Friday, May 5, 2023

Tone check on rehearing

Rehearing petitions often pose a problem for lawyers who can't moderate their tone. This week's installment on that comes from Florida. Law 360 reports Atty Who Called Judges 'Scumbags,' Slurs Faces Sanctions

After an attorney filed a motion asking a Florida state appellate panel if they and a trial judge were the "dumbest twats to adorn a bench" or "just dumb scumbags," the panel on Wednesday asked the attorney to explain why he shouldn't be sanctioned for violating court rules.

Similarly, see Law360's Use Of 'Hot Mess' In High Court Brief Draws Ire, But Isn't New
Kannon K. Shanmugam was excoriated on Twitter for calling U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar's work "a hot mess" in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, but the language and tone in his brief do have precedent, according to experts.
the specific phrase "hot mess" has shown up multiple times in federal courts and has even been used by judges themselves, according to Ilana Eisenstein, DLA Piper's chair of litigation and a former assistant to the U.S. solicitor general. has Mandatory Retirement? Cognitive Assessments? Probe Into Judge’s Fitness Spurs Debate Over Life Tenure -- Pauline Newman's case also addresses the difficulty of telling older judges when they have lost more than a step.
some research has found that instituting mandatory retirement at state supreme courts led to an increase in productivity. Currently, 32 states have such requirements.
A not-yet-published paper by Princeton professor W. Bentley MacLeod and ETH Zurich professor Elliot Ash found that introducing mandatory retirement leads to an increase in a court’s published opinions and the number of forward citations to those opinions.
Fix the Court said in a statement that all circuits should establish a “wellness committee” to teach judges how to spot the signs of cognitive decline. According to a review by the judicial transparency group, most circuits had such committees as of 2019, but the Federal Circuit did not.