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Civil Litigation - Private
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average rating is 5 out of 5
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Judge Francis is a good judge: smart, thoughtful, even-handed, mild-mannered and careful about his rulings. I have lost motions before Judge Francis that I strongly believed I should have won but I never felt that he did not pay adequate attention or that he prejudged the issues. I do think he is sometimes mild-mannered to a fault. I have seen him give semi-rational pro se litigants way too many chances (perhaps not fully appreciating the enormous costs that he thereby visits on the opposing party). Worse yet, he tends to act the same way with truly awful lawyers, letting the dregs of the legal profession get away with misconduct that would quickly land a more respectable lawyer in contempt of court. This not only costs the opposing party in time and attorneys' fees; it undermines their faith in the judicial system. Finally, that same mild-manneredness makes Judge Francis less effective in settlement conferences than he could be. Sometimes a settlement judge really needs to read the riot act to one side or the other (or both), but that is not Judge Francis's style. That said, I have often wished Judge Francis were the district judge on my case instead of the magistrate judge, and I hope the powers that be can see their way clear to promoting him.
7/15/19, 2:10 AM
Hon. James C. Francis IV

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