The Illinois disciplinary authorities have filed a complaint against Chicago attorney Neil Alan Spector, who walked out of a local courtroom saying to the non-attorney, the opposing party: "have a nice day, you piece of shit." Spector compounded his problem by ignoring the letter of inquiry from the disciplinary folks, terming the matter "petty."
Uh, . . . don't do this.
Someone I admire who writes a blawg, was somewhat up in arms over the disciplinary action, but as I described a number of times on this Bad Lawyer, I've dealt with attorneys and even the occasional Judge who lapse into this kind of language and it really demeans people who come to lawyers and into courtrooms expecting to be treated with respect and dignity. When we talk about character and fitness as base requirement to practice law, how do you reconcile this sort of arrogance and attitude? Should it result in some sort of serious sanction, no; but, I think the disciplinary authorities are correct to send a message that incivility by lawyers is inappropriate and it should end.
Class Action SuperLawyer, Pat Perotti, who I've spoken of many times over the last year was recently at the office of a notorious elderly "connected" class action attorney. The purpose of the meeting was to create some sort of structure for dividing up settlement proceeds comprising millions of dollars in an action against a large telecom company. Pat, who is one of the founders of the Cy Pres movement is obviously interested inn making sure that charities are considered, the elderly co-counsel could care less. The "connected" attorney, in full hearing of everyone in his office lobby shouted at my friend, "Lets' get one thing straight, Perotti, you are a F-----g Asshole!"