Hon. Duane Hart See Rating Details

Supreme Court
Queens County
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Attorney Average Rating:   4.2 - 36 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)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. Duane Hart


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5523
Rating:9.1
Comments:
I have practiced almost exclusively in Queens County for the past 12 or more years and have had several trials and countless pre-trial matter before Justice Hart. Unlike many of his colleagues, Justice Hart is a diligent, hard working jurist. If all of the judges in Queens worked as hard as Justice Hart does there would be no back up on the Queens TSP calendar. Those who criticize Justice Hart are generally unprepared or are unsure of the law.

Litigant

Comment #: NY4896
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
People should know that this judge was disciplined twice by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. This guy is never going to learn. The only reason that he is still on the bench is because he is black. I am a colored immigrant, and I must say that this guy is turning out to be one of the worst human beings -- just like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Litigant

Comment #: NY4895
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This guy must be removed from the bench. I went to him to get a court order to proceed as a poor person. He was on the bench wearing a red shirt, no tie, and was not wearing his robe. He was conferencing a case. There was a court reporter present to take notes. I found it odd for a judge to sit on the bench wearing a red shirt without a tie and his robe. He called my case, and asked me why I was not working, which I thought was an improper comment as I was not there to apply for unemployment benefits. After making some outrageous comments, he told me to get a job and pay the fee. I had all the documents to proceed as a poor person. I guess this racist guy didn't know the meaning of "poor person relief." Then he never sent the denial order to the county clerk. When I asked the county clerk supervisor why the order and my supporting documents were not entered into the computer, he said, "Judge Hart never sent the order to us." The judge's law clerk said that they sent it to the county clerk. Then, after a few days, his denial was entered into the computer. There was one problem: all of my documents were missing. The county clerk supervisor said that Judge Hart never sent the rest of the papers to him to be scanned. This guy engaged in a conspiracy and destroyed my authentic documents so that no one can see my documents.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY4742
Rating:1.4
Comments:
The worst judge In North America.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY4564
Rating:1.1
Comments:
What can be said of Duane Hart? He was almost thrown off the bench for his antics. An absolute disgrace to the robes. Rude, angry, mean, tricky. Saw him yell at the top of his lungs at an elderly man who said he couldn't hear him. He is part of the reason I have next to no respect for the judiciary.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4478
Rating:3.8
Comments:
Judge Hart may be smart and seemingly hard working(though he buries or adjourns to death his motions), but he does not belong on the bench, period. Atrocious temperament; unprofessional; disrespectful, rude; arrogant, etc.
Litigants and clients who have appeared in Judge Hart's courtroom and witness these atrocities are blown away (not to mention the lawyers themselves). What an utter disgrace to our court system, and what an indictment on the Administrative Judge, et al, who allow this. Judge Hart is actually a real nice guy off the bench, but he does not belong on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4434
Rating:9.8
Comments:
This Judge is extremely smart. He is hard-working and cares about the case and the people involved. He tries hard to do the right thing for everybody involved.
He is also always on trial, unlike many of his colleagues in Queens County, especially the female Judges who never take trials. He should be commended for his compassion and passion for his love of the law.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4214
Rating:2.5
Comments:
Very temperamental, Just hope he likes you or your case and hope you are not a bank attorney; will not hesitate to embarrass you in front of your colleagues. Makes up his own rules on what he thinks the law should be. He does cut to the chase so to speak and doesnt tolerate bs just does not have a good temperament to be a Judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4190
Rating:1.2
Comments:
Epitomizes all that is wrong with our justice system. He is rude, arrogant, ignorant and full of self-importance. He actually seems to take delight in being rude and mean to counsel and in rendering arbitrary rulings.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY4176
Rating:6.9
Comments:
He's a good judge who actually gets involved in cases and takes an interest. If you're not prepared, he'll call you out. He will aggressively go after attorneys who are trying to BS him and appreciates those who stand up for themselves. Too bad the rest of the Queens bench is not like him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3924
Rating:3.6
Comments:
He is smart, engaging, has a great sense of humor and, if he likes you, will treat you with respect. He would make a great drinking buddy... but regrettably he is a judge. As such he is prejudiced in favor of plaintiffs, tortures attorneys who are unprepared or simply less bright than he is. He forms snap and erronoius opinions about both liability and damages issues before he listens to the attorneys tell him about the case and then spends the entire trial trying to force a settlement at his nimber. He conducts his own voir dire nad the jurors hate him so much after that that the poor plaintiff wgho he is trying to help out bears the brunt of their ire.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3838
Rating:2.6
Comments:
Judge Hart is clearly a pro-plaintiff and pro-insured judge. His bias results in him ignoring the law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY3808
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Bad, very bad.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3593
Rating:1.0
Comments:
The worst. This man has some severe issues. Needs to be someplace where he cant hurt anyone except himself. Should not be on the bench

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3344
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This is without a doubt the worst judge I have ever been before in more than 20 years of litigation practice. I must disagree with those who say he is a good judge if you are prepared - preparation is irrelevant with this judge. He is unethical, unprepared and has zero interest in rendering justice. All he seems to care about is getting rid of the case - not doing his job.

Once, in making an incorrect ruling, he told me to appeal him and then bragged, "I'm the most overturned judge in the state." On a case, he badgered my elderly client, telling her to settle her case because the jury hated her - which is not only completely improper involvement for a judge, but was not even true. Needless to say, this client (and really any that have been before him) left with a very poor opinion of our judicial system.

This judge has no knowledge of judicial procedure or the law, or if he does, he disregards it completely. He is a living mockery of the legal system. It amazes me that someone like this is permitted to be a judge, considering the ethical problems he has had in the past, and his continued actions. It would not surprise me to find he is on the take because I really can't think of any explanation for his utter contempt for the concepts of justice and fairness.

Other

Comment #: NY3143
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This was my first experience being involved in a court case. I must tell you that this judge was the most unfair, disgraceful and completely unprofessional person I have come across in my life. He questioned witnessess and hounded them until they gave him the answer he wanted to hear. He was biased and spent most of the time giving his personal opinion of how he thought the case should turn out. He yelled at my attorney and opposed any motions that were made. He wields his power in the most despicable way and has his mind made up before the trial even begins. You are lucky if he actually works two hours a day in total. His day starts at 11 a.m., lunch is from 12:45 until 2:30 and the day ends at 4:00. Let's not forget the multitude of breaks each day. When someone asked me who the judge presiding over my case was, EVERYONE said "Oh," or "I'm sorry." Now I know why. He needs to be removed from the bench. This is not an example of our legal system at its best.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3142
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Doesn't belong on the bench... Utter disgrace...

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3047
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I appeared before him and he is just absolutely the worst. We had a case before him many years ago when he sat in Small Claims, He showed extreme biased. He didnt allow us to present our case, he awarded a judgement to the defendent with no presentation of any evidence. We appealed and his decision was reversed. Now we are before him on a totally different matter and he vivid remembers our organization and has brought that case into this current case. He demands the presence of the President of our organization (because he had the prior case over turned) although there is a authorized representative who is ready willing and able to address the case. He has shelved all motions and has urged the opposing council to subpoena the President. He has essentially circumvented the judical process of deciding motions to his pleasing. He berates, yells, humiliates you to his pleasure. He notions the opposing council and directs them. He claims he does this in the interest of settling the case. When my attorney informed him that a representative was able to settle the case, he asked the opposing council how much to settle the case, then asked me if i was going to give that rediculous amount of money. I said no and he said well i need the president. You have no authority. This guy is crazy.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3010
Rating:1.6
Comments:
I have appeared before him on a simple Labor Law summary judgment motion. He made us come back four times. First he wanted some non party deposed. The next time he wanted to see the transcript. The third time, he did not even ask for the transcript. Instead, he berated us for not settling the case - although we had a mediation. He belittled me and defense counsel in front of a packed courtroom although we both argued our case professionally and were respectful to him. All we wanted him to do from the start is decide the motion without all the acrimony. He did not have the sense to realize that once he decides the motion, the case will settle. But he refuses to decide the motion. Instead, he turns the courtroom into a stage for him to conduct his psycho-drama. He is bombastic and rude. An utter disgrace.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3009
Rating:1.6
Comments:
I have appeared before him on a simple Labor Law summary judgment motion. He made us come back four times. First he wanted some non party deposed. The next time he wanted to see the transcript. The third time, he did not even ask for the transcript. Instead, he berated us for not settling the case - although we had a mediation. He belittled me and defense counsel in front of a packed courtroom although we both argued our case professionally and were respectful to him. All we wanted him to do from the start is decide the motion without all the acrimony. He did not have the sense to realize that once he decides the motion, the case will settle. But he refuses to decide the motion. Instead, he turns the courtroom into a stage for him to conduct his psycho-drama. He is bombastic and rude. An utter disgrace.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY2543
Rating:1.5
Comments:
I didn't find anything impartial about him at all. Just exactly what we say to potential jurors about not making up your mind before you hear the evidence, doesn't seem to apply to him. He is biased from the get go. He not only abuses lawyers but lay jurors. I don't think he should be on the bench at all.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2418
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge is an equal opportunity horror. He may like the plaintiff, he may like the defendant, but woe unto you if you're the side he doesn't like. He will bully, berate and humiliate the attorney, prompt motions from the adversary and suggest testimony by asking witnesses slanted questions designed to get the answer that supports the Judge's opinion of the merits of the action. This would be bad enough if he were well versed in the law, but he is consistently wrong and often makes up the rules and standards as the trial progresses, again, to suit his aim in punishing one side or the other. There is an entire LINE of Second Department cases reversing him for prejudicial, intemperate and injudicial conduct, in which the Second Department ROUTINELY reverses and then remands the matters for trial before a DIFFERENT judge. Have been present at CLE seminars where just a mention by the speaker of "that judge from Queens" will elicit roaring laughter from the entire room of hundreds of attorneys. A complete waste of time, court and litigant resources, and the taxpayers' dollars.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2407
Rating:8.3
Comments:
This judge went above and beyond in facilitating a settlement in a difficult case

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1691
Rating:1.3
Comments:
People avoid S/Queens for a number of reasons and he is one of them.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY1486
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Amazing how different the statements about him are and I completely understand. I have been appearing before him since he was a AAA arbitrator. This guy is bright and lets you know exactly how he feels. He can also be a bully, nasty and can be arbitrary and capricious. Get him on the right day and he will have you laughing get him on the wrong day and he will threaten to have you arrested. Overall he has the brains and knowledge to be a judge, but shouldn't be because of his temperment which leads to unfair hearings and decisions.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1415
Rating:8.3
Comments:
I would agree mostly with the last comment. If you know your case, you will be in heaven. If you come to Justice Hart's part unprepared, you will think you arrived in hell. By the way, the court officers told me that to guy who approached Hart wasn't an attorney and he wasn't even arrested.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1414
Rating:8.6
Comments:
The attorneys who comment with disfavor about Judge Hart typically are the attorneys who appear in his courtroom unprepared. Judge Hart, if he sees you know what you are doing...or you are at least trying, is an absolute plesure.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY1347
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Comment #: NY565
Are you sure you were in S/Queens?
inconsistent with what I see and hear from others.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1326
Rating:4.1
Comments:
Judge Hart lacks judicial temperament and delights in bullying attorneys for no reason other than to assert his authority over them. While occasionally exhibiting flashers of real intelligence, this quickly fades as he displays his grossley exaggerated sense of self-importance and plays unprofessional games during the course of a trial. Unfortunately, Judge Hart does not see his function as administering justice, but as playing twisted head games with lawyers, tormenting them to bend to his will. It is a shameful waste of apparent talent which, with some discipline and emotional control, might make for a reasonbly good Queens County judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1287
Rating:4.8
Comments:
I have mixed feelings about Judge Hart. On one hand, I once appeared on a simple threshold motion in front of him. All we wanted to do was submit the papers and he decided to hold an impromptu oral argument session. As neither attorney was truly familiar with the motion (making appearances like we all do), he decided to tell us to have our doctors in the Courtroom by 2pm or he will dismiss the case. While that may be humorous to those in the peanut gallery, I found it highly unprofessional.

Additionally, I have seen/heard about his transgressions against attorneys who have the audacity to approach him outside the Courthouse. As most of you probably know, he had that attorney arrested. He was disciplined for that act of hubris, thankfully.

On the plus side, if you push back at him intelligently he usually caves and cracks a smile. Overall, though, I have had more bad experiences with him than good and there were more than a few occasions where I walked away from him muttering "mother f*cker" under my breath. I doubt I'm the only one.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1129
Rating:2.4
Comments:
Justice Hart is a classic bully who will only back down when you fight him tooth and nail. His favorite tactic is to threaten the plaintiff with a dismissal on "discovery grounds" even when there are no outstanding discovery issues. He has managed to survive the disciplinary proceedings that have been filed against him, at least so far.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY978
Rating:4.2
Comments:
I appeared before this judge for a motion, the other party didn't appear, and this judge told me he would sign a default order and send it to me. This was four months ago. Still no order.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY835
Rating:8.0
Comments:
I have found this judge to be fair. He can confront you if he thinks you are wrong but it is because he likes the give and take. He calls them the way it is and he is not afraid to be reversed - in fact, he has been a few times. The trick is to know your case and to argue it respectfully.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY618
Rating:1.6
Comments:
Judge Hart is an absolute disgrace. Anyone here who comes up with this nonsense that he is simply tough, etc., is sugarcoating it, to put it mildly. His apparent purpose in being a judge is to enact some sort of personal vengeance on lawyers. He makes threats regarding settlements -- threats that he has no right to make. To avoid being reversed on appeal, he simply refuses to issue an order. He threatens lawyers with contempt and makes them grovel before him in front of his crowded courtroom. There is not the slightest positive thing that can be said about him, and the fact that he has been on the bench this long reflects very poorly on our judicial system. Judge Hart has no business whatsoever being a judge, not even in state court, where we lawyers are quite used to incompetence. I am aware of only one complaint to the Judicial Conduct Committee having been made against him, for which he was duly censured. That there have not been multiple complaints shows only that too many lawyers are afraid to take him on.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: NY565
Rating:7.3
Comments:
He single-handedly fostered a settlement in what could have been a protracted battle. He's schooled in numerous areas of the law and expects counsel to be so as well. I can honestly say that appearing before him was a great state court experience, not only because both parties emerged victorious with the settlement that he brokered, but because he's actually a pleasure to appear before and is amenable to all reasonable and cogent suggestions from counsel. Of course, this only applies after his normal calendar call, where he unquestionably runs the show.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY444
Rating:7.6
Comments:
Look, say what you like about him being temperamental, but he's smart and cuts through the crap to see the essence of a case in minutes. He's not even that temperamental - he just does not like being sold a bill of goods. He expects attorneys to make sound legal arguments based upon the true facts and the current state of the law. He has no time for you if you try to fudge those two items. He's knowledgeable on a wide variety of legal fields: administrative, realty, you name it. He uses the bench and his law clerk to mediate settlements and both sides come out richer in the end. What's wrong with that? He understands that everything in life is a compromise and in the end seeks to do justice. Isn't that what we all want in a judge?

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY109
Rating:4.5
Comments:
He is very happy to make your life difficult.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1
Rating:6.2
Comments:
He's smarter than most of the attorneys appearing before him and lets you know it. On motion day he thunders from the bench at counsel and moves the cases along briskly, sometimes asking movant to refile after effectuating proper service. Do your homework and above all else be prepared.