Hon. James B. Sarsfield See Rating Details
Associate District Judge
Circuit Court
Montgomery County
6th Circuit
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   5.3 - 6 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   3.0 - 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)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. James B. Sarsfield


Comments


Litigant

Comment #: MD5880
Rating:5.0
Comments:
I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY THE FOLLOWING SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. CALL MARYLAND LEGAL AID FOR LEGAL ADVICE.

I appeared before Judge Sarsfield pro-se as a speed camera defendant. I argued that Montgomery County was paying a contractor to operate the speed cameras per citation in violation of statute. Judge Sarsfield asked me what proof I had of this. I produced the statute and a newspaper article. The judge told me the newspaper article was hearsay. As a paralegal, I now know the judge is correct. But its a speed camera case not a murder trial and I'm the defendant not the prosecution. A blog post would be different but I should be able to present a newspaper article from a legitimate paper such as the Washington Post or Montgomery Journal in a speed camera case. I subsequently got a copy of the contract Montgomery County has with Xerox through a Public Information Act Request and used that to beat my next speed camera ticket. Because I was indigent and the judge said he respected the fact that I did my research the judge reduced the fine to $20 from $40 and waived court costs. I would have liked to have been acquitted. My hearing before Judge Sarsfield was before I got my paralegal certificate. To expect a non-lawyer to bring in a copy of the contract Xerox has with Montgomery County for a speed camera case is not reasonable. The newspaper article should have been enough. Montgomery County no longer pays Xerox per citation and is to my knowledge in compliance with that part of the statute.

Other

Comment #: MD5613
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Judge Sarsfield presided over a case on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 involving animal cruelty charges on a Boston Terrier. Reports were presented as well as vet records, along with pictures of a starved, emaciated, weak, and pitiful dog named Alex. Judge Sarsfield let this dog down even though the dog died from his neglected condition, he also let the rescue world down as "he" was the final voice for Alex, the Boston Terrier. Judge Sarsfield did not find the previous owner guilty . . . totally appalling as all the evidence was there in front of him! When did starving a dog; locking a dog up in a nasty bathroom with no food, water, bedding; neglecting a dog's care physically in more ways than one not be defined as ANIMAL CRUELTY??? The previous owner that was charged with Animal Cruelty got off with a slap on her wrist and a fine of $100 for unsanitary conditions!!!! Meanwhile, Alex suffered a grueling death from being starved to death and neglected horrifically by his previous owner. The pictures did not lie, Judge Sarsfield! There are so many of us involved in Rescue that are so disappointed in his ruling in this case. It is all over social media how he let Alex down with the proof of animal cruelty right there in front of him - reports from vets and most of all pictures of him in such a horrible physical condition when Rescue finally was able to try and save this pitiful creation of God's. Until animal abusers are held accountable properly by the Judges in our court systems, it will continue and what a sad, sad thing for our Country. Judge Sarsfield should have ordered that owner to never own another animal . . . but he didn't! Another way poor Alex was failed! She is free to torture another animal . . . I am totally sickened by the outcome of this case.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2406
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I remember Stanley Klavan. Sarsfield is no Stanley Klavan!

Litigant

Comment #: MD2350
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Dishonest as regards law. Oblivious as regards fact. In traffic court he ruled against every single defendant, assembly line fashion, and regardless of their defenses, gave everyone the identical fine according to formula. In response to reminders to the judge from at least 2 defendants of their constitutional rights to due process, Judge Sarsfield responded that the 5th Amendment applies only to matters of self-incrimination, the 14th Amendment only provides due process in criminal actions, and ignored their pleas for fundamental fairness. Refused to allow any continuanaces or extensions of time, and even threatened to hold one defendant in "contempt-of-court" and send him "downstairs to the lockup" when he asked the judge why his verdict had ignored all the facts that had been presented for the defense. An unfit judge that needs to be reported and removed from the bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2306
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Judge Sarsfield didn't write the positive comments from 1/3/14. I wrote one of them. I am a female longtime attorney in Montgomery County, and I know the other attorney who also commented. I stand by my very favorable opinion of Judge Sarsfield. He's a great judge. If the defense lawyer who keeps having bad experiences with him wants to contact me, I'l be happy to help her in any way I can.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2283
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
The last two comments were written by Judge Sarsfield himself. Look, some of the best judges get negative comments. Take them as helpful criticisms. Writing your own reviews is obvious, and kind of funny. The truth is that you're insecure but witty, and at times insightful. You just need to relax. It's a moment in time. Nobody remembers Judge Klavan, and during his tenure, he could be a holy terror!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2245
Rating:9.9
Comments:
He is one of the best judges on the District Court bench. Someday I would like to see him on the Circuit Court.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2244
Rating:9.3
Comments:
Judge Sarsfield is thoughtful, smart and willing to listen. As a female attorney, I have found him to always be professional and fair to other women. I have appeared before him since he was on the bench. I appear before him an average of once every ten days.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2232
Rating:9.5
Comments:
This judge is a smart, fair and even-tempered jurist. Yes, he might be a tad slow, but that makes him a perfect pick for Circuit Court. These previous negative comments are a sad commentary on lawyers who've lost their case and now want to blame the judge. Sad!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2225
Rating:1.1
Comments:
His temperament is outrageous. When a defense attorney fights for their client or disagrees with him, he takes it personally and gets angry. He routinely tells counsel that "if they say one more word, they will be spending time," meaning he will lock them up. He believes he has the right to ask questions of the client after the proffer and all through sentencing, like Judge Boynton. He does not appreciate defense counsel's role and strips them of their ability to do their job by the threat of jail. He lets irrelevant issues in and it affects his decisions with respect to punishment. There is no way to deal with his moods and anger, no way. He is extremely unreasonable. he stomps off the bench after each temperamental rant.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1627
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This man does not have a working knowledge of the rules of evidence. He does not understand the hearsay rule and does not impress me as having been a trial lawyer. Worst of all, he does not understand his role as a judge, that is to call balls and strikes. He overtly advocates the state's role and convicts in almost every case. It's very much like defending against two prosecutors. He's to be avoided for trial in every instance.