Tennessee lawyer rebuked for insulting judge
4:14 pm, January 7th, 2013
The Memphis Commerical Appeal reports that a lawyer discipline panel has recommended a 60-day suspension for a plaintiffs lawyer who told the judge she might “set a world record for error” in her rulings.
“The primary issue before this panel is whether, even under very difficult circumstances, an attorney can justify making rude, insulting, disrespectful and demeaning statements to the judge during open court,” said the opinion of the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility panel.
“We do not believe that such conduct can be justified no matter how worthy or vulnerable the attorney’s client may be, or how poorly the judge may be performing or how difficult or unethical the adversary counsel may be … Simply abusing or insulting the court to get rulings in your favor cannot ever be endorsed or justified by our rules and our system of professional conduct.”
The story quotes the lawyer, R. Sadler Bailey, as vowing to appeal the suspension recommendation and offering no remorse for his comments during a medical malpractice trial.
The story says opposing counsel John E. Hall Jr. of Atlanta’s Hall, Booth Smith, said Bailey had “a strategy to be a bully” and that he’d never seen a lawyer speak to a judge in such a manner.
The story can be found here.