Hon. Martin E. Ritholtz See Rating Details

Supreme Court
Queens County
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Attorney Average Rating:   7.4 - 60 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   - 0 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. Martin E. Ritholtz


Comments


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5664
Rating:9.5
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is the type of judge that is well respected by, and desirable to, the prepared trial attorney. In over 20 years of civil trial practice I have found that the unprepared lawyer is quick to trash the judge. I wholly disagree with the recent negative comments about Judge Ritholtz' demeanor and treatment of jurors. I once showed up 5 minutes late for a trial day and he had the jury in the box waiting and watching me walk in late. I did not blame him, but rather learned my lesson and made sure not to repeat my mistake. As for his wealth of knowledge about cases and how to settle them, he is bar none the best in the City. He never forces a settlement but instead is the master of presenting each side with the most realistic outcomes. He is often the smartest person in the room and I have never felt that he ever looked to shaft either side. He is a fan of good lawyering and I have seen him single handedly try to improve the quality of the trial bar (both plaintiff and defendant) one lawyer at a time. His post verdict wrap up in chambers proves invaluable for the practitioner humble enough to know that he/she can always learn something new. I will be sorry once he leaves the bench (as rumored to be happening within a year or two) but hope he opts to serve as a mediator/arbitrator so I can use his experience and expertise to benefit my clients and their cases. Dan

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5659
Rating:9.9
Comments:
I was extremely surprised and disappointed at some of the negative comments relating to Justice Ritholtz. I would attribute them to sour grapes. Having tried over 30 cases to verdict in his part, there is no doubt in my mind that J. Ritholtz is the hardest working judge in the county if not the entire state. He tries very hard to settle cases for a fair amount [I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants]and he has no problem contacting claims adjusters and lien holders to effect a resolution. If the case cannot be settled he has been able to arrange for experts to appear promptly so as to avoid unnecessary down time for the Court, attorneys, litigants and jurors. He has a knack for understanding the issues quickly and is able to make decisions and rulings promptly. When he supervises jury selection in his part he is able to quickly eliminate those jurors who have a difficult time with English, as Queens is home to a very diverse population for whom English is a second language. It is done respectfully but firmly and, I believe, appreciated by counsel and the other jurors. For those who have tried cases to verdict in his part and are familiar with his 'get to the heart of the matter' approach, he will get the highest ratings and will be sorely missed when he leaves the bench. Jurors have told me over the years that they appreciate that J. Ritholtz does not waste their time and moves the cases expeditiously. One juror recently blogged about her experience [after the case was over] and she raved about the process and the courteous way she was treated by the Court.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5655
Rating:9.1
Comments:
Knows the value of a case better than any judge on the bench (period). Judge Ritholtz is a lot of things based on the comments I have read on this site, but he knows the value of a case and how to get it settled. He has so much experience handling personal injury cases that he should teach arbitrators and mediators at these private companies how to really get cases settled. Anybody who has a negative comment about him must not appreciate how much effort he puts into getting cases resolved. He is the only judge that will call an insurance adjuster to get a few more dollars or get workman's compensation to reduce a lien to get the case settled. I know of no other Judge that cares as much about the jury or goes as far as he does for a litigant than Judge Ritholtz. We will all feel his loss when he retires. I hope he does ADR when he leaves the bench and I would request him for arbitration/mediation on all my cases. P. S. T.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5653
Rating:1.0
Comments:
A horror. Based on what other attorneys say, there is no way his rating her of 7.4 is legitimate as he is universally disliked by 99% of attorneys who know him. The only good thing I could say, is he's semi evenly bad to both sides.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5625
Rating:1.0
Comments:
I was appalled at how rude he was to potential jurors during voir dire. He had a fit when anybody tried to ask a question and was extremely demeaning to the few folks who did not speak fluent English. Potential jurors are told that they have a right to be treated with respect. Sorry, not in this judge's courtroom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5491
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I just resolved a case on trial before The Hon. Justice Ritholtz and I have to say how pleased I am with how the Court handled the matter. The case involved complicated issues of law that were being hotly contested between the two defendants in the case. These issues were impeding the case's ultimate resolution. (I represented the Plaintiff). The judge took 2 full days, while juggling a Summary Jury Trial and his normal calendar, to unknot the tangle of legal issues between the defendants and eventually reach a compromise that everyone could live with. He kept us after the Courthouse closed and worked late the first day to help schedule witnesses for the next day. He showed patience when it was needed and backbone when that was needed. If you have a case with complex issues that need to be resolved by the Court, Judge Ritholtz is definitely a judge that you would want to help resolve your dispute. Without his attention, I don't believe that the case would have resolved in the same manner that it did.

Other

Comment #: NY5483
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I was a plaintiff in a lawsuit that was to be tried before Judge Ritholtz. He was very rude to the attorneys present on my case. He made a comment before realizing that myself and my friend, who was also a plaintiff, were sitting in his courtroom. His comment was that we all have herniations so why should there even be a case. Once he saw us he got embarrassed and walked back into his chambers. He is on a power trip and likes to see all the subservient attorneys whimper. He is an ass.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5213
Rating:9.9
Comments:
I have appeared before Judge Ritholtz (both when he was a law secretary and now that he is a judge) in Queens County for over 30 years. He is a man of his word. When you tell him something in confidence, he keeps that confidence until you release him from that promise. When he tells you that, if you get a certain sum of money to contribute to a settlement, he won't come back and ask you for more, he doesn't come back and ask you for more.

He knows the law. He may cajole and prod to move a case along, but he knows what he can and cannot do without leaving himself open to being challenged in the Appellate Division. You need to know what both you and he have the legal right to do to be successful before him.

He is very cognizant of time. He is especially aware of how valuable jurors' time and service is, and how important jurors are to the process. He will not allow cross-examination to meander about or drag on endlessly. On the other hand, he lets you try your case. You can make arguments about objections, but he will not let the arguments go on endlessly, either. He will make a decision in short order. He has even, on his own, reversed himself after he has thought about a ruling that he has made, and will explain to the jury that he has changed his mind.

If you want to try to settle your case, he will work hard to do that. If you can't settle your case, he will give you a trial. He will tell you, in private, when he thinks that you're making a mistake in your evaluation of your case, but he does not make rulings to punish you if he disagrees with your decision to try your case. Neither will he make rulings against you simply to punish you, in the event that you need to make a record.

His knowledge of the law allows him to conduct a charge conference and prepare a verdict sheet accurately and in record time.

I have won cases, lost cases and settled cases before him. I have tried two cases before him since the beginning of 2014. Each time that I win or lose or settle, it is because of the evidence, the law, my and my adversary's presentation of the case and the choices that I made, not because of how he acted. I have great respect for his legal acumen and his even-handedness. He works tirelessly. If you treat him with respect, he will treat you with respect as well. If fairness is the test, he passes with flying colors.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5195
Rating:9.6
Comments:
I have been practicing within Queens County for over 20 years and have the requisite experience to fairly comment herein. I have also read essentially the entirety of the comments about Judge Ritholtz, and I can safely say that if you know how to try cases, in Queens or otherwise, you should have no problem whatsoever trying a case in his part. Just remember the three "R's" of trial work:

1) Be Ready;
2) Be Realistic; and
3) Be Respectful.

Furthermore, Judge Ritholtz is no-nonsense. If you can't handle pressure and a brisk pace, try something else, like Trusts & Estates.

This guy gets the job done. Some of these comments seemingly come from the disgruntled, the meek and the unprepared. Therein lies the issue. Stop your whining! Get your case ready, get your experts lined up, and be realistic about your numbers. (On both sides of the aisle -- carriers also be warned!)

If you follow these simple and clearly obvious rules, you won't suffer his wrath. And wrath it can be if you fumble through your direct or cross, demand or offer ridiculous nonsensical numbers, or are disrespectful to the Court or its staff.

This is why, after speaking with experienced attorneys, time and time again, we welcome an assignment to Judge Ritholtz. For we have no time to B.S. and sit in a Part for weeks, when the trial should take days. We have no time for unproductive settlement negotiations, when this judge will work with the parties (and, yes, push the parties) to get cases resolved.

Wake up and smell the coffee, boys and girls -- if you want to move cases, this is the judge in Queens that will do so. If not, stay in your law office.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY5153
Rating:4.5
Comments:
I had complied with the discovery rules, and my adversary had not. Despite this, Judge Ritholtz said that he would preclude nothing. I had to try my case at a disadvantage, due to the surprise evidence. Also, my cross of my adversary's expert apparently took too long for the judge, as he told me to sit down in the middle of the cross.

This man is an embarrassment. He also refuses to make decisions on the record, and makes them off the record. This forces an attorney to either demand that a record be made -- which is guaranteed to make the judge agree -- or end up having nothing to appeal.

(And, yes, the judge's trial rulings appear to be affected by his anger.)

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY5004
Rating:9.3
Comments:
Just finished up a summary jury trial with Judge Ritholtz. I am generally not a fan of jury trials; however, I have to say he handled this case tremendously well. He put equal pressure on both sides to settle, and when that didn't happen, he set up a trial schedule which we converted to a summary jury trial. Thereafter, he handled the proceedings incredibly quickly -- maybe too fast for my liking -- however, they were the time parameters I had agreed to so I can't really complain. He made smart, quick and fair rulings on evidence, and the jury never waited an extra second for anything, which in my opinion is important for a plaintiff. I understand that people have their complaints about him; however, if you come in prepared and know your stuff you are going to get a fast, but absolutely fair, trial and the jury is going to appreciate it -- and thus hopefully spend time on evidence instead of nonsense.

Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: NY4984
Rating:9.9
Comments:
Over the past 14 years, I have tried numerous cases in front of Judge Ritholtz. I’ve won some, lost some and settled many. He gives both sides a fair shot and works tirelessly to settle the matter. He does not hold it against you if you disagree with him. You best be prepared to try your case if you are assigned to him. Have your witnesses ready. He does not tolerate excuses. He is there to work. If you want a proactive judge who is there to assist in the resolution of your case, he is your man.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY4974
Rating:9.9
Comments:
I have appeared before him on many occasions, for both trials and conferences. He is smart, fair, and hardworking. He will attempt to settle your case, and if he cannot, you will get a fair trial. He is prepared for you when you are assigned to him, and he expects the same from the attorneys who appear before him. It is a true pleasure to appear before him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4948
Rating:1.1
Comments:
Imagine that you are a victim of negligence, and that your case is up for trial before Judge Ritholtz. You expect to have a fair hearing, and for your attorney to have an adequate opportunity to present the case. You expect the judge to give your case and your attorney the respect that any litigant should be afforded. You will get none of that. What you will get is a rushed trial, by an overbearing judge, who will do five other things while the trial is going on, rush everyone, and generally give the jury the impression that this is the least important case to ever come to trial. What follows is the natural outcome, which is either a defense verdict or a low verdict. Woe also to the litigant that does not settle for his recommended number, as he will bully you or be hard enough on you during trial to try to bend you to his will. Anyone who disagrees with the above hasn't really tried cases before him. It's his way or the highway, as he believes that he knows it all. Many attorneys will breathe a sigh of relief when he retires.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4718
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is a fair, hardworking and smart judge who is dedicated to resolving your lawsuit. He is probably responsible for 60% of the dispositions in Queens Supreme and I wonder how the Administrative Judge is planning to handle the trial calendar when he retires. I suspect that all the attorneys that have complained on this site will be missing Judge Ritholtz when he is gone. When you appear in this part, you are expected to be prepared and to be ready for trial. You will get a fair trial and he does not play favorites. He treats everyone equally, whether you represent a mighty corporation or a poor or disenfranchised party. Despite his reputation for forcing parties to trial, he spent two full days mediating my case when it reached the damages portion. He did resolve my case, much to my surprise as it involved multiple parties, multiple plaintiff and defense attorneys, multiple lien holders and difficult defendants. He also honored my request for a brief vacation that I had previously planned. His staff is top notch (and they have to be because this judge does work on multiple cases at the same time).
As another poster stated: "He is a champion of what the court system is supposed to be; honest, efficient, dignified and incorruptible."

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4709
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Who cares how hard he works? Does that excuse his behavior? The man is a narcissistic, self-absorbed tyrant. Can't make a motion for discovery. Who's kidding who here? Don't you think that the administrative judge knows what goes on, but doesn't care? All they care about is dispositions and dispositions -- not someone getting a right to actually have a trial that takes longer than a day, and to have discovery before the trial!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4615
Rating:7.6
Comments:
As someone who has been in his courtroom frequently for a number of years and has tried a few cases before him, I agree with the reviews who say you had better be prepared and ready to try your case, the whole case! He is not a judge for the timid or faint of heart. However, his pace and attitude have remained consistent, and neither plaintiff nor defendant gets a pass. Like him or not, 99% of the time he resolves the case, which is what you want most if not all of the time. Time is money like they say. His staff deserves both a medal and combat pay! I couldn't disagree more with the last comment as while some of his staff can be a little cranky (blame the hectic pace and workload), most are very friendly and accommodating (unless you need to adjourn a CC). Never underhanded or deceitful in any way! Rulings are consistent and I've never had a stip go unsigned unless the wording was wrong. You do get chastised, since they have templates for most every occasion, you fix it and it gets signed. Not the best judge, but certainly not the worst in the state, or even in Queens for that matter.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4587
Rating:3.0
Comments:
In my opinion, this is one of the worst judges in the state. He does not care about justice, only about his numbers and standards and goals.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4579
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I have recently come across a judge who is a whirlwind of talent, wisdom, energy and fairness. Judge Ritholtz is responsible for half of the settlements that come out of the Queens Supreme Court Building. He administers his courtroom with Solomonic and Talmudic wisdom. All parties who come before him are treated equally. He expects you to be prepared and he expects you to be ready. He does not often get the privilege of dispensing justice. That is the right of juries and counselors who settle their cases. He has an abiding respect for the law, its practice, its rule, and its non-discriminatory power of resolution. He is blind to issues of race, religion, wealth and station. On those occasions when he is permitted to be the decider of the case, he does so based upon fact and the application of the law without any unfairness or bias. He has an encyclopedic mind which lends itself to complicated litigation. He can wade through a swamp of irrelevant facts to find the rock on which he can stand to make a decision. He separates the wheat from the chaff quickly, fact from foolishness and relevance from irrelevance. Significantly, when the circumstances allow for compassion and welcome it, he will be there to advocate it, push for it and dispense it. The wheels of justice move quickly, surely and fairly in his court. He is a champion of what the court system is supposed to be; honest, efficient, dignified and incorruptible.

These comments are made with firsthand knowledge, because I recently completed a lengthy and complicated case before him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4566
Rating:6.4
Comments:
If you're gonna ride the "R" train in Queens, you better have every one of your witnesses lined up...for that afternoon! Great experience if you have a simple case with a couple of witnesses, and you're ready, and you want to settle after a liability verdict. Horrible experience if you can't try a case, or if you have a complex matter. Young lawyers beware -- he eats you for breakfast.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4403
Rating:9.5
Comments:
Hardest working judge ever. Has come to realize that civil litigation is like any other business and he moves cases with blazing speed. If you are not ready, you will suffer.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY4245
Rating:9.1
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is among the very few hardest working judges (I've seen in state courts in over 20 years); very smart and maybe even cerebral; personable; down to earth, real and nice guy; and he moves cases! (sometimes though at the expense of the protocols and decorum of a court of law, which the perception of is important for litigants). But it must be conceeded that quality is compromised by quantity and Ritholtz needs to control his ADHD/ADD ways of handling cases especially on trial. Justice cannot be based on 5 minute sound bites. But you see the catch-22 here.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3931
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Personal injury trial with Judge Ritholtz yesterday.45% liability verdict against my cilent, plaintiff. Significant injuries. Satisfied with settlement amount. Very impressed with Judges efficiency and competency.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3927
Rating:5.5
Comments:
As a defendant I alswyas get a "fair"result in his part. He treats every case with contempt, rushes people along, and pulls the value of every case before him down the drain. He does know his stuff and can keep himself out of the Appellate Division but I always pity my plaintiff adversarys when the get a good case sent to him. For small stuff, though, he is great. If you just want to settle your case and a low but not grossly unfair number he will get that done. He will always pressure the defendaant to put up something.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3921
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I try cases for both defendants and plaintiffs... but have much more history with Justice Ritholtz as a defendant. I enjoy working before him, as he is one of the few judges in Queens County who works and will actually allow you to try a case. I have always found him to be fair(!) and extremely knowledgeable. More importantly, he has great instincts and his observations/recommendations can be invaluable. I'll take him as an assignment any day of the week.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3912
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I note that the negative comments seem to come from primarily criminal guys. All the trial pi guys I know are glad to get in front of him as they know they have a real legitimate shot at settlement and if the case can't
settle, as certain ones can not, then you know you will get a fair quick trial and wont be punished for not settling by being bullied, harrassed, or put through needless adjournments for no reason. Ritholtz will work at settlement and even call the adjustor if he thinks it would make a difference. He makes the all out attempt and if it doesnt settle he doesnt penalize any side.
I have had cases in queesn before certain judges who will take a month literally for a trial that ritholtz will resolve for you in days!! If he wasn't there that courthouse would move at a crawl pace. I have cases coming up which must go and will be backed up, and I literally hope I get assigned to him as I know he will make one subject to the other and resolve them one way or another whereas with another assignment I could get stuck for a month literally as that judge plays with the schedule to suit his personal agenda.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY3830
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
It appears after reading all these posts that the judge has had his shills writing on a full time basis. How can anyone possibly speak highly of a judge who prohibits you from making a motion on behalf of your client, who treats people probably the same way his mommy and daddy treated him, and who is a nasty vicious man with a big time napoleanic complex. I suspect his family life is the same as the way he treats the people in his courtroom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3569
Rating:9.1
Comments:
Dear Criminal Defense Lawyer, Comment #:NY3518....I have tried over 250 cases in Supreme Court Queens County. You might as well call me a "regular".I have tried cases before judge Ritholtz while in Queens. If there is one lesson I can take away from Judge Ritholtz is you better be prepared and know your case before appearing in front of him. If you are not prepared, dont even bother appearing. The judge does not like to waste time and neither do I. Make no mistake, if you are unprepared the Judge will let you know it.
It is so evident that your comments stem from the classic unprepared lawyer. Us "regulars" see it day in and day out. There is no one to blame but yourself. It is good to feel the guilt but to bash another, especially a judge is unprofessional. Your comments are evident that you know nothing about Judge Ritholtz.
The Judge is not out to hurt anyone. In fact, if you go to him he will always find the time to work with you. He is one of the Judges, lets say that is more reachable than others.
You comment that the Judge has no knowledge of the law outside his expertise. Again, if you knew the Judge you would know that he was a law secretary for nearly 20 years.....from criminal to matrimonial. His knowledge of the law is endless.
I must say the one comment that takes the cake is that the Judge is unaware of any of the CPLR "mechanisms" for discovery. Ask yourself, how can a Judge run a discovery part for so many years and not know the CPLR governing discovery? You talk about the "norm" in his court room. I have found as a matter of fact, it is the "norm" when a law is in question, the judge will schedule briefing conferences to review and question the law between himself and the lawyers to ensure a correct, proper and just outcome.
Simply stated, you will never hear from us "regulars" that Judge Ritholtz is the kind of Judge you attempt to make him out to be. In addition, the judge is always thinking "out of the box" to accommodate us.
If you feel that he has wronged you, aproach him, talk to him......you might come away very surprised and satisfied.
Remember, an unprepared lawyer has no one to blame but himself. We have all been there. In the long run, it makes us all better lawyers.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY3518
Rating:1.6
Comments:
I believe all the positive comments on here are spammed intending to improve this judge's ratings and reputation for he is unprofessional and unprepared. Ritholtz hosts a discovery/compliance part tasked to facilitate disclosure and that does not describe what really happens in his court. This means a complaint is filed, and after all pleadings are exchanged and filed, the case is assigned to Ritholtz for disclosure ("compliance" means complying with disclosure demands).

I have not seen a single case before Ritholtz where he knew the pleadings. Therefore his knowledge of a case becomes based on five minute synopses by lawyers for the parties. I also notice that he has no knowledge of any of the orders he entered in any of his cases so key points have to be argued again by the lawyers. This slows down the proceedings and lengthens the case. This is very noticeable when a case involves law outside of Ritholtz's expertise which seems to be personal injury. For example, he appears to know nothing of the law that touches upon the common citizen: criminal law, family or divorce law and landlord/tenant law for example.

Ritholtz seems to be unaware of any of the CPLR mechanisms for discovery. For example, CPLR 3123 defines a Notice to Admit that carries very exact response requirements. Ritholtz does not know any of these. The failure of proper responses makes no difference to Ritholtz so in effect, Ritholtz builds in a support mechanism to the losing side. So one gets the impression he plays favorites when in fact he masks ignorance of the law of CPLR §3123.

So inane results are the norm in his court. There is no continuity and no progress in one case and the output varies across numerous similar cases. For example, in one desk side discussion, he questioned a lawyer about his body language - as if to suggest a lawyer's body language somehow guides the judge's reactions. Desk side discussions off the record are the norm in his court. Lawyers are pulled in to synopsize and convince this judge of the matters they seek. Ritholtz questions them and yields a reaction. Typically, that reaction is to force a settlement with an enumerated settlement amount. So a bodily injury is $65,000 or a false arrest is $5,000.

So citizens get a hip pocket coerced settlement no matter the facts of a case. Nuance is completely ignored and a lawyer's body language impacts upon a decision. Remember this is a compliance part tasked with the job of making disclosure happen. This is not what happens at all. It is a coercive settlement part that cleanses all the facts of a case away and yields a number the parties better settle on or else face a trial presided by Ritholtz: and there is no telling what those results may be.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3515
Rating:9.8
Comments:
I have tried two cases before Justice Ritholtz, the second concluding just a couple of weeks ago. Regardless of the outcome (won one, lost the other), he was excellent. He made a concerted effort at settlement but when that did not work he let the lawyers try their cases. He did not interject himself into the case or commandeer examination of witnesses. Instead, he sought to give everyone a fair trial. He followed the evidence closely in both cases, even as he was dealing with unrelated Court matters while testimony was being taken. Hardworking does not begin to describe his work ethic, and he did everything he could to accommodate scheduling problems and witness availability. He was especially concerned for the non-party witnesses that were subpoenaed to testify and had to miss time from their jobs, to the point of calling an employer and explaining the need for the employee to testify. His rulings on evidentiary matters and substantive law, even the many that went against me and with which I disagreed, were well-reasoned and sound. While he runs a tight courtroom and demands preparedness, he is self-deprecating, has a good sense of humor, is extremely personable and demonstrates empathy for the litigants and their attorneys. Consider yourself lucky if you are assigned to him for trial.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3505
Rating:1.0
Comments:
The only way this Judge is getting a good review is if the attorney is showing it to him. He's one of the worst and almost every single attorney before him (both sides) agree. HOT tempered, rushed, doesn't care about justice, just cares about clearing his calendar so he looks good to his bosses. VERY BAD.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY3391
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is, quite simply, the fairest, most efficient and honorable judges with whom I have had contact.

I recently completed a personal injury case with Judge Rithholtz, and unfortunately did not prevail. However, I was extremely impressed with the even-handedness with which he treated all parties, including lawyers, litigants and jurors.

Although Judge Ritholtz may appear brusque, he has a good heart, and an excellent judicial temperament.

He is respectful and expects attorneys to be prepared. I have only the highest admiration for Judge Ritholtz and hope that he ascends to the Appellate Division or the Court of Appeals one day.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2730
Rating:9.3
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is one of the hardest working, effective Judge's ever. He gets cases moving and settled and is a pleasure to work with.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2503
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Simply put, the judge gets things done. He is truly the James Brown of judges - the hardest working judge in NYC.

The only problem with judges like the Hon. Ritholtz (hard working and bright) is...they go up to the Court of Appeals. He will be missed in Queens Supreme. Exceptional Judge, with a remarkable pedigree.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2208
Rating:9.3
Comments:
Had my second Summary Jury Trial with Judge Ritholtz, and it was equally as enjoyable as the first. He has a knack for getting all parties to see the bottom line pros and cons of eachothers cases, including our own. He had 3 simultaneous conferences in chambers, on different and unrelated matters. These multiple conferences helped to reaffirm the evenhandedness with which Judge Ritholtz treats all his cases. A word to the wise, always lead with your strongest argument, because he is a fast thinker and you will get the best result if you are strong and concise in your arguments. I look forward my next encounter with both the Judge and his staff, as that whole part is a well oiled machine and leaps and bounds more productive than most other civil trial parts in the 5 boroughs.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2146
Rating:9.0
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is an easy target for Narcissistic selfish lawyers who think their case is the only thing that matters. To his credit he does not tolerate stalling or baloney excuses. Most lawyers are not use to dealing with a judge that is so strong. We all know in this business things don't get done until we are mandated to do them. Judge Ritholtz and his staff work harder than any other judge in the city. He is honest and has more integrity than any other Judge I've been in front of. I say to judge Ritholtz..don't let the naysayers change you. Your system works at its best for the people of new york city and for the lawyers that come before u. Thank you and your staff for your tireless efforts.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2120
Rating:9.6
Comments:
I recently had a complex personal injury trial before Judge Ritholtz that involved, inter alia, a police chase and a drunk driver. Judge Ritholtz proved to be an excellent assignment. He gave us a very ambitious schedule and expected us to have our witnesses lined up so that there would be no wasted time during the newly reduced court day (since under the recent edict passed down by OCA, the court day ends at 4:30 PM). Judge Ritholtz exhibited outstanding legal acumen in his rulings during in limine motions and issues during the trial. His involvement in settlement negotiations was extremely productive and led to the resolution of the case. The humanity he exhibited in diligently working to resolve the liens that led to the possibility of settlement belies his image of being brusque and harsh. Quite frankly, this is not the part for an unprepared attorney. However, if you case is prepared, your witnesses are ready, then this is the best assignment in Queens, if not the City of New York.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY2117
Rating:9.5
Comments:
I have had many dealings over the years with Judge Ritholtz in pre trial matters. Although I didn't always agree with the way he handled pre trial matters, he is clearly the hardest working judge in New York.
I now have had the pleasure of being in front of Judge Ritholtz on a rather significant and complicated trial which involved 23 witnesses. I can truly say that going in I was very nervous. Now after having completed the matter I can say as a trial lawyer with over twenty years of experience that he was exceptionally bright, having a full knowledge of all rules of evidence. He handled all issues in a professional manner. I found that he let us "try our Case" and was very caring of the jurors.
He was exceptionally competent in his ability to handle the settlement negotiations as well as very involved in the reduction of liens.
In this day and age of cost cutting measures and the financial issues that the judges and court system is faced with it is amazing to see how hard Judge Ritholtz works. The system needs more trial judges like Judge Ritholtz. Instead of knocking him like some do on this forum, perhaps we should be thanking him for his hard work and exceptional performance as a judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1915
Rating:9.1
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz was a pleasure to deal with. Not that we had tea and small talk, quite the opposite, he is strictly business, and that business is moving cases. While I have appeared in Queens County Supreme Court for many years, and had conferences before Judge Ritholtz in the past, I never had him for a trial until recently.

He is aggressive, no nonsense, and very well versed in NY CPLR and trial practice. What I liked most about the madness he brings to the trial process (akin to the hurry-up offense in football) is that he is an even-handed task master. While many of the comments below take issue with his methods, it must be said that plaintiff and defense attorneys are treated equally. HIS FAST PACED STYLE IS A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ANY PREPARED ATTORNEY. He forces the attorneys to streamline and focus their case presentations, all to the delight of the jurors and the benefit of the parties.

Judge Ritholtz is a big proponent of summary jury trials, and after having had my first such experience with him, I too am a believer that summary jury trials are very productive, and should be more widely utilized by both sides of the civil trial bar.

Overall, I was touched by Judge Ritholtz's respect and appreciation of a good and fair fight between lawyers. His goal is to ensure that justice is done, and has little interest in wasting time.

Caveat #1: Be on time. He is a stickler for punctuality. I consider myself fortunate that he did not have the jury waiting in the box to see me stroll into court 10 minutes late, a fate he assured me would await any repeat tardiness on my part.

Caveat #2: Be honest with him. He is a cut to the chase kind of guy but insists on candor and honesty. He will go to great lengths to sniff out a bull story (about scheduling, availability of witnesses, etc), as my adversary learned the hard way.

A rare and solid example of a fair, hard working, and compassionate judge, I found Judge Ritholtz's tough exterior a useful tool in getting to the finish line of the case without losing focus on the purpose of resolving disputes between parties.

I look forward to the next occasion I have to try a case before Judge Ritholtz.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1819
Rating:9.4
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is the best and hardest working Judge in the State of New York. He knows the law, knows the value of cases, knows when to proceed to trial and when to suggest settlement. I have tried many cases before Judge Ritholtz as a plaintiff and as a defendant and can say from experience he is fair, evenhanded and no nonsense. He does not waste time. He understands that time is precious for everyone involved. As a solo practitioner his time saving approach is much appreciated. I know to have my witnesses ready and expect my cases to be heard fairly without interruption or delay. A Judge who knows the law is a pleasure to deal with.

When I read some of these negative comments I can only conclude that these people have not had much dealing with him. The lawyers who appear before Judge Ritholtz are the lucky ones.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1781
Rating:3.0
Comments:
I have not tried a case before him so I will not comment on that. His system of forcing matters onto the trial calendar before they are ready is a disaster. Many plaintiffs' counsel work the system and put tremendous pressure on defendants to settle before the matter reaches that moron Schulman. Having Notes of Issue filed prematurely is a joke. It is unfair and makes a mockery of the law. No judge should be allowed to prohibit a party from making a motion.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1710
Rating:9.6
Comments:
One of the hardest working Judges in the State system. Cares about the cases and the clients. Will try very hard to reach a fair settlement. Is not looking to hurt any part or attorney. Be prepared to try your case and leave the BS at home.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY1700
Rating:3.1
Comments:
A moderately intelligent, very heavy-handed judge who is otherwise a complete lunatic. He is abusive to lawyers and their witnesses by his ineflexible trial scheduling, he cmopletely disregards motions to strike, and his so-called industriousness is simply a byproduct of his Type A personality, and is more about appearances and wanting to show up other judges than a genuine interest in dealing with cases properly. A disaster on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1532
Rating:9.6
Comments:
I recently had a trial before Judge Ritholtz. He did a fine job and was very fair to both sides. He handled the pre-trial conference himself and spent as much time with us as we needed, which I found refreshing based on other experiences I had. He tried to resolve the case but realized it could not be resolved (due to UM issues). Trial was handled expeditiously though fairly and I felt I had the time I needed to put my case in. I look forward to my next trial in Judge Ritholtz's courtroom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1527
Rating:5.4
Comments:
Read the other comments and you will get the picture -- if you value a speedy trial and a final resolution over a deliberative pace and a finer quality of justice you will be a fan. If not you will be outraged. For routine cases he is OK but a plaintiff with a tragic case need time to develope it and to let compassion arise. The truly injured plaintiff will not only receive a rushed verdict but will walk away from the courtroom without the sense that she really had he day in Court. Justice Ritholtz for all his virtues forgets that a sense of fairness comes, in part, from the majesty of the process.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY1514
Rating:4.3
Comments:
If you want a verdict get assigned to Judeg Rotholtz. If you want justice go elsewhere.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1484
Rating:9.1
Comments:
I have practiced before Justice Ritholtz for many years. I originally used to think that jurors resented being kept after hours to finish their deliberations, but after speaking to many jurors I have come to learn that they actually PREFER to have the trial done in a quick manner and that they would rather work one long day than 3 or 4 shorter days [as would be their experience before almost any other Judge city wide]. The word that best describes this jurist is 'efficient'. He is clearly knowledgeable on the law and gets a very quick grasp of the factual and legal issues in chambers while he tries throughout to settle the case. He never forces any litigant to settle a case, although he no doubt explains the ramifications and risks to those who refuse to do so. I don't understand why lawyers criticize him for 'rushing their case'. He forces lawyers to get to the meat of the case immediately and trims off all of the fat that waste the time of the court and jury. I have seen first hand how many attorneys drone on and on with witnesses and bore jurors to the point of endangering their case with repetitive and needless questioning. I also strongly disagree with the most recent comment from 7/27/10 that the Judge threatened to incarcerate a prospective juror. I assume that attorney misunderstood when the Judge threatened to send the prospective juror to criminal court [to be a juror, not a defendant]. I myself have used that tactic and explained to certain prospective jurors [those that claim that they can't be fair and are obviously just trying to get out of jury duty] that a civil trial is much quicker than a criminal trial, and if they still thought they couldn't be fair that they risked being sent to the criminal courthouse to sit on a criminal trial. My advice to those who appear before him is to be ready, there is not alot of down time once you are assigned to his part.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1458
Rating:3.9
Comments:
The ratings here are much too high for him. Yes, he can be fair at times. But he can also be (and usually is) very overbearing and nasty. He once threatened to incarcerate a prospective juror (we were picking in his courtroom) because he said he could not be fair to a plaintiff due to his experience as EMT seeing "fraudulent" complaints of pain following auto accidents. He pressured him into saying he would be fair. This is a just a sample of what he does.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1387
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I just recently appeared before Judge Ritholtz for a jury trial involving a very complicated and contentious fee dispute case with difficult clients on both sides. The underlying issues in the case involved both estate law and contract law issues.
Judge Ritholtz immediately grasped all of the complex issues and commenced negotiations. I thought negotiating would be a waste of time as over the course of 3 years of litigation there was never any serious settlement discussions and all parties were committed to taking a verdict.
To my surprise and to his credit, Judge Ritholtz devoted 5 hours of his time to often tedious and painstaking negotiations which resulted in a settled case at 4:55 pm thereby avoiding the jury from having to return the next day.
In my opinion, Judge Ritholtz deserves all of the credit for the settlement and for conserving judicial resources. Throughout the process he was firm yet even-handed with all the parties and instinctively knew when to push and when to remain detached.
I do not know of any other Judge who could have achieved this result. Both attorneys and our respective clients are grateful to Judge Ritholtz and greatly admire his unique Judicial insight, acumen and skills.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1386
Rating:2.3
Comments:
He never practiced and it shows. Makes a mockery of the "judicial" system.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1348
Rating:10.0
Comments:
I am taking the time to write this comment as I have personally tried no less than six trials before Judge Ritholz, and quite frankly i am bothered by what I deem to be unfair and even harsh criticism of the Judge. I have found that if you know your case, have your witnesses scheduled, and know the law that is applicable to your facts, then Judge Ritholz is fantastic. This is a Judge who knows the law, will not let attorneys or witnesses waste jurors time, and will try very hard to bring the parties together towards settlement. When I am in Queens Supreme I actually hope that I am assigned to Judge Martin Ritholz.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1346
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Had the displeasure of trying a Summary Jury Trial in front of him recently (I was successful) and have appeared in his part. He has his own rules. I find his overbearing manner difficult. His part runs differently than any other part in NYC. Good luck trying to make a motion. I actually had to make a motion to strike my own note of Issue. When I went to court the defendant actually told me he showed the motion around the office as a hey look at how bizarre this is. FYI the defendants always make this motion, not the plaintiff.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1288
Rating:7.5
Comments:
Had the pleasure of trying a Summary Jury Trial in front of him recently. The entire process was easy and fast. Plenty of flexibility in scheduling of the trial, discovery exchange and jury selection. Judge Ritholtz was even-handed over the (short) course of the trial and gave both attorneys feedback in his chambers afterward. Has a slight tendency to fall into a bad attitude at times, though.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY1141
Rating:9.3
Comments:
This post is partially in response to the last - from a Criminal Defense Lawyer. I disagree with his/her assessment of Judge Ritholtz. I have been in Judge Ritholtz's part many times for discovery compliance. I appreciate the no-nonsense style - he refuses to reward lazy and unscrupulous attorney conduct. However, if counsel is fully PREPARED and follows the Part Rules and Discovery Order provisions, et al., you will receive all the discovery to which you're entitled under the CPLR. I've also had one trial before Judge Ritholtz. He was extremely helpful in getting the case ("unresolvable" in the 3 years prior to trial) settled during jury selection. Judge Ritholtz managed to quickly ascertain the underlying motivation of each party and use this understanding to bring the parties to an acceptable settlement. The key, again, was that all sides were PREPARED to try the case if necessary. His Honor showed the attorneys professional respect while at the same time working hard to settle the case - which ultimately saved my client thousands of dollars in legal fees. At no time did the Judge threaten to disallow expert witnesses - of course, that may be the result of each attorney having coordinated in advance with his or her witness to schedule the testimony. Obviously the trial scheduling system in Supreme Court is less-definitive than in Federal Court (where you receive longer advance notice of a date certain for trial) so scheduling experts is trickier in State Court. Nonetheless, at no time in my experience did Judge Ritholtz threaten to exclude an expert on the basis of a scheduling issue. My overall impression is that he is a fair and effective judge with an excellent command of the CPLR as well as a deep understanding of the legal and equitable foundations of the law. Wish the Supreme Court had more judges like him.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: NY1124
Rating:4.7
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz works hard. Much too hard! But to what end? He is the gatekeeper for discovery compliance in Queens. He also accepts trial assignments which he is known to conduct in his chambers if necessary! He has a maniacal drive to do more, seemingly to no good purpose than simply doing more. He has a very twisted sense of fairness, and effectively denies litigants their day in court by arbitrarily reducing a 7 day trial to 3 days. He prides himself on making the impossible possible for some neurotic reason known only to him. His staff will smile while they sadistically subject you to Judge Ritholtz' sick brand of justice. After preparing a case for trial for 3 years, why should a party be forced to rest when an expert he has paid thousands for is unavailable today, but can testify tomorrow? He is a judicial fascist. I can't imagine his childhood.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY860
Rating:9.6
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is a brilliant man, a scholar, a gentleman and one of the hardest workers I have ever witnessed in my 20-plus years of practice. While his expectations of attorneys are high, his expectations of himself are similarly high, and he meets those expectations. Can you?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY836
Rating:9.8
Comments:
In my experience, Judge Ritholtz has always been hardworking and even-handed. He can spot the critical issues in cases which brings about early settlement and also results in savings in time and cost for all parties involved.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY832
Rating:9.7
Comments:
I have always found Judge Ritholz to be ethical, hardworking, knowledgeable and fair. He is tough on attorneys who violate his orders and ignore his rules.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY798
Rating:4.5
Comments:
Unethical. I once had a trial in which the client did not want to accept the offer. He put her on the stand for an allocution making her accept the settlement and she responded: "No, I don't want to take it, but you are forcing me to." He replied: "Off the record! Off the record!" and strong-armed her again to take the settlement, although I strongly advised my elderly client not to take it.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY744
Rating:5.4
Comments:
Does anyone look forward to appearing in Judge Ritholz's part? Fail to follow the ridiculous part rules and get sent to the back of the line! Loves to punish attorneys who don't by making them wait all day to resolve otherwise simple issues. Apparently also thinks his control extends to the other parts, but luckily, the other judges are aware of him and act accordingly.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY671
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
I had a brief appearance before him and he appears to grasp the pivotal issues in a case quickly and will strive mightily (at times employing unconventional methods) to have the parties reach a consensus. The breadth of his knowledge of various areas of the law is apparent and Queens is lucky to have him.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY652
Rating:9.9
Comments:
Judge Ritholtz is a "hands-on" judge who will do his best to bring about a fair resolution of an issue without making it unduly burdensome to either party.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY624
Rating:9.9
Comments:
I'm writing because the prior post is terribly unfair. I can't think of a more industrious judge. It is a busy part, as are most of the central compliance parts in NYC, so having to wait just comes with the territory. Having had the opportunity to hear him lecture at several CLE programs, I can tell you that he is very well versed in the CPLR and the Uniform Rules. Having had a case where he conducted an in camera review of privileged records, he is both practical and fair. If you follow the part rules and comply with the PC and CC orders, you will get all of the disclosure that you are entitled to. And, when the deadline nears for a plaintiff to file the note of issue, the part actually calls the attorney, in advance, and gives a reminder - no other judge that I know of would even consider putting into effect such a procedure. Because the part is so busy, he may appear to be brusque, but he listens to the attorneys, and calls things right down the middle. So, take advantage of the part rules, particularly the ability to obtain a teleconference, and your case will move forward.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY622
Rating:2.3
Comments:
Incompetent and mean. Be prepared to spend hours in court on meaningless minutiae until your discovery issue is called. Also be prepared to be yelled at about issues in your case that the judge knows nothing about. Finally, be aware that this judge does not even know basic CPLR sections – especially section 3001. Be warned!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: NY25
Rating:3.7
Comments:
Uniformly disliked judge.