Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Indignantly Submitted"

A criminal defense lawyer who became frustrated with the handling of a continuance request filed a motion that characterized the proceedings as a "criminal court fiasco" and signed the pleading "Indignantly submitted." At the hearing on the motion, he said that he would "jam these pleadings down the throat of the record as much as I feel I need to." The outburst got the attorney a contempt citation and locked up for an hour. He apologized and moved to withdraw.

The Illinois Hearing Board recommends that the attorney be censured. (MIke Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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This seems far more egregious conduct than the "french fry" remark that had everyone so worked up a month or two ago. ("I suggest to you with respect, Your Honor, that you’re a few French fries short of a Happy Meal in terms of what’s likely to take place.”) In that case, many took the judge to task for overreacting to the lawyer's comment by issuing an order to show cause why the offending attorney's pro hac vice admission should not be revoked. Many others offered reasonable explanations for the theory that the lawyer did not mean the "Happy Meal" remark in a negative way.

Here, there's no doubt as to the lawyer's intent, and I think you'll find fewer, if any, people thinking the judge overreacted. And "falling on his sword" by seeking withdrawal was the right thing for this lawyer to do.

Posted by: Greg May | Jul 16, 2007 8:36:24 PM

Our local court of appeal today took a small dig at the trial judge (and, I think, the district attorney) with this one:

"The doctrine of stare decisis requires a trial court to follow an unambiguous published holding of the Court of Appeal, even if the trial court believes that the appellate opinion was erroneously decided. This, we had assumed, was fairly obvious to every trial court judge; that is, until now."

Cuccia v. Superior Court, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (July 16, 2007, No. B197278) []

Posted by: Greg May | Jul 16, 2007 8:43:15 PM

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