Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A very sweet litigation victory

Often when dealing with Pro Se litigants one has to tread carefully so as to not take advantage of them.

When the Pro Se litigant is an attorney and quite possibly deranged it gets real interesting.

I get brought in on the tail end of a case. The plaintiff, the attorney in question, has sued the client institution for some very weird allegations that get thrown out at the Circuit level. She appeals, gets some issues reversed, it gets sent back to the Circuit Court, she loses again, she appeals and loses the appeal. Case evaluation sanctions of over $24,000 are imposed and I'm assigned to enter the judgment against her.

I do a motion to convert the sanctions order to a judgment which is granted, after she does a response with just about every other word in bold or underlined or both, and appears to argue and makes some real oddball arguments.

We win and I set a creditors exam. We then fight in court about the exam - I win and the judge has the exam conducted immediately in court.

She gets annoyed and sends me and my client a threatening letter complete with "people have been killed for less, and its easy to find where someone lives these days -- but this is not a threat" Cute.

Not to be dissuaded, and a little offended that an officer of the court would stoop to veiled physical threats against opposing counsel, I then start garnishing her bank account and her employer and she gets really annoyed, which is really too bad.

She then files a motion to set aside the judgment on some very specious grounds that have no bearing to reality, facts or law, including a weird claim that the court lacks jurisdiction to enter the judgment against her, and the judge sees right through it and denies the motion.

After losing to me again in Circuit Court she then appeals.

The appeal is rejected by the Court of Appeals as it is filed untimely to be as of right - she missed the deadline, thus raising the question as to whether an attorney representing themselves can sue themselves for malpractice.

Not to be dissuaded however, she refiles, a 40 page plus exhibits magnum opus complete yet again with every other word either bold or underlined, rehashing the case from the very start, including the previous appeals and her losses to me on the post-judgment proceedings. Again she makes the same really oddball arguments regarding the judgment.

We file a response that the Courts should deny her leave to appeal as she has no basis in fact or law and dissect her arguments to show that.

We received a notice from the Court of Appeals:

The delayed application for leave to appeal is DENIED for lack of merit in the grounds presented.

Given her conduct and threats in the case, it has been decided that we are going to continue these garnishments until the client gets their judgment paid in full.


Expatriate Owl said...

In all of the cases I have ever handled, the worst clients (whether mine or my adversaries') have almost invariably been lawyers.

Too much legal education, not enough objectivity.

[And my wife says that doctors make the worst patients. Seems that the same dynamics are at work in the field of medicine.]

Aaron said...

Yep, a lawyer representing herself truly has a fool for a client.