Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Probation For Intemperate Charges Against Court

The California Bar Journal reports the following disciplinary action against an attorney:

[The attorney] was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on one year of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within a year. The order took effect May 4, 2008.

Koven stipulated that she failed to maintain the respect that is due the courts. She filed two petitions with the state court of appeal on behalf of a client, as well as a letter asking that the appellate justices recuse themselves on the ground of bias.

The request for recusal was quickly denied as frivolous, and both appeals also were denied. When Koven sought a rehearing, her petition contained numerous intemperate charges against the judges, including charges of bias, misrepresenting evidence and manipulating the outcome.

At one point, for instance, Koven wrote, “How convenient for this court to concoct a trumped up review of this issue that fits so snugly into its own predetermined perception of this litigant.” Elsewhere, she wrote, “. . . this court’s finding is a complete red herring. This court purposely concocted a flimsy excuse not to rule on the merits of this issue because it knew that to do so would have required it to reverse.”

Although Koven apologized to the court, admitting her statements were “improper” and “inexcusable,” she was found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt and fined $2,000.

In mitigation, she has no discipline record in 17 years of practice and she demonstrated remorse.

This is an example of a pleading that many of us have written and filed in the trash can rather than with the court. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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I have long found that, after many revisions of the original inflammable document until it is merely hot, filing it first in the desk drawer for a day until it can be revised to reflect cool is essential. If the document can not be cooled, filing it the wastebasket is a good system of organization. Everything chills out there.

Posted by: Colecci | Oct 2, 2008 11:53:04 AM

I have written one filing that was rude to a court for not sufficiently "getting it" in my view. ONE. The court said it was rude and listed the remedies that were available to it for such pleadings.

I think of it often, and have NEVER filed something so outlandish again.

Posted by: Guest | Oct 4, 2008 11:04:48 AM

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