The Volokh Conspiracy

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"The Need to Maintain Objectivity and a Professional Distance from [One's] Clients" in Court Filings


From Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald (S.D.N.Y.) in today's opinion in Filsoof v. Cole:

As the Court's rulings demonstrate, these [discovery] motions would have been unnecessary if counsel had conducted themselves in a more professional manner. The inclusion of any kernel of a meritorious argument in the briefing was in danger of being obscured by the amount of irrelevant invective. Indeed, the constant bombardment of the Court with such irrelevant invective makes defendant's frequent refrain about the imposition on counsel's time and his client's resources ring hollow. P

For an earlier admonition from Judge Buchwald in the same case, see here.

NEXT: Continuing to Send Unwanted Political Mailings to a Business Isn't "Harassment" Under Minnesota Law

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  1. I bet the lawyer doesn't take this second hint either.

    1. I took a look at the filings the judge is referencing, and if anything she's understating the problem. I can barely imagine talking to another attorney in the way they do, but I certainly wouldn't put it in an email (like these guys routinely did), much less file what they did on a public docket. If they don't have the self-awareness to figure it out by now, I agree that the lesson probably isn't going to take.

  2. I was wondering if there was a way to throw both sides out of court in a way that neither win. And I remembered a case like that in Massachusetts. A lobbyist was getting paid based on success in winning government action. Like, "we'll give you $100,000 per regulation enacted." If I recall the trigger for the lawsuit correctly, the lobbyist had been paid some but thought he deserved more for meeting performance goals. The judge said the contract was void in violation of public policy and ordered past payments refunded. The appeals court said get your illegal contract out of the court system entirely, no bonus, no refund, both sides take nothing.

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