Statements That Will Get You Disciplined for 'Inappropriate Litigation Behavior'
There are some things you just don't say in court -- or else.
Like, you can't tell a judge he or she is wrong. Instead, you say: "I repectfully disagree, your honor."
The same is true outside the courtroom, especially in litigation. You can't just put people down and threaten them with gutter-talk. Here are a half-dozen statements that will get you disciplined:
Inappropriate Litigation Behavior
Thanks to Adam Leitman Bailey, we have a ready list of to-not-dos. Bailey got himself suspended for berating people in two cases.
New York disciplinary authorities called it "inappropriate litigation behavior." He was a prominent real estate lawyer, but now he is more famous for being vulgar and condescending.
Warning: Bailey's statements are almost inappropriate to print. But for educational purposes, we repeat them here, as he told a litigant:
- "You're one of those people in the world that really should just kill themselves because you're worthless."
- "Now you're my bitch...you're gonna be paying for this heavily for the rest of your life."
It was not just Bailey's words that got him into trouble, it was how he threatened a witness. During an arbitration proceeding, he started taking photos with his cell phone and said:
- "This will be in the newspaper when I put this in there after we kick your asses."
- "You should be ashamed of yourselves for kicking people out of a building and you have to live with yourself."
Don't Put It In Writing
For some reason, Bailey thought it would help to put his comments in writing. He texted a tenant in a landlord dispute:
- "We are also in contact with location police station and we have a copy of the complaint your ex-girlfriend filed against you and we will be using all means necessary to protect our clients."
While on the phone with the tenant, Bailey reportedly told a co-worker "I gotta get his guy," "he's got to be arrested" and he's "not that bright."
Bailey says he developed "jungle street skills" in law school. He wrote in the ABA Journal that he had to learn to survive because he was bullied as a child.
The discipline panel says Bailey needs counseling. He was suspended four months and ordered to counseling for a year.
- Anger in the Court: How to Keep Calm and Litigate On (FindLaw's Strategist)
- What to Do When Law Practice Literally Makes You Sick (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Etymology of Great Legal Words: Gerrymander (FindLaw's Strategist)
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