Hon. Clay M. Smith See Rating Details
Judge
Superior Court
Orange County
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   6.5 - 4 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   3.0 - 10 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. Clay M. Smith


Comments


Other

Comment #: CA5047
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Dear Judge Clay M Smith,

I am so disappointed in your lack of compassion for me as an adoptee, refusing to release my Original Birth Certificate to me. You actually sent me a form letter response! I am reunited with my entire biological family, both sides. My natural mother adopted me back. I sent you photocopies of form my adoptive parents (who are now deceased) signed giving permission to give me my OBC. Still you deny me on the basis that I don’t show “good cause”??? How about the good cause is that I’m an equal citizen under the U.S. Constitution and that discriminating against me via State Law is in violation of my constitutional rights. My “good cause” judge is that my Original Birth Certificate is MINE. Equal access means equal rights. You had the discretion to give this to me, the law isn’t black and white, it actually gives you the judicial power to have a conscience and do the right thing. I was hoping to finally get a judge with a heart and compassion. Clearly, you aren’t one of those. Let me remind you of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Other

Comment #: CA4871
Rating:8.0
Comments:
I believe that Judge Smith is very fair and makes the right calls at the end of the hearing. I have been to his courtroom six times in the past three years, and he has been more than fair after listening to me and the issues that I have with my ex-wife and boyfriend. My ex-wife lives with a married guy who has four kids -- he sees our kids more than his own. He constantly disciplines our kids and they hate it. I have asked my ex to take control of the situation and let him know that it is not his place to get involved, but she refuses to do it. I have to go back to court to take care of this.

Litigant

Comment #: CA4564
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
This judge is horrible! I thought it was just me, until I looked him up on here. I can't believe he is still allowed to even practice law. My ex-husband was granted sole physical custody, while I get my kids every other weekend. I went before him today because my son has gone from being an honor roll student to failing since I've been out of the home. I (the noncustodial parent) have had meetings with my son's school to try to get him back on track. The judge denied my request, with no explanation. I attached my son's grades and the printout given to me by his school counselor. I can't seem to grasp how anybody in their right mind wouldn't see this as a major problem.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA4260
Rating:3.3
Comments:
Feet of clay.

Other

Comment #: CA3780
Rating:9.0
Comments:
When my case was first assigned to Judge Clay Smith, I was a little bit worried because I had read online that he was not a fair judge. I have to say, two years later, that every time I appeared in front of him, he took his time with our case and really listened. It is difficult to get 20 years of stuff across in a courtroom, but I just received my final judgment today (15 pages), and I have to say that I believe he truly got to the truth on every matter. I could tell that he really put some thought into his words when writing the judgment - not just handing it down, but explaining how he came to his decisions. A good and honest judge. I am very happy with the outcome.

Litigant

Comment #: CA3130
Rating:8.0
Comments:
I read the comments before seeing this Judge today. I have to admit I was extremely nervous entering his courtroom. However, as long as my case took and all the frustration that was put upon him, he really did listen...and I'm a single, unwed mother and not a Mormon! Yes, at times he was abrupt but he had to be in order for the attorneys to speed things up and not lag on issues that were not important. I left today 100% satisfied.

Other

Comment #: CA3086
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
this is the most horrendous judge. I am not in his court room or any room for that matter but have been a court watcher for many. He completely disregards anything that is against his belief, ignores documented proof, is totally against mothers and sits on the bench like he is God.
The best thing that could happen to family court is for this judge to move on and leave these poor women and children alone and stop destroying families because of his biased, arcaic belief system. A judge has a duty and responsiblity to his position to be fair and impartial. This is no where to be seen in this egomaniac of a judge!

Other

Comment #: CA3045
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Horrible man that was completely unwilling to listen to the facts in my case.He definately needs to be removed from the bench!

Litigant

Comment #: CA3037
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Due to the time involved, the case was moved to Judge Smith the morning of the hearing. From the start the attorneys wanted to continue the case to another Judge due to reputation. I strongly felt an urgency that resolution had to be reached and now understand the attorney's logic, what a huge mistake to stay there. I am so sorry he did not see the severity in this case instructing us to work it out, giving the impression he was going to dismiss it entirely. I have no doubt another case will need to be opened because there continues to be no resolution.

Other

Comment #: CA2977
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He should not be on the bench and certainly not making decisions that affect peoples's lives. He is very biased against women and not very nice, at times, to female attorneys and female litigants. The Judicial Counsel should take steps to permanently remove him. He has no business being on the bench and making long term decisions as he does.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2901
Rating:3.8
Comments:
Judge Smith is very biased in favor of any religious party and against any party who is not religious. He is a devout Mormon.

Other

Comment #: CA2650
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Smith is unfair. As a woman he continues to not see the effects he is having on my eleven year old daughter.
I got a DUI in 2008 been sober every since. Yet, he continues to make me fight for every second with my daughter and completely ignores the issues her father has. After four years I've only been able to get 20% pshical custody and 50% legal custody. Which he won't enforce the fact that her father continues to do want he wants with my daughter, school, doctors ect. that my ex-husband such contact me because I have 50% legal custody.

Other

Comment #: CA2358
Rating:1.0
Comments:
As one attorney said about Judge Smith, "You might as well ask someone on a parking lot to make a decision"... He makes his decisions how he is going to rule early on and stops listening to the party he doesn't like. His rulings are not based on the law, but his personal belief system and preferences. Very prejudice against woman and people who represent themselves without an attorney.

Litigant

Comment #: CA2354
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
biased- against women

Other

Comment #: CA2294
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge is biased against women... My wife was called an alcoholic because she drank a glass of wine each night. Her ex husband came into court with 2 DUI arrests and was driving on a suspended license and the judge told him what he needed to do to get his license back..

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1084
Rating:9.2
Comments:
A real pro, a gentleman, not one of the ones that delight in bullying lawyers. Smart guy too. He knew the stuff. I am not from Orange so sometimes you worry about being hometowned. Not evident with him. He's a real credit to the bench. I hope they keep him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA595
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I have heard poor reports on Judge Smith. I have had two cases in front of him and both times he was fair. He will entertain your arguments and give you a chance to prove your arguments, if you can, :):):). Buddy Clark