Hon. Eric M. Johnson See Rating Details
Associate Circuit Judge
Circuit Court
Montgomery County
6th Circuit
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Attorney Average Rating:   4.3 - 29 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   5.0 - 7 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. Eric M. Johnson


Comments


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD3094
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge cannot be fixed. Please retire soon, Judge Johnson.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2948
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Not the worst judge ever, but not remotely competent.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2365
Rating:6.3
Comments:
Do not expect to have the actual law applied to the facts in your case. He wants to please everyone and say or do nothing unkind to either party or counsel. He dislikes "winners" and "losers" in his cases, so that the party who is entitled to a particular legal result on their facts will invariably end up short, and the other party gets a gift they do not deserve. He will "split the baby" every time. There will be an appeal whenever the issue is significant. Can sometimes take a long time to decide a case and does not consider prevailing law or precedent as relevant to his ultimate decision. Yes, he's very nice and cordial to everyone.

Litigant

Comment #: MD2295
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Judge Johnson is biased in favor of mothers. He absolutely said the words "this court would have never awarded 50/50 custody" upon examining the settlement agreement. In his world, the circumstances of the family or the best interests of the children do not matter. He thinks that mothers have a de facto right to primary custody. Then, he looked at the statute and declared that he would not make new law -- and then proceeded to make new law twice! It felt like an episode of Bizarro Seinfeld. He gets one star for having a fine demeanor while he nails you to the cross.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2279
Rating:3.3
Comments:
Judge Johnson has a pleasant enough demeanor. The Montgomery County family law system is highly flawed, process-wise, especially where it negatively impacts children and families that it purports to protect. Judge Johnson is through-and-through a system guy who won't allow the questioning of that system, even in a case where it is claimed that there is an abuser. You can count on his decision to validate and support the system. It is only a question of what tortured logic he will use in doing so. (If a class action lawsuit ever develops, I am in.)

Litigant

Comment #: MD2141
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge is awful. He is biased, deferential and doesn't understand simple argument. (The wires you could expect.) Please, he's got to be removed immediately.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2137
Rating:9.1
Comments:
I have litigated a number of family matters in front of him and have always found him to be thoughtful, and to use good judgment. He is a pleasure to be in front of. I have not found him to prejudge cases or to play favorites. He has good judgment and calls it the way he sees it. He explains his findings and supports what he does with both a well-thought-out rationale and the evidence. I, too, am surprised by the negative comments with regard to criminal cases. When I have had occasion to listen to him in criminal matters, while waiting for my matter to be heard, I have never been concerned by what I heard, and I felt that he acted appropriately based on what I heard. A good judge. We could use more judges with his temperament.

Other

Comment #: MD2028
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I got to observe Judge Johnson as a juror in a criminal case. I found him to be a great facilitator in the courtroom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2012
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
The comment below is correct in that there is more to being a judge than legal scholarship. With that in mind, Judge Johnson's complete lack of scholarship qualifies as a disability. I too spent time in the military, but so what? Military service is not necessarily an indicator of a good attorney or a good judge. Judge Johnson is myopic, and plays favorites. He has the audacity to smile at you while doing your client a disservice. I will grant that he has a great demeanor, but nothing more.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2007
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I have observed this judge since he went on the bench. Legal scholarship is of course important, but it is not the sole hallmark of a good judge. This judge has had life experience and brings that to the bench. Before he became an attorney, he was a medic in the Navy, and had a career with the police force. Unlike many of us, he was in harm's way regularly, dealing with all types of personalities in often fluid situations. This gives him what some on the bench do not have: a honed third sight with which to grasp what is really going on, and act. He is collegial. I have not seen that he plays favorites. I have been in his courtroom and seen some very intense matters go before him. He reads the situation (right more times than not), diffuses acrimony (with success), and rules. I would rather have this kind of judge any day over an ivory tower, professorial, self-important bully type.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1811
Rating:3.1
Comments:
I have had years of frustration with this judge. His poor scholarship overwhelms is positives. Seriously, some days I doubt he could spell COURT if you spotted him a "C" and an "O."

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1708
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Terrible judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1686
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Also to poster below who says the criticism of Johnson is totally wrong. Who should I believe, you or my own eyes?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1685
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Three words for this judge: unprepared, unprepared and unprepared. Also, if he gets the law right, that's probably an accident.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1552
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
To the commenter below. Judge Johnson is good with criminal. Just terrible with civil cases. I personally have seen Johnson act the part of a character witness from the bench, and rule on law without being able to cite why.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1514
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I was stunned to read poor reviews about this judge from the criminal defense/prosecution community. Judge Johnson gets more pleas agreements than any other judge because both sides trust him. He is his own man and cannot be pushed around. He does not play favorites. His justice is just as good for the most disadvantaged as it is for the well-to-do. It is just as good for minorities as whites. He knows the difference between the serious cases that threaten the welfare of the community and the nonsense that can clog our criminal courts--and he sentences accordingly. Most importantly, he recognizes that young people sometimes need the opportunity for a new start in life and he tries to help them, not only by how he sentences them but also by how he talks with them. The criticism of him is TOTALLY WRONG.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1462
Rating:2.1
Comments:
Judge Johnson is too deferential to those he knows or who are powerful in Montgomery County. I find him too often to be unprepared, but, more disturbingly, he shows no apparent interest in knowing the applicable law. Rather, he makes up the law and applies it to get the result he wants.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1442
Rating:9.3
Comments:
A big key is to go with your strongest point(s) first and cite to a rule or case to support it.
I have not noticed a bias towards either side in civil matters, which is refreshing.

Litigant

Comment #: MD1430
Rating:3.0
Comments:
"Nice guy but plays fast and loose with the law and procedure. Don't believe he relies on law and procedure ...."

I think you've nailed him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1396
Rating:3.5
Comments:
I repeat what was said earlier: Nice guy but plays fast and loose with the law and procedure. Don't believe he relies on law and procedure but his gut and feelings. Not good attributes for a judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1384
Rating:3.8
Comments:
Nice guy, but brain-dead. Will go out of his way in court for his buddies. Some poster said of him "Anybody knows he is the most incompetent and most biased judge." I respectfully disagree as MoCo has many such wastes of black robes, but he should be in a job with less authority - say washing windows.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1174
Rating:9.0
Comments:
I've appeared in front of this judge a handful of times over the years. I've found him to be careful and a breath of fresh air in MoCo where the insiders all to often get all the close calls (and a few not so close calls that should go against them). He is the guy I want to be in front of when representing the little guy vs. an employer, corporate America etc. He will give you a fair shake. He's not the top guy on the bench, but in no way is he anywhere near the bottom (especially not compared to some of the idiots, sycophants & meglomaniacs with which MoCo is shackled -- i.e., Burrell, McGann, Rubin).

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1145
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Nice guy but plays fast and loose with the law and procedure. Don't believe he relies on law and procedure but his gut and feelings. Not good attributes for a judge. Happy he is retiring and agree that he should not sit any longer as retired judge.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1124
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Thank goodness he'll finally retire and hopefully not visit too often.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1112
Rating:9.6
Comments:
He is a good judge. I don't know how he gets on this list. He is fair and just in every respect.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1089
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Why can't the bad ones retire now? Like him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1086
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He's not bright -- at all.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1072
Rating:9.3
Comments:
A wonderful trial judge. No inclination for either side, moves things along, understands the law - this is what a trial judge should be.

Litigant

Comment #: MD1037
Rating:2.0
Comments:
i went before him pro se for a motion hearing and he brushed me off without reading the case or making any attempt to understand the issues involved. he was clearly much more emotionally invested in the case before mine and rambled extensively (the attorney i was with said his point was the opposite of what i understood him to say). seems like a nice guy, but had his mind made up before i said a word.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1034
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He "judges" without a thought to the law. When that happens - it's called totalitarianism. He's nice guy but we need a judge who knows the law and will stick to the law. He's obviously better suited for the court tv tyoe of judging - for the baphoons. He's not bright and thank God he's close to mandatory retirement. He should have enough time in for a cushy pension now - so why wait - resign.

Litigant

Comment #: MD1024
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Awesome. I went in pro-se one time and asked for a continuance on a contempt hearing and he said, "What do you need counsel for" Let me tell you- he was right and I walked out of that courtroom with more confidence than I ever had. For those of you who are against him- look at how much he has been in the paper. he is taking a firm stand and holding those accountable- whether you think it is right or not. He knows the law, he knows how cops manipulate and use their power to their advantage- hes been there. He will play a bigger role in our court system.

Litigant

Comment #: MD1016
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Johnson may be one of the most credible judges on the bench. Some say he is too easy on criminals- hello 90 years for raping someone- go johnson. Those of you who dont like him probably dont because he calls it like he see's it and wants ACCOUNTABILITY. Before you throw him under the bus- get all of your facts straight! He just stood up and called out MoCo police on crap that they do on a daily basis and get away with it. Go Johnson. You have my vote.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD994
Rating:9.3
Comments:
I am shocked at the low ratings for Judge Johnson. He is one of my two favorite Circuit Court Judges in Maryland. He has been incredibly fair and has always treated my clients with great respect.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD955
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I was before Judge Johnson on a family law matter. He made up his mind within two minutes before hearing the defense side. I thought it odd. Then week later I read how he did the same thing to let two child molesters free. He should not be a judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD912
Rating:1.3
Comments:
I think the person who has been around for 26 years before the court has a point - it is precisely because he or she has been around that long before Johnson that he will favor him. Politics in MC. If you are old and have had face time with old judges - you will win. The law just gets in the way.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD844
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Whoever said Judge Johnson is not awful must be kidding. He is the joke around Montgomery county lawyers. Anybody knows he is the most incompetent and most biased judge. "Moron" is the word that most often is used together with his name. He does not know the law, and he is overturned on appeal all the time. Problem is, not everybody has the time and money to appeal.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD447
Rating:3.3
Comments:
For many judges on the bench too long (in years), they tend to ignore the law or maybe they just substitute their "maturity" for the law. This judge though a "nice" judge lacks the ability to know the law and apply the law. After all that's all we can and should expect from them. Otherwise the system breaks down and it does when you go before him. He is unpredictable because he judges on feelings and speculation and not the law -- very scary and disgraceful.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD183
Rating:4.6
Comments:
Very poor family law judge. Doesn't know family law or show the ability to desire to learn it. Probably much better judging criminal law because of his background.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD14
Rating:7.8
Comments:
The previous low rating of Judge Johnson is simply not credible to anyone who knows the bench in Montgomery County. After 26 years of practice including appearances before Judge Johnson in both the District and Circuit Courts, I know Judge Johnson is a good judge.