Hon. Kevin E. McKenney See Rating Details
Superior Court
Santa Clara County
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Attorney Average Rating:   3.6 - 9 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 2 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. Kevin E. McKenney


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA6934
Rating:Not Rated
Fortunately, Judge McKenney has retired. He is, by far, the worst judge I have ever encountered. Completely unpredictable, a jerk, and totally inconsiderate. There would be fifty lawyers in his courtroom patiently waiting to be heard on a law and motion calendar, and he would take a summary judgment hearing in normal order rather than calling it last, and spend a half hour on it. This guy has no regard for other people. In addition, he routinely makes legal errors in his rulings and does not care to address them. Now that he's at JAMS, I'll see him in Hell before I ever agree to use him as a mediator.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4768
He is unreliable, and does not understand even moderately complicated issues. He rules inconsistently, even in the same case (for example, a demurrer was sustained, but the plaintiff did not cure the pleading issue, and just refiled the same exact complaint; the next demurrer was denied without an explanation). Shake a shiny object to distract him -- that might make for a better ruling.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4729
This judge doesn't rule according to the law. He takes sides all the time in court, and favors young female attorneys. I read all of the comments, and I agree with all of them except for two of them: the first one (who must be a young female attorney) and the one by the criminal attorney right before mine.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA4626
I have done civil and criminal matters in front of this judge. I have found him to be considerate and courteous, but not willing to tolerate sloppiness, lack of preparation or rudeness from anyone. He can be a bit tardy at times in taking the bench, but he always has been apologetic and indicated his reason. He reads everything and knows his stuff. In criminal matters, he tends to favor the government, but no more than any other judge in Santa Clara. He has often ruled against me, and sometimes I have felt strongly that he was wrong, but I also have to admit that his reasoning for doing so was within the parameters of the law.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA4593
This judge recently absurdly ruled that an employer can have a malicious prosecution cause of action against a former employee who lost an unemployment insurance hearing! Can you believe it? The appellate court readily threw out this idiotic decision. (2013 DJDAR 15330)


Comment #: CA4282
This judge is biased and does not rule by law. I received food stamps; by law I’m entitled to a fee waiver. He denied my fee waiver. Subsequently, the court dismissed the entire case. I, just like most high-tech professionals, have no faith in his department. I believe any reasonable member of the public at large, aware of all the facts, would fairly entertain doubts as to this judge’s impartiality. I have a M.S. in Computer Science and the U.S Patent Office has granted me three high-tech patents. This judge is a judicial waste. I had to go to the appellate court, and the appellate court told me that this case should not even be in appellate court. The law is clear.


Comment #: CA3640
This judge demands me to have attorney to represent me. He offers no justice to litigants without attorney. He is a mean judge unless you have a young female attorney to represnt you.
He is very biased and doesn't rule laws by laws. He ruled on his own minds. He is a judicial waste because litigants often have to appeal their cases.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3321
Unusually high threshold of proof before he will approve an application for service by publication. Refused to approve an application by an assignee without authentication of the contract by the assignor. Refused to compare signature of defendant on contract with defendant's signature on a recorded document.


Comment #: CA2874
Rating:Not Rated
This rating is only effective to today's CMC hearing (10-9-12)

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2640
Kevin is a below average judge. Like many judges, he took the bench to escape the hard work of civil litigation, only to realize that being a judge is just as much work. He became eligible to retire in 2011. There are many who wish he would retire. His rulings are largely based on his personal feelings, not the applicable law. He is incredibly unpredictable. He makes inconsistent rulings on identical issues in different cases, based on reasons known only to him. He dislikes younger attorneys, unless they happen to be attractive young ladies. He obviously hates everything about his job except the small power it gives him. Without a robe, he is just another miserable old man with a ridiculous bow-tie.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1640
Kevin is a good Judge to pull if you have practiced in this county since be was appointed to the bench or if you're a Santa Clara, Santa Clara or Boalt Hall graduate. He has a hearing loss, so make sure your points are clearly laid out in your documents so he does not appear to miss an issue on appeal. He could care less for liberal lawyers requesting accommodations for their clients or themselves with accommodation issues as he has stated at private events if he has to deal with his physical issues on his own, why can't they do the same?

Never interrupt him or disagree with his rulings as that is a an unforgivable sin. If you have him during Xmas, a quiet bottle of Dewar's Blue via his bailiff or clerk may not be unhelpful, under the pretense the gift is for the courtroom staff. He will use prior court opinions or dicta in an opposite manner to assist parties who are people like us, South Bay attorneys. He is meticulous to maintain a clean court transcript, knowing he is often appealed.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA1490
This judge has a chip on his shoulder, does not take any information provided into consideration and makes decisions based on his perception of the parties involved. His opinions are typically unfair to both parties, he does not discriminate with his unjust decisions. It appears he hates his job and it shows with his demeanor in court. He should not be a judge. He is doing the court and the public a disservice.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA361
Very bright, careful, considerate judge. Does his own independent research and seems to treat parties very fairly. Good temperament and nice courtroom demeanor. Treats counsel with respect. Impressive judge.