This is a fun story — well, if you like story where smug attorneys who think they’re smarter than everyone else get their comeuppance.
It started out with comments attorney Timothy Scott made on the record to opposing counsel. After losing a motion for nonsuit, Scott made the following remarks, just laced with meaning:
“…I hope this doesn’t sound unctuous, but just to end the weekend on a good note, I want to thank the court staff. I want to say to have a good weekend to Mr. DeMaria. I want to say have a good weekend to Ms. Frerich. And I want to say have a good weekend to both MTS counsel. I’ll See you next Tuesday. See you next Tuesday.”
To which clueless Judge Eddie Sturgeon responded, “How kind.”
Bless his heart.
But as you can see from this WWE gif, those are fightin’ words.
For the uninitiated like this dear judge, see you next Tuesday is a euphemism for cunt, which is very much an insult and a sexist one at that.
But you know, it wouldn’t be an ATL story if that’s where it ended. The Urban Dictionary meaning of the phrase was shared with Judge Sturgeon by one of the attorneys on the receiving end of this not-so-hidden insult (Erin Lagasse). He then held an in-chambers meeting where it was revealed that Scott knew *exactly* what he was saying — because of course he did. Yet he tried to justify it by arguing that he didn’t think anyone would know what he was *really* saying.
Bro! THAT’S NOT AN EXCUSE. You can’t be a sore loser calling your opponents names and then say, well, I thought everyone was too stupid to figure out that I was making fun of them and expect that to get you out of the world of hurt you’ve created for yourself.
And whaddya know? The judge was not pleased with the so-called excuse. In fact, he was doubly pissed — not only did Scott insult opposing counsel, he also tried to pull a fast one on the court.
It was also revealed during the in-chambers meeting that Mr. Scott intentionally made the statement with the full knowledge of the meaning of the phrase. Mr. Scott tried to explain that his deliberate use of the phrase was an “inside joke” between him and one of this firm employees which he expected no one in the courtroom would detect. However, it is not a joke to this Court that Mr. Scott made this egregious and offensive insult intentionally to two female attorneys via a coded message. In fact, but for Ms. Lagasse bringing it to the Court’s attention, this wrongdoing would have been undetected. Mr. Scott not only attempted to deceive all counsel, but also this Court, into believing he genuinely was wishing everyone a nice weekend when in fact he was purposefully directing a derogatory epithet toward the female defense attorneys who had just prevailed in a nonsuit in this case.
The judge described Scott’s behavior as “reprehensible,” and such behavior “will not be tolerated in this courtroom.” And, BOOM — Judge Sturgeon alerted the State Bar of California and will be filing a disciplinary referral with the State Bar.
Love to see it.
Read the full order below.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).
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