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Judge takes aim with rhyme and reason

Published May 10, 2007


Part of the job of a federal judge is to listen to squabbling attorneys. But everyone has a limit.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin, Texas, apparently hit his recently after a lawyer in a case he was presiding over filed a motion he found particularly pesky.

Sparks has a short fuse when it comes to bickering attorneys. In 2004, he compared another set of attorneys to kindergarteners. "The Court simply wants to scream to these lawyers, 'Get a life' or 'Do you have any other cases?' or 'When is the last time you registered for anger management classes?' "

In this case, in which a media company sued one of its former in-house lawyers for jumping to another company in the same field, the judge's tolerance for infighting finally ran out.

Here is his order.

* * *

Keystone Media International LLC vs. David B. Hancock

Be it remembered on the 25th day of April 2007 the Court reviewed the file in the above-styled cause, and specifically the defendant Hancock's motion for protection filed April 23, 2007, and after reading it a second time to make sure it was not a practical joke, the Court enters the following:

Stallions can drink from a creek without a ripple;

The lawyers in this case must have a bottle with a nipple.

Babies learn to walk by scooting and falling;

These lawyers practice law by simply mauling

Each other and the judge, but this must end soon.

(Maybe facing off with six shooters at noon?)

Surely lawyers who practice in federal court can take

A deposition without a judge's order, for goodness sake.

First, the arguments about taking the deposition at all,

And now this - establishing their experience to be small.

So, let me tell you both and be abundantly clear:

If you can't work this without me, I will be near.

There will be a hearing with pablum to eat

And a very cool cell where you can meet


IT IS ORDERED that the motion to dismiss is DISMISSED.

Word for Word is an occasional feature excerpting passages of interest from books, magazines, Web sites and other sources. The text may be edited for space but the original spelling, grammar and punctuation are unchanged.

[Last modified May 9, 2007, 21:11:34]

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