Since I reside in a land the place everybody, or nearly everybody, will get an award for one thing, irrespective of how trivial, I’m creating an award for the silly, inconsiderate issues that attorneys and judges do. With an acknowledgement to the season, I’m calling my award the “Headless Turkey” or ought to it’s the “Heedless Turkey”? No matter. I bestow this award (and nobody goes to get a pardon just like the White Home turkey) on only a few of many deserving peeps. Choosing awardees is like purchasing at Costco; the alternatives are many.
Do you suppose that attorneys and judges in hindsight ask themselves why they did the silly, license-lifting, judge-admonishing, reputation-trashing issues? What have been they pondering? They weren’t. They acted similar to chickens — or on this case, turkeys — with their heads reduce off.
Would possibly as effectively begin with a former Ninth Circuit choose who had the smarts to resign amid a sexual harassment scandal. Now he’s on the temporary for the previous president in his ninth Circuit case towards Twitter, and I’m certain the Trump authorized workforce thought it was a wise transfer to have this disgraced choose to seem earlier than his former colleagues. Alex Kozinski and his household fled the repressive authoritarian Romanian regime within the early Sixties, and now he’s on the document advocating for a plaintiff who admires autocrats and desires to be one. Yeah, I do know everybody deserves the very best lawyer cash should purchase, however this, actually? Hopefully the previous choose shall be paid, since Trump is well-known for stiffing his attorneys.
Everybody ought to agree that California lawyer (and failed coup advisor) John Eastman positively deserves a Headless Turkey Award. The place to start out? In his interview with ABC Information anchor David Muir, Pence stated that Eastman instructed him that he, the vice chairman, might overturn the election, even after Eastman admitted that his idea had by no means been examined in courtroom. How would you wish to argue that democracy ought to be overturned on an untested idea? Would this argument move the “straight face” check? Appellate attorneys know what I’m speaking about. Right here’s only one instance of Eastman’s self-immolation. So, a Headless Turkey to Eastman.
How a few Headless Turkey Award for this legal professional for inventive billing? What number of hours are there in an Earth day? Twenty-four. There’s no means on Earth (pun intentional) that he might correctly and precisely invoice greater than 24 hours in a single day (except Daylight Saving Time was concerned or he was touring west throughout the Worldwide Date Line). However he did. Whoops! He was suspended for 3 years for the billing snafu, however he was disbarred for a separate undisclosed ethics violation. His conduct was not solely heedless, however headless. So, he additionally will get a Headless Turkey Award.
Right here’s an legal professional who was arrested on quite a lot of felonious expenses arising from the January 6 rebellion, which, in accordance with many Republicans, was simply “a vacationer go to” to the Capitol. He’s now out on bond. What was he pondering? A Headless Turkey Award to this lawyer, John O’Kelly. How does that sort of conduct sq. with an legal professional’s oath to guard and defend the Structure? You inform me.
Useless males usually inform no tales, however on this case, the legal professional wasn’t lifeless, although the State Bar of California had obtained an e mail that he was. He beforehand had stated that he had retired from practising legislation and requested that the disciplinary matter be dismissed. Ignoring that request, he was nonetheless disbarred for misconduct, since bar investigators discovered that he was nonetheless alive and effectively and residing at a brand new tackle. Oopsie. He will get a Headless Turkey Award.
And the mighty fall, similar to the remainder of us. The California Fee on Judicial Efficiency publicly admonished Justice Vance Raye of the Third Appellate District. The justice stipulated that he would retire forthwith to forestall an investigation into why his district was so woefully far behind in issuing opinions in circumstances that had been submitted for choice. (California has the 90-day rule; as soon as the case is submitted, an appellate courtroom has 90 days to difficulty its choice.) A Headless turkey Award to him too.
New York state has disbarred the 2 attorneys who pleaded responsible to throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty police automobile in the course of the George Floyd protests. Each shall be sentenced inside the subsequent 30 days. Once more, what have been they pondering? Was it price shedding their licenses, their livelihoods? Clearly, they thought so on the time, however in hindsight, a special opinion? Headless and heedless turkeys to each.
And there aren’t sufficient Headless Turkeys on this planet to award to Tom Girardi, lastly disbarred right here in California after amassing 205 disciplinary complaints towards him over the previous 40 years or so. An professional in skating on skinny ice, he by no means fell by means of till a Chicago legislation agency — co-counsel on a serious wrongful demise case arising out of an airline catastrophe — had sufficient of his stalling and cried foul (pun supposed) to the federal choose in Chicago overseeing the litigation. Girardi lastly received flocked.
And on a severe observe, this would be the first Thanksgiving since 2019 that households and pals will really feel protected (kind of) gathering on this vacation. If now we have realized something in the course of the previous almost-three years, it’s that household and pals matter … quite a bit. Take time to indicate that they matter. It’s price relinquishing some billable hours to hang around, to do what now we have missed doing the previous few years. It’s referred to as Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving for a purpose.
Jill Switzer has been an lively member of the State Bar of California for over 40 years. She remembers practising legislation in a kinder, gentler time. She’s had a various authorized profession, together with stints as a deputy district legal professional, a solo observe, and a number of other senior in-house gigs. She now mediates full-time, which provides her the chance to see dinosaurs, millennials, and people in-between work together — it’s not at all times civil. You’ll be able to attain her by e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.