Disrespect . . . With All Due Respect

“I suggest to you with respect, Your Honor, that you’re a few French fries short of a Happy Meal in terms of what’s likely to take place.”

This statement to a judge was made by (a) a newly minted, naive lawyer; (b) a renegade solo criminal defense attorney; (c) a criminal defendant; (d) a partner from a prestigious, nationally recognized, Chicago-based law firm.

Answer: (d).

The remark earned him an order to show cause as to why he should not be suspended from practice before the court and have his pro hac vice admission revoked.

See Above the Law for the full story.  Some commenters there actually take the judge to task.  There are also some reasonable explanations offered for the lawyer’s statement, suggesting that the judge misunderstood the comment.  But I don’t know if any of them are right.

UPDATE (5/31/07): Is it possible I show too much deference for authority? Carolyn Elefant of the My Shingle blog really made me think with this post taking the judge to task for sandbagging the lawyer and overreacting by issuing the OSC and copying every judge on the court. Unlike most of the snarky commenters at Above the Law, she explains her position. If you’re a solo, you may also want to go to her main page and scroll through some of her posts about the special burdens of solos when it comes to sanctions and ethics charges.

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