The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Hoe, Poe & Woe

Woe is him (the plaintiff), or is it she (the lawyer)?


A rare creature—the unknown law firm, named by plaintiff as one of the defendants in Esquibel v. Hoe, No. 20CV370978 (Santa Clara County Superior Court, filed Sept. 21, 2020).

Plaintiff, pro se, is suing the lawyers (Jane Hoe and Jane Poe) and the law firm that purportedly represents his ex-wife in one custody case and the mother of another child of his in another custody case. It's not clear why he doesn't know who they are; I'm pretty skeptical about the underlying libel claims that he is bringing, especially given the that statements in litigation are generally not subject to defamation claims; and if the judge concludes that the "hoe" is an attempt to insult the lawyer, it might well be sanctionable (judges generally don't approve of substance-free mudslinging by lawyers, and they might well take the same view as to pro se parties). But the name of the fictitious law firm was at least creative, especially with the "Woe" at the end, so I thought I'd mention it.