Yes, I know I borrowed the above term from Article III Groupie, so there is no need to send a cease-and-desist letter. I won’t do it again. Also, I wonder, does anyone outside of lawyers ever use the phrase “the above term.” I hope not.
In any event, as regular readers of the blog Underneath Their Robes know, Bench Slapped is one of the many popular features of the blog, and gives often-sensational accounts of lawyers being dressed down by outraged judges. (Among the many readers of this gossip blog, which incidentally was written by a man pretending to be a woman, is Richard Posner, the eminent legal scholar and chief judge of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. I’m not sure whether the author’s “outing” in the pages of The New Yorker has added or detracted from the blog’s allure, but it doesn’t seem to receive quite the buzz it once did).
In Ohio Farmers Ins. Co. v. Hotler, 2006 WL 272779 (C.D.Ill. January 31, 2006), Michael McCluskey, chief judge of the district court, corrected plaintiff’s counsel, who had filed a motion asking the court to reconsider its denial of summary judgment. “This Court’s orders are not mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant’s pleasure,” the judge wrote.
The judge noted that plaintiff’s counsel made an incorrect factual assertion about the scope of a broker’s agency agreement, and also said that “a party patently misapprehending the court’s orders is not a basis for a motion for reconsideration.” Judge McCluskey continued: “this court encourages Plaintiff’s counsel to fully read this court’s orders before filing unnecessary motions such as the present one.” Ouch.