Hon. James L. Shumate See Rating Details
Beaver County
5th Judicial District
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Attorney Average Rating:   1.2 - 4 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 3 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. James L. Shumate



Comment #: UT291
My family was involved in a case with Judge Shumate. It was the worst experience in my life and changed my view of the court system. As other posters said, he was ill prepared, arrogant, doting to some witnesses, and hostile to others. He did not refresh his failing memory before a review, totally reversing his previous decision. He wants to appear friendly to the downtrodden, but rather than make decisions based on the facts and the history before him, he appears to flip a coin in the back room to see who wins. I am appalled that he continues to have a job in Beaver.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: UT252
No matter what kind of case you have, stay away from this terrible judge. In my opinion, he is one of the laziest and least intelligent judges you will meet. He acts as if he is very respectful and courteous, but that is just Judge Shumate being obsequious. In my experience, he does not do research, he is rarely prepared, he does not supervise his cases or clerks and he is totally unreliable. I would go so far as to say -- again, in my opinion after over 30 years as an attorney -- that he is unethical and dishonest. He does whatever he wants and won't even justify his actions with written decisions or orders. That is because he is as arrogant as he is lazy. You will put in a lot of work and Judge Shumate will not read or consider your memos or arguments. If he doesn't know you, you will not be treated fairly and you should never trust him or rely on him. In a civil case or divorce, he will generally delay doing anything, deliberately annoy the parties, and then wait for the parties to settle rather than have to deal with Judge Shumate any longer. Judge Shumate is emblematic of the kind of insider of questionable character and talent who gets appointed to the bench in Utah and then fails as a judge, as Rand Beacham did. What a sorry judge.

(I hope more people who have had to deal with Judge Shumate post comments here. The more people tell the truth about what a bad judge he is, the better off the courts and people of Utah will be. Please encourage everyone you know who has had to deal with Judge Shumate to post reviews here, so that everyone will know about him.)

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: UT248
Judge James Shumate is one of the laziest judges that you will ever encounter. He can't get anything done right, and he is too burned out to care. He won't do legal research, he won't even bother to write out an order, he runs the court's sloppiest clerks group, and he is never prepared because he doesn't read anything before he takes the bench. His general tactic is to do nothing but screw up a case until the parties decide that they can't stand him any more and work out a settlement. It doesn't help to submit arguments to Judge Shumate, because he does not read them and decides things impulsively without any deep thought. He is a petty man with nothing to offer, and he is just mailing in the results these days because he is lazy.


Comment #: UT203
Shumate contradicts his own self often. We have heard a local lawyer say that he is a "loose canon". We agree. Once he is biased against you for this or that, he disregards facts and fair and just decisions.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: UT123
And howdy. This guy does whatever he wants to do, damn the consequences. Definitely agree with the "Judge of Israel" comment. He is conscientious about being consciously obtuse. He'll be surprised when he gets his special place in Hell.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: UT110
This guy thinks he's already a Judge of Israel or something. Sports a Brigham Beard in court to let everyone know whose team he's on. Engrafts ridiculous dynamics onto procedural and substantive law. Gets reversed all the time. Doesn't care. Protecting every Ponzi schemer in St. George. Strong possibility that he is on the take. Will make his biggest contribution to this Earth when he leaves it.


Comment #: UT31
Utah Supreme Court Overturns Judge Shumate's decisions