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Thursday, June 7, 2007

So you want fries with that?

I wish I could take credit for this entry, but it was prepared by Paul Fletcher, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, our sister publication in the Old Dominion. Here is Paul's take on a story that has been making its way around the Web.

There is a legal story floating around the Internet that is worth pulling to ground and blogging about.

Last month a lawyer from a big firm in Chicago was handling a case in federal bankruptcy court in Miami. Lawyer is head of the bankruptcy section of said big firm. The judge holds an emergency hearing in a matter. As reported in the court transcript posted by the legal blog Above the Law, said lawyer was not the most deferential to the judge. Judge seemed to be wanting to do something the lawyer didn’t like, so the lawyer told her, “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.”

First, anytime someone prefaces a remark to you with the phrase, “with respect,” watch out. You're about to do a turn as Rodney Dangerfield. Second, Ronald McDonald is not recognized as much of a legal authority. He is, after all, a clown. And third, if you insult a judge in open court, you do so at your peril.

Needless to say, the judge at whom the Happy Meal remark was aimed was not so happy. She issued a show cause to lawyer, scheduling a hearing on why he shouldn’t be suspended from practicing in her court and have his pro hac vice admission revoked.

Above the Law broke the story; the Daily Business Review provides an update on the fallout for the lawyer and his firm. Among other developments, the client is no longer his client.
The show cause hearing is set for June 25. Stay tuned.


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