After learning lawyer’s remark was a 'serious covert insult,' judge refers incident to state bar
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A San Diego judge has reported a lawyer to the State Bar of California for possible disciplinary action after learning that the attorney’s “See You Next Tuesday” remark was a “serious covert insult” directed toward two female defense lawyers.
In a July 13 minute order, Judge Eddie C. Sturgeon of the San Diego County Superior Court said he had a duty to alert the bar about the remark by lawyer Timothy Allen Scott, report Above the Law and Law360.
According to Above the Law, “See You Next Tuesday” is a euphemism for the C-word. Sturgeon provided a link to Dictionary.com, which explained that the phrase is sometimes typed as “C U Next Tuesday.”
Sturgeon said he initially thought that Scott was being kind when he made the June 30 remark to lawyers for MTS, a defendant in Scott’s lawsuit over injuries sustained in a gym incident. Scott spoke after Sturgeon granted a defense motion for a nonsuit.
According to Sturgeon, this is what Scott said:
“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.”
Sturgeon said he was “completely unaware of the intended meaning,” and he responded, “How kind.” He learned that it was not kind in an in-chambers meeting with Scott and the MTS lawyers.
Sturgeon said Scott intentionally made the statement with full knowledge of its meaning. Scott explained that his use of the phrase was an inside joke between him and a firm employee.
“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,” Sturgeon wrote.
Scott’s statement “is reprehensible and will not be tolerated in this courtroom,” Sturgeon wrote.
Scott gave this statement to the ABA Journal: “I am deeply embarrassed and repeat the apology I made to opposing counsel. This was not consistent with my values. I offer no excuses.”
Law360 identified Scott as a lawyer with McKenzie Scott. The two MTS lawyers are Kimberly Oberrecht of Horton Oberrecht & Kirkpatrick and Traci S. Lagasse of Lagasse Branch Bell & Kinkead, who brought the matter to Sturgeon’s attention.