ABA Journal


Trials & Litigation

Oops. Former bar prez copies top court on email about its ‘ill-conceived and uninformed questions’

Oct 9, 2013, 05:30 pm CDT


Boom! Question of the week. What is the worst email you accidentally sent or received? Who received it, who was it from, what did it say?

You're welcome ABAJournal, I try to look out for y'all.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 10, 2:00 pm CDT

The old political adage, attributed to former Louisiana governor Earl K. Long (who was crazy, but one hell of a politician):
Never write what you can say, say what you can whisper, whisper what you can nudge, nudge what you can wink, or wink what the other guy already understands.

(emailing comes under "writing")

By billow on 2013 10 11, 11:45 am CDT

email is the thermonuclear communications medium.

By LawLOL on 2013 10 11, 1:40 pm CDT

People still use the "reply to all" button?

By Smeliot on 2013 10 11, 1:46 pm CDT

so...what's so bad about accidentally giving honest straightforward criticism to the judges? The courts certainly don't hesitate to point out in their opinions that a litigant has an ill-conceived or uninformed legal argument.

By beentheredonethat on 2013 10 11, 1:51 pm CDT

I agree with "beenthere"...if the judge is too "sensitive" to hear an honest opinion from the Bar, then he needs to leave the Bench!

By Keith on 2013 10 11, 2:10 pm CDT

Given that this is the same Nebraska Supreme Court that prohibited a 16 year old from getting an abortion because she was not mature enough to make that decision, but mature enough to raise a child -- it sounds like Mr. Whitted was spot on. The court ruled the girl had not shown that “she is sufficiently mature and well informed to decide on her own whether to have an abortion,” Having been abused and neglected by her biological parents, she had been placed with extremely religious foster parents.

The district court judge may have been worse. The Houston Chronicle reports that the district court judge, Peter C. Batallion, appears to have served in the 1980s on the committee for Metro Right to Life, an Omaha anti-abortion group. Bias was a factor in the expedited appeals process — Battalion told the girl “when you have the abortion, it’s going to kill the child inside of you,” and then asked if she would “rather do that than risk problems with the foster care people.”

By Dan on 2013 10 11, 2:13 pm CDT

#2 - Uncle Earl is indeed attributed the adage. But he was not "crazy", in fact, he was officially determined to be "sane" when he was released from the asylum and he enjoyed ponting out to reporters he had "proof" he was sane, a document signed by a doctor. On more than one occassion it is said he refused to answer questions from any reporter who could not likewise "prove" their own sanity. I miss Uncle Earl.

By LA Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 2:50 pm CDT

@7: I object. Your abortion fanaticism is neither relevant to the story nor reasonably calculated to lead to any relevant discussion.

By Pink on 2013 10 11, 3:55 pm CDT

@9 No, @7 is quite relevant. The example provided allows the reader to understand the pure demagogy of the Nebraska court in relation to both its decisions and its questions.

By Unplugged on 2013 10 11, 4:47 pm CDT

Hummm..... strategy? We don't like this judge but there is no cause for removing him from the case. Let's create one with a controversial email, then object to his presiding in the case based on the self-created conflict. I'm sure that is not the case, but if that type of email is all it takes to remove a presiding judge, it could happen.

@ 1, my old boss' email and husband's email both started with the same letter, the auto fill defaulted to my boss. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

By Colslawyer on 2013 10 11, 4:59 pm CDT

Remember the good old days when the worst thing you could do was mail out your monthly invoices to the wrong clients?

By Len Curry on 2013 10 11, 5:50 pm CDT

I'm impressed - and I didn't expect to be.
The Nebraska lawyers and judges involved all dealt with the error professionally and calmly.

Unlike the ABA Journal and any readers who think the story is titillating in any way.

I'm in NYC, but I'm realizing that there's something to this resentfulness that Middle America sometimes feels for the urban power elite of "the Coasts."

By Avon on 2013 10 12, 5:33 am CDT

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