Hon. Steven L. Dylina See Rating Details
Superior Court
San Mateo County
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Attorney Average Rating:   5.0 - 12 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)

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What others have said about Hon. Steven L. Dylina


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA9561
24 carat phoney! Dangerous because he comes off like "Mr. Nice Guy." Oh, if there is just anything I can do to help...
He decides out of the blocks who should "prevail" in a case and will do everything necessary to ensure that is the result. If an attorney, usually plaintiff's counsel, can be of 'benefit" to hm, he will do everything necessary to ensure a large settlement. If parties don't go along with his view of the case, good luck ever trying to get a trial assignment. Dylina will do everything possible to block the case from being assigned out. Dozens and dozens of cases are approaching the 5-year statute for this very reason.
A miserable human being who will talk behind parties' back and betray confidences whenever he chooses to do so.
It is malpractice to appear before him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8734
One of the most biased judges out there. Hordes cases, setting them in his own department for trial without authority after getting "waivers" for conflicts since he handled the settlement conferences.
Gets very angry when challenged, which is frequently since he doesn't keep up on the law and isn't too terribly bright to start with.
Gets even more angry when people don't settle cases on "his" terms and makes sure they pay for it.
Prior comments about Cotchett firm are 110% true, fed them cases when he was a Deputy County Counsel.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA8606
Not the brightest bulb. I watched a layman challenge his legal opinion once at a settlement conference - asking for the case law that supported his opinion. We were near lunch so the judge said he'd go to lunch and give the authority when we reconvened. When we came back, he didn't have any authority while the layman had a case that directly undermined the judge. Was it embarrassing? You bet.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA7754
One of California's finest. He sees through the lawyers' smoke and beholds the heart of the matter instantly. Don't be on the losing end. bring only genuine, valid, worthy, real cases to him. (i.e. he knows a meritless case the second he sees one!)

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA7161
Judge Dylina is a fantastic judge. He is also the nicest person on the face of the planet. Literally. He asks every attorney how they are, he smiles at everyone, and he remembers everyone he's ever seen before, even if the appearance was 10 years ago. He goes above and beyond. He is extremely smart, his rulings are fair and well-reasoned, and he has no discernible bias whatsoever. You could do a lot worse than Judge Dylina.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6939
Rating:Not Rated
Judge Dylina is friendly, reasonably funny, and effective as a settlement judge. He'll take a few cases at a time and juggle everyone so that people aren't left waiting too long. I would never want Judge Dylina as a trial judge, however. I get the impression that he's a people person and not a technician, so I would be concerned about the accuracy of his rulings.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA6776
Used to think this judge was actually good and wise. Was proved so wrong when he showed absolute bias - shockingly out front about it as well. Any judge who would behave this was should recuse himself from the onset!


Comment #: CA5233
Judge Dylina does not read the papers before him. he is causing the court system backlog by not dealing with issues as they are presented to him . He continues matters on the CMCs without justification

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4183
He is a kind, articulate man. He is so even-handed, it is sometimes bothersome. His CMC's are always conducted with professionalism, with none of the nonsense other judges put us through. He is not overly pro-plaintiff, but if I had a plaintiff's case in San Mateo County, I would fight to get him. All you have to do is see what the defense lawyers said about him in the other comments. This guy is highly educated and is wise -- not just smart.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2995
Hack, in the pocket of Cotchett & company. Fearful of trying cases, "insists" everybody settles their case.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2868
This guy is a complete fool! He is phoney and tries to press everyone into a settlement, oftentimes without any understanding of the facts of the case or the likely outcome. As a trial judge, he is a complete homer, do not accept an assignment to this guy if you are not from San Mateo County. You will get screwed!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA1737
I'm generally impressed with Judge Dylina, but he was unable to settle our case, which was disappointing because he never bothered to speak with the party refusing to settle directly, insisting on just speaking with the attorney. An odd approach.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA1259
One of the best settlement Judges anywhere. Listens, cajoles, helps people get to resolution.Very respectful of lawyers. Better than most private mediators.