Monday, December 21, 2009
Professionalism alert Part II - California court issues 3 year suspension to prominent lawyer for being a jerk
Related to the story below, figuratively if not literally, a California court has suspended from practice for three years Philip Kay, a very successful and prominent plaintiff's attorney for "outrageous conduct." In a 48 page opinion, Judge Lucy Armendariz found, among other things, that
Kay [engaged in] a "pattern of abuse" toward nearly everyone in the courtrooms of San Diego County . . . .
"Respondent was sarcastic to the court," Armendariz wrote. "He repeatedly badgered, berated, screamed, yelled and/or raised his tone at witnesses and the court, despite court warnings, admonitions and orders not to do this."
She also noted that Kay had often tried to get into evidence issues that had been banned by the court, had accused the judges of bias and had told jurors that opposing counsel was lying.
"Instead of stopping and being respectful and professional," Armendariz wrote, "respondent would repeatedly mock the court and tell it that he would not obey the court's orders and warnings."
Kay denied the allegations before and during the State Bar Court trial, saying he was only being a staunch advocate for his clients. He also accused the San Diego judges of having a vendetta against him.
Kay didn't help himself much at this suspension hearing during which the judge said he continued to be rude, arrogant and defiant including refusing to answer her questions or take the stand when requested. Indeed, Judge Armenderiz said the only reason she didn't disbar Kay is because his conduct never hurt his clients who often won their cases .
I am the scholarship dude.