And juuuuust a bit uncivil, I’d say. I may be wrong…
In a motion to dismiss an insurance law suit, Allstate’s lawyers revealed this remarkable conduct on the part of plaintiff’s attorney Christopher Hook in his communications during the case. According to the declaration of those attorneys in their motion, Hook said or wrote…
- “Fuck you crooks. Eat a bowl of dicks.” (Declaration of Peter H. Klee, Ex. 1, p. 5)
- “I’m going to let the long dick of the law fuck Allstate for all of us.” (Id., p. 7)
- “Hey Klee you Cumstain the demand is now 302 million. Pay up fuckface.” (Id., p. 8)
- “Peter when you are done felating your copy boy tell Allstate the demand is now 305 million.” (Id., p. 9)
- “[Other Sheppard Mullin attorneys] may not be too smart but at least they have some fucking dignity and honor unlike you two limp dick mother fuckers.” (Id., p. 10)
- “What is Wright going to do when he finds out Allstate is using people who are borderline retarded to adjust complex claims. That’s what I’m going to do. Demand increases tomorrow.” (Klee Decl., Ex. 1, p. 11)
- “Anytime now faggot.” (Id., p. 13)
- “I want my clients’ money gay boys.”
This a mystery: I don’t see how a lawyer could graduate from law school and practice for more than 20 minutes without knowing that he can’t treat people like that—not witnesses, not clients, not opposing parties, not other lawyers, and definitely not judges. I don’t understand how anyone who couldn’t figure this out would be smart enough to dress himself, much less pass the bar exam.
Who raised this creep? Obviously he never read his Rules of Professional Conduct, because there are several rules that make it clear that such behavior is affirmative misconduct. Incivility itself is never mentioned, but fairness to opposing counsel and respect for all involved in the litigation process are. Moreover, Rule 8.4, Misconduct, in almost all jurisdictions condemns conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
I’m reasonably sure that telling opposing counsel to “Eat a bowl of dicks” qualifies.
On a more basic level, such conduct on behalf of clients is incompetent.
Usually it takes a long time and many ignored warnings before a lawyer loses his license for such atrocious and unprofessional practices, and this will likely be the case with Mr, Hook. Still, in the eloquent words of Ray Romano’s TV father, played by Peter Boyle, “Holy crap!”
Pointer: The Professional Responsibility Blog
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