Hon. Joan M. Lewis See Rating Details
Superior Court
San Diego County
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   5.8 - 10 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 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)

What others have said about Hon. Joan M. Lewis


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3864
Usually nice and competent judge. Unfortunately, her demeanor is unpredictable -- sometimes cheery, often not. Don't get on her bad side, as she seems to hold grudges. She appears to favor the large firm attorneys over solo practitioners, and constantly refers to her days when she was part of a firm. Punctuality can be a real problem. Judge Lewis is often taken advantage of by lawyers who don't stick to their time estimates.


Comment #: CA3856
Rating:Not Rated
I won my case in front of Judge Lewis. However, even if I had lost, I would have been accepting of the outcome because it was very clear that Judge Lewis gave both sides equal opportunity to present their cases and facilitated both sides so that the truth came out. I think we need to find more judges like Judge Lewis and recruit them to the bench. If I had lost, I truly would have walked away happy for my day in court and accepting of the outcome. That is all that a litigant can ask for. (Of course, it is always a happier walk back to one's car when you win.)


Comment #: CA3431
Not a bright judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3396
Very impressed with her ability to handle multiple pre-trial motion proceedings. Completely straightforward, reasonable, and willing to make the effort to understand legal issues.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3171
She is one of San Diego's fine judges. Just be prepared and know your case and be realistic about what to expect from the trial court. If your case is a loser, she will be the first to know. Settle your losing case and don't waste the court's time!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA2931
Impressive in her ability and willingness to put the time in to understand complex legal issues surrounding a case, especially with respect to complex trial issues. Fair rulings at trial and a quality judge. Just make sure you don't speak out of turn.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1953
Insecure. Masks her lack of knowledge of the law with form over substance. Very pro-defendant. Very unprofessional in the manner in which she loudly, vociferously scolds attorneys as if they were all miscreant children and she is the Head Master.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1543
Judge Lewis is a nightmare. She screams at people, even her bailiff for no reason. She completely favors the big law firms in town over sole practitioners and has no problem when they violate ethical rules. Pre-empt her any chance you get.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA1225
Judge Lewis is an overall good judge who likes to do things by the book. She doesn't tolerate game-playing and will not shy away from taking you to task if warranted. Don't even think of asking for multiple trial continuances. You will get zapped!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1132
Avoided ruling on the merits of a dispositive motion by taking it "off calendar" for a page-limit violation. Became aggressive and unprofessional when counsel tried to present case law on abuse of discretion. Other reviewers are correct: she relies on technical deficiencies to avoid having to make difficult decisions, and becomes unprofessional where necessary to mask her tenuous grasp of the law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA1118
I agree with the other comments - generally, Judge Lewis has a good judicial temperment but will use a stern temperment to mask a lack of knowledge of the law. She certainly is a physically attractive and personable judge. However, difficult to reconcile her undergraduate degree in Physics with her display of limited overall legal knowledge. Mixed opinion and would NOT peremptory challenge despite unfavorable rulings.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA72
She has a decent judical demeanor but can be moody. She is not the sharpest judge in the county and is known to rely on something minor to support her decisions. Even if she is wrong, it is very difficult to change a tentative ruling.