a malicious urge to retaliate for not having received one's way, or both. Would that not more accurately demonstrate the questionable mental stability, intellect and demeanor of the accuser? To be sure, judges are called upon to make difficult calls, and everyone operating within the system sooner or later will neither like nor agree with a particular ruling. But civility, maturity, and professionalism, if possessed, require a completely different and more constructive response than what we have seen here from some. Where is the respect for the system, respect for the court, respect for oneself? It's unbecoming to behave like a petulant, spoiled 5-year-old who has never been taught to cope with being told "no" from time to time. The derision I have seen here has no practical impact but to demean, which is telling. It suggests motive, and the level of immaturity could not be more apparent. Anyone who knows Judge Veals and who sees things rationally must appreciate his incredible work ethic (to claim he never reads attorneys' submissions is just plain stupid), his patience and uncommon good temperament (I have seen him deal with even the most difficult attorneys, some of whom have very likely vented their spleen here, with unwavering tolerance and grace), and ability (his rulings are cerebral and solid, including the ones that haven't gone my way, I am big enough to admit). Finally, a strange bit of coincidence: as fate would have it, I recently heard Judge Veals quote Fredrick Nietzche, whom I studied extensively in college, in his courtroom. I wrote that quote down because I found it to be so compelling. It also perfectly describes someone so miserable, lacking in judgment, and cowardly to take anonymous pot shots at this remarkable judge on an internet website: "The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly."

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10455
Rating:1.0
Comments:
The majority of the comments accurately Judge Veals

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA10208
Rating:1.1
Comments:
Transferring to a place that keeps me from Veals. Every appearance in his courtroom is a struggle. The struggle being from keeping my mouth shut. Doesn't represent our State well. Prosecution and Defense have not much good to say about this judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10194
Rating:1.3
Comments:
I just left Judge Veals courtroom. A Narcissist at best. I will paper this Judge any time I have the opportunity. Another reviewer likened this place to a "Zoo". Not far off.

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA10119
Rating:1.3
Comments:
The most concerning things about this judge is that most, if not all the comments pertaining to him, are accurate.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10056
Rating:1.1
Comments:
It is sad to say, but I honestly feel that this judge expresses racial bias to defendants in this courtroom. This is not an even handed judge. To say I was amused at his bench theatrics does not nearly describe what I witnessed. There has to be a better way to vet and appoint judges. This judge shouldn't sit where he is.

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA9929
Rating:1.0
Comments:
As someone who has just left the office for another State, I can only say the most all of the comments regarding Judge Veals are accurate. I am glad I will never have to see Judge Veals again.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA9830
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Spent a day this last week with this Judge in his court room. Judge has what appears to be many emotional issues. Commenced proceedings late without regard to others scheduling. Not at all punctual. Seemed to anger quite quickly when confronted with opposing opinions or objections. Most certainly not even handed. I would dismiss this judge when you have the opportunity. I would venture to guess you will be sorry if you do not. A very sad courtroom.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA9687
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Having practiced law for almost twenty years I was shocked yesterday by the complete absurdity that takes place in this Judge's courtroom. Judge Veals is not even handed, not well versed on the law, does not read filed motions, does not take the time to reflect on motions made by counsel on either side. This Judge just should not be sitting on the bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA9673
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I spent the morning in this "Judicial Officer's" courtroom. This is one situation where the below comments are fairly accurate. Complete lack of a proper judicial temperament-period.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA9590
Rating:1.3
Comments:
If I could provide a rating of zero I would do that. Judge Veals is a rare example of what we all do not want to see from the court. Hopefully someone will run against him next time he is due for re-election. I can't express the contempt most have for this Judge.

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA9547
Rating:1.9
Comments:
Mental Illness Straight from the bench. Not a judge you want to go to trial with. Takes many glasses of wine to recover from a day in his insane asylum.

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA8968
Rating:1.6
Comments:
Judge Veals is what most here refer to him as. A fairly incompetent idiot!
While we as prosecutors can usually sway him to do what we like, he is just a fool most of the time. We appreciate him being able to be swayed towards the People's table, but really it just is such a trip to get there. How he was elected just boggles the mind.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8756
Rating:9.0
Comments:
Judge Veals is a really good judge. He is smart and actually reads the files and pleadings filed in preparation for hearings. He understands complex legal issues, and is actually willing to listen and consider a position, even if it means that his initial opinion was incorrect (or he got swayed by the prosecutor - his former calendar prosecutor was a hard ass without a brain to match). Judge Veals cares more about being fair and just than his own ego, unlike many other judges. He cares about the defendants, and the man works hard. He is tough. With him, you should never risk missing a hearing, never risk catching new cases while out on OR (risking revocation, bail increase and remand to jail), don't make mistakes (in court or otherwise), and have the defendants "do right" as well as their attorney. Don't waste his time with frivolous requests or expect to "get out of it" without good cause and a strong case. But he spends his time on each case, reaches fair decisions and I would highly recommend him. (Just watch out that his prosecutor doesn't try to predispose him against your client - so work for your client while in this courtroom. Judge Veals is an overall 9 for sure. That is the best I would go, because I don't think there is a 10 on the bench.

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA8670
Rating:2.6
Comments:
In spite of the fact that this Judge is fairly pro-prosecution, it is painful to see the degree of incompetence that this court officer exudes. Every appearance before him is akin to attending a circus. Just sad. He will be a lifer here though. Unfortunately for all of us.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA8038
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Not a judge that is even handed, nor a judge who is smart enough or well educated enough to follow the law. He is a numbers man pure and simple. He's processing cases on an assembly line and will violate rights to do so. Really an odd guy with a huge ego problem. Stay away.

Other

Comment #: CA8008
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
This department is a crack-up to work in. Make sure you bow to the royalty. And I agree with the previous post regarding the D.A. Wow! What psycho.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7933
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I am a criminal and civil practitioner who has tried maybe six or seven criminal cases in front of Judge Veals in recent years. I have found him to be more than fair. He follows the law and has been very pleasant to me and to others as well. He is one of the few judges who actually speaks to my clients with concern and treats them with dignity and compassion. While I have not been thrilled with every ruling, I have understood them and have appreciated his explanation and careful consideration in making them. I am scheduled to start another trial in his court in a few weeks and wouldn't think of going anywhere else.

Prosecutor

Comment #: CA7827
Rating:2.1
Comments:
This judge must be bipolar. While he is very pro prosecution, he is a certifiable nut job.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7706
Rating:10.0
Comments:
While I ordinarily would not take the time to respond to the likes of the enraged diatribe posted a few days ago regarding Judge Veals, I had to make an exception here. These comments conspicuously appeared the day after Judge Veals sentenced a defendant for having violated his probation for the second time, and given the tenor of the comments, there is no question about who posted them. I was present in Judge Veals court and listened to the proceedings. Conveniently absent from the commentor's comments is even a passing reference to the facts. Those facts are essential for proper context. Judge Veals pointed out during the hearing that the defendant had been convicted for repeatedly raping an 11-yer old girl. He was somehow placed on probation in another court and told to register as a sex offender. He violated probation by failing to register to and picked up a new case for that. He then violated probation on the sex registration case and received additional time in custody. He then abandoned probation again, this time illegally leaving California. He apparently relocated to Texas and was soon prosecuted there for various offenses, one of them being a drug case. He had several pounds of marijuana in his possession in that case and received a sentence of I believe eight years. The defendant returned to California after serving this sentence. He neither reported to probation to clear up his warrant nor updated his sex offender registration as required by law. He was arrested on the bench warrant and his case was transferred to Judge Veals' court for resolution. The attorney who argued for the defendant of course had no reasonable excuse to present on his client's behalf. His very anemic plea essentially was for the court to give the defendant some slack since he had served a significant prison sentence in Texas once he had abandoned his probationary obligations in California. Throughout the entire process, Judge Veals listened to him patiently and attentively, and outlined in painstaking detail every fact upon which he would base his decision. The judge noted this was the third day of argument on the subject, and that the court had even put the matter over on earlier occasions to afford the attorney an opportunity to appear on the case (he had earlier sent an underling to argue the case and, apparently unhappy with the way things developed, asked through his proxy to put the case over yet again). Judge Veals ultimately refused to reinstate the defendant's probation and sentenced him to the low term of 16 months in prison(the defendant was eligible to receive 3 years of imprisonment). It is unfortunate that anyone would so irresponsibly attack so well-meaning, exceptional, and hard working a judge as Craig Veals, especially in response to the case that triggered it all, but mindless character assassination apparently will always be the last resort of those who can't make their point professionally, objectively, and on the facts.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA7689
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Walking into the courtroom of Craig Veals is like entering the eighth Circle of Hell. It is unbearable. The judge himself is a card-carrying imbecile who attempts to be pleasant while giving the most draconian sentences possible. He is a mean, evil man. His calendar DA is a dirtbag of the first order -- a petty punitive and stupid person. Paper this judge, stay away at all costs.