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Civil Litigation - Private
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average rating is 2.3 out of 5
average rating is null out of 5
He is tied for the worst judge in the Central District with Judge Manuel Real. While he shows up early and stays late, most of the work is done by his law clerks. When he tries cases, he has a law clerk up on the bench next to him, and will often reverse his own rulings after the clerk whispers in his ear. He will often refuse to make critical rulings and then order the parties to resolve the matters informally, and punish them if they fail to do so by requiring them to stay late. I've seen him use this method to coerce criminal defense counsel to waive their client's constitutional right to a speedy trial. He has a number of high ratings here from non-lawyers who were part of the Birther movement, who were elated after he stated, at a preliminary hearing, that he wanted to get to the merits of the case quickly. A short time later, in a ruling probably written by a clerk, he dismissed the action without reaching the merits, on jurisdictional grounds. Many of the Birthers then claimed that someone 'got to' Judge Carter. Not so. He often says things at early conferences that he doesn't mean, and this was just one more example of that. Here's another: 'I know that your time is valuable, and I don't want to waste it.' He typically says that, or something like it, before ordering you to stay in the courthouse for hours as punishment for something he didn't like. If you're counsel, expect him to make rulings and reverse them later, and to forget who said or did what. In one case, I saw him chastise a witness for showing up a day late, even though the lawyers admitted the day before that it was their fault for not telling the witness the correct date to arrive. In another case, he allowed the defense to change their theory in the middle of the trial, and then refused to allow the plaintiff to present any rebuttal evidence. All you have to do to get a real flavor for this judge is to go watch him handle a status conference calendar.
7/15/19, 2:13 AM
Hon. David O. Carter

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