Friday, October 25, 2019

How not to practice law: mock President Trump in a brief

The lawyers for a group of mayors in Puerto Rico have been ordered to refile an amicus brief because of what a federal judge considered indecorous conduct.  And what was the conduct, you ask?   Putting quotation marks around the word honorable when referring to President Trump (ie, as in the "Honorable" President Trump.)  The judge also held that “A court of law is no place to mock, ridicule, or politically attack the president.”  No other sanctions were imposed on the lawyers, though.  The case is called Club Gallistico de Puerto Rico Inc. v. U.S. , D.P.R., No. 19-cv-1481, 10/15/19.

The Court's order reads, in full:
The Court hereby STRIKES the Brief of Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs filed by
amicus party Asociación de Alcaldes (Docket No. 43). Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows considerable discretion to a district court in striking “any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” FED. R. CIV. P. 12(f); see also Alvarado-Morales v. Digital Equip. Corp., 843 F.2d 613, 618 (1st Cir. 1988). To insert ironic quotation marks in a brief’s heading when referring to the President of the United States’ official title (“Hon.”) constitutes an indecorous action by the Asociación. A court of law is no place to mock, ridicule or politically attack the President. The Asociación de Alcaldes shall file a corrected version of its brief by Friday,  October 18, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. 

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