Thursday, May 21, 2015

Oh Behave!

Looking for that perfect quote to chastise litigational shenanigans?
Justice Duarte excavates a gem from over a century ago and puts it to use here in the final footnote on page 14:
“[W]hile counsel in their briefs have displayed much industry and learning, they are justly subject to censure for their apparent forgetfulness of the dignity and courtesy that should ever prevail in contests like this. It must be manifest that their untoward vituperation affords no credit to themselves and likewise neither entertainment nor enlightenment to the court.” (Delger v. Jacobs (1912) 19 Cal.App. 197, 208.)

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And from the other side of the country, comes this: Appeals court condemns 'puerile name calling' and reverses verdict because of lawyer's comments:
“The tenor and text of plaintiff’s brief exceeds zealous representation,” the appeals court said in a footnote. “Plaintiff’s merits brief is replete with untoward indecorous remarks. For example, he refers to defendant’s brief as ‘describing a delusional case’ based on ‘made-up facts.’ ” The plaintiff’s brief also claimed that the defendant waited until the court loss to “rewrite history, magnify the minutiae, and claim that it was deprived a fair trial,” the footnote said. .... The “objectionable remarks” by the plaintiff’s counsel “infected the deliberative process,” the court said. .... “Suggesting counsel’s line of questioning is ‘stupid,’ merely because one disagrees is offensive and unprofessional,” the appeals court said. “Puerile name-calling is condemned.”