Friday, June 17, 2011

Do you mean defendant's or defendants'? Attorney accused of writing "worst" pleading ever

From the Springfield, Missouri News-Leader:

Until Tuesday, Anissa Bluebaum represented Alison Peck, a former teacher who faces criminal charges for failing to register as a sex offender. Peck pleaded guilty in 2009 to five charges of statutory rape in three separate counties against a former student.

Bluebaum withdrew from the criminal cases Tuesday. According to online court documents, a public defender will be appointed to represent Peck in those cases.

Bluebaum remains the attorney in the civil case Peck filed in March against her former probation officer, Rebecca Martin.

Richard Crites, Martin's attorney, has responded to the complaint against Martin with an eight-page list of questions about both the accusations in the case and Bluebaum's abilities as an attorney.

"This petition is the worst example of pleading that the defendant's attorney has ever witnessed or read," Crites wrote in a recent motion.

. . . .

Because of the fact that two people are named in the suit, Martin and her brother, Crites repeatedly asks who Bluebaum is referencing with the terms "defendant's" and "defendants."

"Defendant does not know whether plaintiff is just not familiar with the use of possessives or whether plaintiff was referring to merely one of the two defendants" the motion document said. " this merely the poor usage of the English language by plaintiff's attorney? We have no earthly idea which is the case."

Crites' motion asks that Bluebaum clarify the allegations in the civil petition, including where and when referenced incidents oc-curred. He said the case can't move forward until those questions are answered.

"Without answers to these questions and dividing this long-winded allegation into separate paragraphs, there is no way on God's earth that the defendant can reasonably be expected to answer this diatribe," he wrote.

Ouch. But it gets even worse for Attorney Bluebaum; the judge threatened to throw her in jail for unprofessional behavior during a hearing.  According to the paper, the judge "reminded her that she went to law school and knew how an attorney was supposed to behave."

Hat tip to the online ABA Journal.


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