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Order Up in French Fry Case

An order is now up in the case of the lawyer who accused a Florida bankruptcy court judge of being "a few french fries short of a happy meal." According to this follow-up article, Judge Goes Easy on Lawyer Who Made 'French Fries' Comment About Her (6/21/07), Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff ordered McDermott Will & Emery partner William Smith to take an online course in professionalism sponsored by The Florida Bar -- something that Smith had already completed by the date of the hearing. And of course, the judge scolded Smith about his conduct, asserting that there is no jurisdiction "where it would fall in the bounds of acceptable behavior." And, Smith has also committed to perform 200 hours of pro bono service and has stepped down from the head of the bankruptcy division.

My reaction to the ordeal described in the article is the same that I'd have after a fast-food binge: sickened. Did this judge get some kind of ego boost forcing these lawyers (not just Smith but also the head of McDermott, Will and Emery) to grovel before her, seeking forgiveness? Did she ever intend to revoke Smith's pro hac vice license? Or was this just some kind of way for the judge to send a message to all Biglaw attorneys that even though they make at least five times her salary, she's still the big boss in the courtroom. I guess an ordinary short-order apology doesn't cut it these days; only a supersized humiliating one will do.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on June 21, 2007 at 03:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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