Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oh To Be Pro Se: Still The Champ In Frank and Unprofessional Pleading?

Posted by Alan Childress

The Texas court pleading going around the internet that raises the "dumbass defense" against a plaintiff and calls him a "f---ing idiot" [without dashes] has been been revealed to be a fake by Ray Ward and his astute commenters at the new legal writer blog.  That leaves, Ray says in a comment, the 2006 notice of appeal of one George Swinyer, Jr. as "the champ in use of salty language in a court pleading."  Next week is its two-year anniversary and it has not been knocked off its block yet, has it? (George Swinyer, Sr. must be so proud.)

Here it is in its stark and handwritten glory, and it is not professional, but give it this:  it was sent to the right court.  Lots of real lawyers intuitively file the notice of appeal in the court of appeal (wrongly), Nofa_2or otherwise mess up the timing of it which may result in a huge malpractice lawsuit (or just a lawsuit that, luckily to the attorney, leads to a finding of no causation because the appeal would have been lost on the merits anyway).  I am not suggesting, however, that this one go into your forms-and-exemplar file.

Maybe the author of this notice of appeal is more ideally suited, personality wise, to become a pro se transactional attorney.  (At least that way, Swinyer would not have -- ahem -- "perfected an appeal" ... that was destined to be pretty much summarily remanded by the appeals court, and found "not in good faith" by the same district judge, as reported by Legal Juice blog with details about the underlying lawsuit and the obligatory use of "donut" to insult a prison guard.)

This certainly beats out for utter frankness and ethical candor the midwestern appellate attorney who asked for argument to be rescheduled on the grounds that his wife was making him take a 350-mile bicycle tour in Oregon, even though "Counsel assures this panel that Oral Argument would be more enjoyable than the aforementioned bike trip."

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