Hon. Roger J. McDonald See Rating Details

Circuit Court
Orange County
9th Circuit
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Attorney Average Rating:   2.2 - 3 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   4.0 - 3 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. Roger J. McDonald


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: FL4045
One of the wrost judges in the 9th Circuit. Just horrible. Doesn't listen.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: FL3341
This judge is normally pro-victim. This bias is because he took some heat from Court Watch, years ago. Now his reputation in Orange County is such that he is very likely to grant any injunction a woman files against a man -- unless, of course, you are a male who files and the other party is female. So, basically, if you are a female victim, you are golden; however, if you are a male victim, you are in for a serious uphill battle. I feel that he does not read pleadings in advance of court, and has no idea what is going on, so don't waste your paper and ink trying to frame the issues. Most judges this old "get it," so to speak, but Judge McDonald doesn't. I used to believe in our justice system until I appeared in front of this judge. The phrase "miscarriage of justice" does not even remotely come close to describing my experience with this judge. If he was up for election and not about to retire, I would run against him in a split second. I am embarrassed to be in the same profession with him. It is sad. Word to the wise, Judge: please retire or change your ways.

Court Staff

Comment #: FL3151
This judge is notorious for always favoring the female litigant, no matter what the scenario. He has no courtroom control, and is impatient and legally inept. If you're the male litigant, you'll need a miracle.


Comment #: FL3134
This judge has no knowledge of the law at all and looks to the prosecutor as to how he should rule. If he ever has a moment of clarity, he is easily dissuaded into changing his opinion. An example of this is what happened at an attempt to change an Alford plea: "Well, if that is all the evidence there is, I would have to acquit," to which the prosecutor dishonestly replied, "I have more evidence but as this case may still go to trial I don't want to reveal it." The Judge then said "OK." This is clearly a Brady violation, but the fact is the prosecutor had no further evidence and the Alford plea had no factual basis. This judge destroys lives.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: FL1245
One of the worst criminal judges ever.