ABA Journal


Trials & Litigation

Lawyer defends tweet about ‘doing Paula Deen in a strongly metaphorical sense’

Jun 26, 2013, 12:17 pm CDT


Double standard. Inappropriate comments by Paula Deen are pile-on events even after several decades, while inappropriate comments by the attacking lawyers are no harm, no foul.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 26, 12:25 pm CDT

Have to use a double standard with Deen, McLeod. Have you seen her size?

That aside, Billips comments weren't too bright, but then the lawsuit doesn't seem to have much of a future anyway. I'm beginning to think that the Jacksonian period is no longer the gold standard for craziness in this Country.

By Pushkin on 2013 06 26, 1:25 pm CDT

"Billips told the court that the statements were not intended as threats, nor were they intended to become public."

Not intended to become public? Someone needs to explain the purpose of Twitter to this gentleman. And I am using the term "gentleman" metaphorically.

By W.R.T. on 2013 06 26, 1:58 pm CDT

My grandmother's words ring in my ears - "if you'd nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all!" Inappropriate on all levels (attorney) as was her use of "that" word.

By atllaw191 on 2013 06 26, 3:08 pm CDT

Well, if he wasn't being metaphorical, it would have been a clear ethical violation.

What if he'd been "doing Paula Deen strongly, in a metaphorical sense"?

By NoleLaw on 2013 06 26, 3:57 pm CDT

These tweets are interesting in light of the earlier speculation that the N-word question during depositions may have been posed to Ms. Deen in bad faith.

This story may have legs.

By Yankee on 2013 06 26, 4:38 pm CDT

Yankee - be careful with that "legs" metaphor. You don't want to be part of the story.

BTW - The objection to the deposition question was irrelevance, not bad faith. They're not the same.

By Pushkin on 2013 06 26, 5:06 pm CDT

Without speaking to the specific facts here (which have not been developed), theoretically there might be bad faith if an attorney (again, i am not saying this attorney, here) asked an irrelevant question designed to illicit an embarrassing response that in turn would inform the context of settlement discussions.

By Yankee on 2013 06 26, 5:25 pm CDT

@W.R.T., have you never used Twitter? There is a private message / tweet function. Private does not equal public.

By wow on 2013 06 26, 5:55 pm CDT

And what Paula may or maynnot have said were not meant for the public either....if he thinks that Paula was wrong and he was ok on his comments then he is a hypocrite as well as already being extremely unprofessional! Should we start spouting Lawyer jokes because Lawyers like him are the reason we have those jokes!

By st on 2013 06 26, 6:36 pm CDT

@ 9. - wow,

No, I do not use Twitter. All the more reason not to do so is that it's private message function, if such was used in this case, is obviously not very effective.

Clearly the PURPOSE of Twitter is to invite public attentioin to one's doings on a moment to moment basis. To claim otherwise is at best disingenuous.

In any event, the measure of a gentleman is how he behaves when he thinks no one is watching. This "gentleman" fails to measure up in either case.

By W.R.T. on 2013 06 26, 7:07 pm CDT

@9: you can write a private letter; that doesn't mean the recipient can't run down to Kinko's and make a thousand copies for their friends or post it in the paper. If he'd said the remark in a private conversation then he might have a basis for believing it was private-although even then nothing would preclude the other party from repeating the remark. As the old saying goes: three can keep a secret if two are dead.

The irony is that what was good for the goose is now being used to baste the gander. @10 has it right, this sounds like a different instance of the same complaint.

By Robert B. on 2013 06 26, 8:05 pm CDT

Robert B. and W.R.T. miss the point, which was that W.R.T. didn't know squat about Twitter. Don't include me in your other observations.

By wow on 2013 06 26, 11:10 pm CDT

These comments by Billips suggest his persecution of Paula Deen is in furtherance of personal animus and vindictiveness rather than a professional engagement. He may ultimately maneuver himself into the defendant's chair in a malicious prosecution case, and will have only his own mouth and his own stupidity to blame.

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 26, 11:15 pm CDT

Regarding Pushkin's statement of Paula's size--I am larger than Paula. I take offense at your statement. But it seems to be ok to make fun of people because of their size. Also, of late, I hear a lot of prejudicial talk about Mexicans. Maybe it would help if we had a list of people it is ok to malign. And @atlaw191--your grandmother was a wise lady.

By Margaret Snow on 2013 06 27, 10:24 pm CDT

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