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Too Hot to Handle

Last month, the Delaware Supreme Court reprimanded a lawyer for “disruptive, disrespectful, degrading, [and] disparaging rhetoric.”

As the court put it, “[l]awyers are not free, like loose cannons, to fire at will upon any target of opportunity.”

Lessons Learned

1. Avoid comparing parties to animals of any kind.

“Just because the LIRB is a citizen board does not mean that its members are given license to ignore the legal standards which govern their decisions. Otherwise the County would be permitted to appoint a group of monkeys to the LIRB and simply allow the [county] attorney to interpret the grunts and groans of the ape members and reach whatever conclusion the attorney wished.”

2. Avoid tiresome attacks.

“Why would the County want to start making decisions on the merits when it could continue to run [defendant] into the ground for sport based on whatever whimsical speculation the County could conjure up?

3. Avoid sarcasm.

Miraculously, with the aid of legal counsel’s imaginative and creative writing skills, the supposed reasoning for the LIRB’s decision became dramatically more extensive and well-reasoned.”

Delaware Supreme Court Opinion (PDF)

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