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Randy B.

Ha, that's nothing. Check out this gem from a motion hearing last year. The hearing concerned whether the State should be joined as a necessary party in light of new allegations from the Plaintiffs. Here are the court's thoughts on the matter --

"I know that if I were to have the State intervene now in this case, I'd be looking at some assistant attorney general for three years fussing that they don't have . . . enough time to get ready. I mean, you know, I even get, and I didn't see you ever do it, [Ms. Defense Lawyer], I get motions on behalf of assistant attorney generals up there in Atlanta telling me that they are pregnant and want me to close my case down while they have maternity leave. I would suggest that is not a good one to do with me. You know, I delivered a baby three days after I was trying a felony trial in this court and I was back at work in a week and to tell me you need twelve months in the attorney general's office . . . and that you want me to close my lawsuit down for twelve months, I'm not going to get into that in the middle of this. I mean, I was dumbfounded. . . . I'm just not going to go there."

And I bet you didn't know there was a pregnant Assistant DA exception to Rule 19.

Nate Oman

Definite judgeitis. I am still not sure if it is as bad as Harry Blackmun's dramatic stand against the carnage on our highways.

Greg

I read this one last night, from a Judge Conner of the SDNY. It's a securities case:

"The confusion that has attended this litigation is betrayed even in its caption, which identifies as third party defendants parties who by no stretch of the Federal Rules could occupy that status. What cannot be fully sensed from the papers, however, is the degree of heat between the parties, heat that apparently can overcome counsels' own presumable inclinations, under less immoderate conditions, not to stoop to conquer."

Wade

"Earth to Harry. No one cares what you think about traffic safety."

Ahmen to that! I'm always amazed at the stuff coming out of judge's pens.

The following doesn't qualify as dicta (under the normal usage of the term), but it nonetheless proves the point that none of us care about a judge's ability to wax poetic or elloquent. It comes from an appellate judge sitting in Georgia. The judge was ruling on a case in which the defendant was found guilty at trial of dumping trash in an unauthorized area.

"Literary license allows an avid alliterationist authority to postulate parenthetically that the predominating principles presented here may be summarized thusly: Preventing public pollution permits promiscuous perusal of personalty but persistent perspicacious patron persuasively provided pertinent perdurable preponderating presumption precedent preventing prison." Banks v. State, 209 S.E.2nd 252, 253 (1974)

Basically, the judge held the defendant not guilty.

I don't give a hoot about a judge's literary skills, just please give me the opinion already.

S. P. Bailey

Agree with the substance. And I have read enough Nate to know mispelling is part of the charm. Yet I am absolutely incapable of not correcting your transformation of "Rumpole" into "Rumhole," which, well, sounds kindof icky and made me laugh out loud!

S. P. Bailey

Wade: I don't care about a Judge's bad writing chops. The section you quoted was bad, bad, bad. But I do like good writing, good humor, etc. in opinons. Cardozo wrote some good stuff. And Kozinski sometimes makes me laugh. But these guys are exceptional.

James M

I'm not sure if it counts as the dumbest dicta, but I've been quite entertained by the liberties that Texas Fed. District Court Judge Samuel Kent seems to take in his opinions. Even though he's a prick, it's pretty funny if you're not one of the attorneys involved. For example, in Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp. he says:

Take heed and be suitably awed, oh boys and girls--the Court was able to state the issues and its resolution in one paragraph...despite dozens of pages of gibberish from both parties to the contrary.

This is written after the Court makes fun of both attorneys by pretending that they used crayons to write their briefs. You can see some of his other writing at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_B._Kent

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