She appears to lecture based on her beliefs, not necessarily law. I sat in her courtroom observing her demeanor, some cases she seemed very alert and on top of it, while others appeared to be more nonchalant or one sided. There was one case where the petitioning father was representing himself and the responding mother was represented by an attorney. Colfax was helping father along even offering suggestions to him. She was nodding her head in agreement with all his comments about mother; while the mother's attorney was getting no respect from her. At one point the mother spoke up and Colfax rolled her eyes, it was obvious she was partial. Colfax told the mother she had a history of disobeying court orders, but when the attorney asked when had her client ever disobeyed an order, Colfax said "I don't know but I'm sure its in the file somewhere". WOW is all I can say about that. It's sad judges are allowed to control and determine so much of a persons life, especially for Family Law, because the only people effected are the children.
I had Judge Colfax for my custody case and she seemed to blame me for all of custody problems caused by the alcoholic dad. Then when my son starting coming home with bruises all over his body and afraid to go to his dad's house, Judge Colfax gave the dad 100% custody. She never let me speak, even though I had intelligent things to say. She seemed to have no clue about domestic violence and what it is and it's utterly scary this woman is ruling on issues relating to children's welfare. She does not like to hear smart, well spoken women.
At best, Linda Colfax is a monster. From my experience, it is a grave injustice to the people of San Francisco that such a person has been given so much power over families. As mentioned in an earlier post, she makes up her own rules and adjudicates against the rule of law. In addition, her attitude on the bench is arrogant and demeaning. In my own opinion, she is not above destroying a parent/family in order to further her personal political agenda. It is a shame the public trust has been given to such a person.
Actually, she's a zero. She's dangerous, Bias and reckless. She will believe lies over the Truth just to save time. She never reads the briefs, does not think clearly and shuts you out, not giving you time to explain your story. I will have to transfer Judges and I have to write a letter to the Judicial Performance Committee proving Bias. She plays favorites with the Fathers usually and also plays favorites with Attorneys. She'll do whatever she can to alienate the children from the party she doesn't like and will even order that You pay all legal fees including your x's if they ask. She makes decisions behind closed doors, not giving you a chance to hear the basis or her decisions. I've had to appeal her decisions, yet wasting more time of the Courts, just to have the case Fair & Balanced. She believes the lies that her favorite lawyers tell her and completely ignores other lawyers, or will yell (lecture) them & hardly allowing them to speak. She's a creature from hell making a bad situation much worse instead of trying to make things better.
Comments made about favoring fathers could not be more true. I was very happy to see those comments on here, now I know it was not all in my head. I can also say I witnessed rude, snippy comments, interruptions, eye-rolling, and head-nodding and smiling in agreement with one party. Furthermore, I was the victim of a behind the scenes ex-parte ruling where I ended up losing AND having to pay my ex sanctions with no explanation on why. Very biased with some sort of agenda. Sad she has destroyed so many lives.
Funny, I just experienced the worst unethical and non-compliant hearing i have ever attended. on the record is a statement about her violating public trust, and now I see another who feels the same. Does anyone realize that can amount to a class action lawsuit? As much as I do not like the stinch of discrimination, remember folks, she is Jewish, and the fact she remarks about Israel!...hum, something is not right in our current times relative to her rulings and actions/inactions. It does not make sense to me she would behave this way in court and she is on a Women's Defender committee of some sort.
If Linda Colfax is assigned to your case, get a preemptory challenge as soon as possible to get her off your case. You have limited time to do it, but do it. You have to do this before she hears anything about your case. She is the worse. Unpassionate and lazy. Every comment that the others have said are pretty much accurate. She doesnt not care about your case. She does not care about the law. She is going to make a decision based on her beliefs. And you will have to file an appeal which costs more money and time. She knows how to work the legal system so that her decision stands. Just know this. NO GOOD judge. If I could, I will vote her out of the court system next time.
Having sat in Colfax's courtroom several times, to provide moral support to 2 friends who went before her in 2 separate matters, I can attest to the truth of other negative comments about this judge. She does indeed roll her eyes, speak snippily, play favorites, and make inaccurate statements on a range of subjects (science, finance, and case history, to name a few). She also turns vicious if the facts belie her stance. Moreover, half a dozen times, in my friends' matters and those of strangers, I watched her ask a question and then cut in dismissively before a responsive comment could possibly be completed. In a multitude of ways, she demonstrates disinterest in--even outright disdain for--knowledge requisite to rendering fair decisions in the matters before her.
Worse, there's often no transcript for the proceedings in her courtroom. I know because I was so disturbed by her behavior I wanted to document it. Lo, no transcripts of the events I sought to document existed. Mind you, there were transcripts of a fair number of proceedings in Colfax's court, but they excluded Colfax's Greatest Hits, so to speak. That could be mere coincidence, but one wonders. And budget cuts can't be causing the written record's patchiness; I was told that, when such court transcripts do exist, they're the property of the stenographer who created them, so you pay that individual to obtain a copy. In other words, at least in Judge Colfax's court, stenographers aren't on the payroll and there isn't a mandate requiring consistent creation of a transcript. And if you want to record proceedings yourself, you must obtain prior approval from--you guessed it--Judge Colfax.
I'm no lawyer, but this is a problem that could be fixed without costing the public a penny. We're talking about things like child visitation and custody decisions. People's lives are getting put through a shredder. In the meantime, I strongly recommend that anyone interested sits and watches Judge Colfax for an hour or so. Increased oversight could only help.
Has not really seemed to learn Family Law in the time she has been on the bench. Kinda lectures and because she does not know how to handle the cases well and she speaks on and on without really ruling, the hearings end up messy with not-precise- following- the-law- rulings.
I was in court today and some other attorney make a comment re that she might not be able to get docs for case since Jordan is a war-torn country. Colfax blasted her in a really loud pontificating rude way yelling "Jordan is not war-torn . . . Israel is war-torn . . ."
Too bad Slabach retired. She was the best Family Law Judicial Officer I have seen.
I met Judge Colfax quite differently from most people leaving reviews. I work in law enforcement and after speaking with Judge Colfax (both on the record and off), I was stunned at how rude and condescending she was. In 11 years of experience, this was a first for me. Not only did Judge Colfax get involved in something she had no business in (as it did not relate to the case), she is clueless in criminal law and had the nerve to turn things around and talk negatively about me with statements which were not true and later proven to be false. I hope I never find myself in her court room for the remainder of my career and I'm sorry for anyone else that encounters her.
Colfax has ruined my life she presided over my divorce which took 6 years to finalize my child custody she awarded my ex husband full custody of my 4 kids one of which was not his biological child and this is after he travelled over 2 hours on greyhound to my house to kill me I provided physical evidence it went ignored I have been fighting to 2 years to get my children back I have been denied access to transcripts my 2 oldest children are wards of the court and my 2 youngest children are being raised by an woman who is terminally ill. Judge Colfax is very bias ignores all the rules of all and has destroyed my character in the eyes of all courts and now she is presiding over my son's juvenile case and has been mistreating my son. Who in their right mind could give someone like her so much power.. oh yeah the people worst than her I need help from anyone who can help me please reach out to me
Judge Colfax is terrible. She does not read briefs, and she is not prepared. For example, she set a settlement conference which cost an arm and leg to have attorneys prepare for, then it was taken off calendar because she had forgot it was even on her calendar and she did not want to do anything.
Judge Colfax is also patronizing and arbitrary with her rulings. I am an attorney and have worked with numerous Judges around the bay area. She is among the worst I have ever had the displeasure to appear in front of, and it is very disturbing she would be given any control of anyone's life when she is so disorganized and disrespectful.
She is a terrible Judge and hopefully someone will run against her and take her seat.
Judge Colfax is terrible. She has a terrible attitude, she does't listen, she is not prepared, she doesn't read briefs. She is the worst judge you can have in a courtroom. I am really surprised that such people can really get away for so many years in courts without performance reviews. It is scary to have judge Colfax ruling on your kids'lives.
Because the public needs to have confidence in our third branch of government, I write to let you know I have seen in a case where Judge Colfax ordered attorneys not to file any more papers in a case. Of course, we all have a First Amendment right to access the courts, and that kind of ruling was unconstitutional. Even though the parties and attorneys on both sides remember the judge making this ruling, the entire ruling mysteriously disappeared in the transcript.
On the other hand, I can't give her only a single star because I've seen her make some fairly fair rulings to protect children in severe abuse situations, and she certainly is far from the worst judges I've seen in the state. I think if she took the time to be a better listener, and a little less ascerbic to people in her courtroom, she might improve her judicial temperament considerably. Personally, I expect a lot more from a former public defender.
I would also echo the sentiment upthread that Commissioner Slabach was the best family law judicial officer in recent S.F. history. If you're suck in family law limbo with a bad judge and bad rulings, I think she's a private judge now and still hears cases.
Have sat through several of Judge Colfax's hearings. She is disdainful and dismissive during testimony which she seems to predetermine sides. If you win in Colfax's court, you win big! Unfortunately justice is not blind in this courtroom. She ruins lives.
She actually ruled in my favor on most counts. But I almost wish she hadn't because she then seemed to feel sorry for my ex and instead of following the law, or focusing on what was best for our child, she threw him a bone. She ruled for him on the last request, resulting in devastation and turmoil for our young daughter. Her ruling was against the recommendation of every therapist, and the expectation of every attorney - including my ex's - and caused 10 nights of crying, temper tantrums and hysteria (by my daughter) over what she forced my daughter to do. In my matter and in observing all of the other cases when I was in the courtroom, I came to the conclusion that this Judge has a very poor grasp on the law which is bad enough, but even worse, I was struck again and again by the vengeful attitude she took with many of the parties, especially women. She seemed to have an agenda and was particularly interested in attractive women or those who seemed to have money - she seemed to want to take them down. It was almost as if she were jealous of them and needed to establish her superiority or hurt them. Really sad that this judge is on the bench - tragic that so many families have been damaged by her incompetence and vengefulness. The behavior I witnessed in one day was unprofessional - seeing so many similar experiences over time it appears that she is quite possibly highly unethical and should be removed from her post.
Judge Colfax was one of the most professional, thoughtful, intelligent, judges I have ever encountered. She listened carefully to all parties and clearly had the child's best interest at heart, for which I respected her even more. I left the courtroom inspired!
I am writing this review based off of my previous experiences with Judge Colfax in a courtroom setting and two custody hearings. She granted my ex-husband joint custody after he bombarded her with ex-parte requests after three previous judges denied him the right due to a DV Restraining Order. She was harsh with me and soft with him. She ignored documented safety issues concerning my child. He used this privilege to torture me and put me into debt with child care costs over the past several years. Now his more recent spouse has been granted Sole legal and physical custody and a DV restraining order. Her son is coming home with bruises and my daughter has been sleeping in a closet or his bed during their time together. We as Mothers live in a constant cycle of PTSD provoked on a weekly basis by the Father. Proving that it is in fact his cycle not just a general sense of poor co-parenting. How can someone so oblivious to abuse be put in charge of children?