Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Florida Law: Bad Lawyering Gets a Sanction

In the law profession, you see some examples of excellence, advocacy, and ethics. The lawyer who is the subject of the opinion seems to be missing the first two.

This recent opinion is not an example of good lawyering. In fact, it makes you wonder if some who graduate from law school and pass the bar have what it takes to work as lawyers. My conclusion - retire. Find another profession.

In Marion v. Orlando Pain and Rehab, the lawsuit was dismissed because of defects in the pleadings. The lawyer appealed to the Florida 5th DCA. The lower court dismissal was affirmed per curiam by the appellate court. Apparently not satisfied by the affirmance, the lawyer on the losing end then filed a Motion for Rehearing.

The work of the lawyer may be seen from the beginning of the papers filed. I suspect that Oliver W. Holmes  - if still alive - would be cringing, because here is what the rehearing papers set forth:


2.  Please forgive in advance if, through the words of this Motion you can hear the author screaming, but I  cannot overcome my indignation engendered by this Honorable Court's per curiam affirmance of the lower court's order.  I understand that Motions for Rehearing are seldom granted by appellate courts, and for good reason.  However, I must believe that if I correctly state the facts of this case, the court will retract its opinion and reconsider the issue.  I assume that I failed in my obligation in the initial briefs.

He then went on to state that the appellees "were proven con artists." Counsel then went on to write - "now the Court seems to be saying OK" to such actions. He then wrote that he was "screaming again."

There is  a lesson here. If your case is so weak it gets dismissed, and the appellate court affirms it per curiam, let it go.  Filing a Motion for Rehearing? Do something novel - research. Or else get spanked in a public legal opinion that will live forever

To the surprise of no one, the Court said this type of conduct would be sanctioned. Read it here: