Hon. Richard S. Bernhardt See Rating Details
Circuit Judge
Circuit Court
Howard County
5th Circuit
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Attorney Average Rating:   4.1 - 10 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 6 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. Richard S. Bernhardt


Comments


Litigant

Comment #: MD8868
Rating:1.0
Comments:
An outragish judge who doesn't follow the law or the Maryland Rules, has learned a great deal from Judge Tucker in how to screw people. He should be put in jail along with Judge Tucker for ignoring his oath of office.
- Ray Bly

Other

Comment #: MD8494
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Comment #: MD8493-

You just perfectly described Dishonorable Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. precisely. A permanent existence in the court record proving all claims of Judicial and Attorney misconduct, yet always ignored. Indeed a "Racket".

Other

Comment #: MD8493
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Anyone who can’t make sense of family courts and why judges like Bernhardt can disregard laws and facts with impunity should read Doreen Ludwig’s book, AFCC Net. It’s a racket —designed to transfer wealth from divorcing parents to court professionals and experts.

[redacted by Editor] In a 2020 case (Ross v Ross), he disingenuously claimed to reject their recommendations and conclusions (like the pseudoscience of parental alienation), then inexplicably ruled in their favor. It’s all theatrics [redacted] They will disingenuously lament that the parents are “high conflict”, when they’re the ones orchestrating the conflict.

Say no to any AFCC “expert” or BIA involvement in your case. These people will coach the abusive parent to be more abusive to estrange the children and make parental alienation accusations to get custody. They will make false diagnoses to discredit the non abusive parent. It’s unconscionable and the true parental alienators are the experts themselves. If your attorney tries to involve them, realize that attorney is likely in on the racket. Find an ethical attorney who will help you reach a fair, reasonable outcome that will stick, not one that will force both parties into endle$$ litigation.

I urge people to read the professional and ethical regulations for licensees and file complaints accordingly. Stay factual, provide evidence and stay unemotional. Every racket eventually gets exposed.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD8132
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Perhaps the dumbest judge ever been before. He has zero concept of the law - goes only with what he thinks the law should be - probably a Trumper

Litigant

Comment #: MD8126
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Bias. This is only word which describes this judge. Uses all his powers to pick a side and drive one side to the ground. Orders? Never align to real life. He will hang his hat on ONE piece of evidence....that is not proven to a high degree. Good luck if you have him. Judges have unchecked authority, and he will make sure you know that. Immunity is great...for him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD8123
Rating:9.8
Comments:
excellent judge. fair to all parties and counsel. good temperament. Will do the necessary research and know the law in complex matters, such as family law. Not afraid to call out a party he thinks is being untruthful.

Other

Comment #: MD7976
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Horrible,Horrible! He has again not listened to the needs and wants of children involved in a custody dispute. Does he not understand that children need both parents in their lives. I think this judge should be investigated.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD7818
Rating:1.0
Comments:
When is this guy going to get off the bench? I have had more ridiculous rulings from this guy and he obviously has his "pets" who he agrees with no matter how ridiculous. I want my tax dollars back -- this guy has got to go!!!!

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD7803
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I have no idea how such a biased and mean spirited person could get on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD7802
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge has his "favorites" and that is all I can say. Even the clerks were shocked at his behavior. It is time for him to retire.....

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD7756
Rating:1.3
Comments:
I have practiced law for over 20 years. I have never seen a Judge so prejudiced and unwilling to follow the law. I have not been in front of him for criminal but he has been AWFUL on family law issues.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD6950
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
The Hon. Richard S. Bernhardt is a reputable man. Not only does he have my respect and best wishes as a Judge, but also as a man with a very honorable code that he follows. He evaluated all evidence and testimonies to the fullest extent with no space left open for rebuttal. He heard both parties out to the fullest extent of their testimonies and witnesses and only after all evidence and witnesses were examined did he make his final ruling. So now I can say thank you for completing our family to the fullest that it ever could be. Thank you so very much.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD5715
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
The man is a horrid Judge. [Redacted by Ed.] The Judge has the life of this child in his hands and is totally responsible for ruining this child's childhood. [Redacted by Ed.] Police officers will not be to blame as not all but, most have done there job and came forward and testified to the abuse. Still Judge Bernhardt took the boy 100% from a loving mother to feed what ever sick ego he has. [Redacted by Ed.]

Litigant

Comment #: MD5705
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Bernhardt stated throughout several hearings that he had concerns regarding child abuse. It seems more than likely that Judge Gelfman made his decision for him and he would rather a child be abused than to rule fairly. This is more than disgraceful, and very sad.

Other

Comment #: MD5229
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
MD 5228- another example of proper and scholarly authority that AACC judge Paul F. Harris Jr. mist learn and be schooled. Whether, criminal, civil / family law, he needs to learn from those who preside impartially and preserve the administration of justice.

Other

Comment #: MD5228
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Very fair and balanced approach to a complicated criminal case. Was impressed with how he publicly weighed the diverging viewpoints of the lawyers. He spent 10 minutes laying the groundwork for his sentencing decision. Was guided by reason and constantly referenced the written law where applicable.

Litigant

Comment #: MD5152
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Family law disaster. He admitted that even though there had been nothing illegal done, he did not like the action, therefore he applied financial penalties as though the law had been broken. He legislates directly from the bench according to his own values, NOT the law. If you have the misfortune of being assigned him for family law cases, look out!

Litigant

Comment #: MD4492
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Calm demeanor but I would echo the other civil/family law opinions here - the man is BIASED and makes decisions that fly in the face of all evidence to the contrary. He is lop-sided, and overly harsh in sentencing.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: MD4054
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Judge Barnhardt is very biased. He was a mediocre prosecutor and he has brings an unfair bias towards family court matters. He is very inept when it comes to family court matters.

Other

Comment #: MD2155
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
One of the worst judges that I have ever come across. He levied harsh sentencing, which did not fit the misdemeanor crimes at hand. He is a very biased and ignorant man.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD2089
Rating:9.1
Comments:
I have tried a number of civil cases before Judge Bernhardt. He is excellent with evidence, pushes to get the case heard, understands and gives understandable rulings on objections, carefully considers the evidence and does not show bias towards either side in my experience. I feel comfortable when I know he has one of my cases because he is more than capable of getting the legal concepts behind the case and will get to a fair ruling. Although I have heard from other lawyers that they find him to be arrogant, I will take arrogance if the Judge understands the law, is capable of properly ruling on evidence and is able to get to an appropriate result in a reasonable time frame. This judge has those capabilities.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1887
Rating:9.6
Comments:
He is the best trial judge in the Howard Circuit Court. He does not automatically believe any and all testimony of the police and other State's witnesses. He is not afraid to throw out cases for questionable searches. He is smart and fair. His one downside: if your client is found guilty, he can be very tough at sentencing.
All in all, a great judge to try cases, but it will not be as pleasant to be before him for sentencing (or for a violation of probation).

Other

Comment #: MD1361
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Was surprised that no consideration as to what effect it would have on the child to split up the family and award the child to his single dad, seperating him from his Mom, brother and new family.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD831
Rating:5.0
Comments:
Judge Bernhardt misconstrued and parsed well-established case law to arrive at a non-sensical decision. Neither party had advocated his tortured interpretation of the common law.