Sarcastic 'Monkey' Brief Brings Atty Reprimand

Overruling a professional disciplinary board, the Delaware Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded an attorney over the language he used in a legal brief.

Among other questionable language, the brief said New Castle County could appoint “monkeys” to a licensing board and “simply allow the attorney to interpret the grunts and groans of the ape members and reach whatever conclusion the attorney wished from the documents of record,” reports the News Journal.

The brief’s author, Richard L. Abbott, has asked for a rehearing and apparently remains recalcitrant: In a written statement, he says there was no basis in law or fact for the reprimand, the newspaper reports, and complains that the Supreme Court’s decision ignored his First Amendment free speech rights based on “political correctness.”

The state’s Board of Professional Responsibility reportedly found no violation of attorney conduct rules, although it described Abbott’s language as “unnecessarily sarcastic and strident in tone.”

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